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Illinois Hosts Another Top Recruit, Making A Statement

Jalen Brunson '15

Jalen Brunson, a 6’0” point guard from Lincolnshire, IL, took an unofficial visit to Illinois last Sunday.  Brunson (2015) is a prime recruit for head coach John Groce and many other coaches across the nation.  Brunson has 12 other scholarship offers including UConn, Kansas, Michigan, Purdue and Oklahoma St. 

Brunson mentioned that he loves how encouraging the coaching staff is with their current players.  He also talked about the freedom past point guards have had in Groce’s system, a major selling point with Brunson. 

Brunson liked the fact that the staff wants him to step in as a leader right away and build the program around him. Brunson also said that the coaching staff has proved they trust him to run the show and there is no doubt he has proved that he is capable of doing so.

His natural instincts and high basketball IQ are two things you can’t teach, and both will help him to make an excellent floor general.  Brunson really is the full package, averaging 22 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists during his sophomore season. 

He pushes the tempo, sees the floor and is able to execute open court passes.  His ability to push the tempo and find open teammates is what makes him a great fit for Illinois’ system.  Their style of play allows him the freedom to use his speed and athleticism to facilitate. 

Not only is Brunson a facilitator, but he is a major scoring threat.  He is a consistent three-point shooter, but is able to take his opponent of the dribble and create his own shots. 

Groce has already begun to foster a good relationship with Brunson and it was a big step for the Fighting Illini to get him on campus.

Illinois has been a major competitor in the recruiting game in recent months, hosting various nationally ranked players. 

Roosevelt Smart, a 2015 shooting guard from Palestine, Illinois was on campus this past weekend.  Smart is another fast paced and explosive player that would excel in Illinois’ system.

Two weeks ago, Carlton Bragg (Cleveland, OH) the 13th ranked player in the class of 2015 was on campus along with Cliff Alexander (Chicago, IL) the 2nd ranked player in the 2014 class. 

The Fighting Illini are on the rise and they have made a major statement by getting these elite recruits on campus.  John Groce is building a program that has huge potential and his commitment to doing so is evident.