Top 5 2011 Recruiting Classes Among Illinois-Based D1 Schools

Top 5 2011 Recruiting Classes Among Illinois-Based D1 Schools

The Fall signing period for college basketball is finally here.  While most everyone has now been saturated with analysis on the part of the national gurus, we prefer to keep things simple by focusing on Illinois-based recruits from the class of 2011.

As is the case with any other state that is regarded as a basketball hotbed, one of the most instrumental factors when it comes to the recruiting success of any D1 program located in Illinois is that school’s ability to keep top talent at home.  With that in mind, there are two questions that beckon (which actually go hand-in-hand): 1) Which in-state universities made the greatest inroads with respect to recruiting the 2011 class in Illinois and 2) Which schools turned in the best 2011 recruiting classes overall?

What follows are our answers to those questions, as we rank the top five 2011 recruiting classes among Illinois-based D1 schools.  The one prerequisite was that each program had to land at least one in-state recruit from the class of 2011 in order to make this list.  We also pay much greater attention to high school prospects from the 2011 class who signed letters of intent as opposed to classes which consist of fifth year prep school recruits and JUCOs.  On that note, here are our rankings.

1) University Of Illinois

   Top RecruitMike Shaw6’8PFChicago (De LaSalle) IL 
Other Recruits Mycheal Henry6’6WFChicago (Orr) IL
Tracy Abrams 6’1 PGChicago (Mt. Carmel) IL
Nnanna Egwu6’9CChicago (St. Ignatius) IL

Comments: After landing a 2010 recruiting class that ranked among the top 15 nationally, the beat goes on for Illini head coach Bruce Weber, assistant coach Jerrance Howard and company.  While Shaw is the headliner, Henry and Abrams may both prove to be just as valuable.  Henry’s game is reminiscient of former Illini great Nick Anderson, while Abrams is the type of floor general who can catapult a team to a national championship.  The Illini also figure to add one more recruit to this class–the only questions that remain are who it will be and if it will be during the fall signing period or in the spring.

2) DePaul University

Top RecruitShane Larkin6’0PGOrlando (Dr. Phillips) FL
Other RecruitsMacari Brooks6’22GRichton Park (Rich South) IL
Braeden Anderson6’8PFPlantation (American Heritage) FL
Jamie Crockett6’4WFUniversity Park (Crete-Monee) IL
Derell Robertson6’9CMendenhall (H.S.) MS

Comments: Although the Blue Demons’ class may not have as strong of a local flavor as some desired, when one considers everything that head coach Oliver Purnell and his staff are up against, it is a most solid class for their first year on the job.  Purnell and his assistants have proven that they can recruit nationally as well as locally. We also really like the balance of this class, as it contains a player at every position.

3) Northwestern University

Top RecruitDavid Sobolewski6’1PGLisle (Benet Academy) IL
Other RecruitsTre Demps6’22GSan Antonio (Ronald Reagan) TX
Michael Turner6’8PFChicago (University Lab) IL

Comments: Wildcat head coach Bill Carmody and his staff undoubtedly solidified their back court of the future with the signings of Sobolewski and Demps.  Both can play either guard spot and should prove to be perfect complements to one another.  Turner could end up being the wild card, as his best basketball is still ahead of him.

4) Illinois State University

Top RecruitNic Moore5’9PGWarsaw (H.S.) IN
Other RecruitsJohnny Hill6’32GLombard (Glenbard East) IL
Nick Zeisloft6’42GLagrange (Lyons Township) IL

Comments: There are still a lot of people who do not realize how good Moore really is.  He is the consummate point guard and is a perfect fit for the type of guard-oriented offense run by Redbird head coach Tim Jankovich.  Hill and Zeisloft will also provide further back court depth and are capable of stepping in and making immediate contributions–Hill with his stellar athleticism and Zeisloft with his longe-range shooting ability. 

5) University Of Illinois-Chicago

Top RecruitMarc Brown6’42GDallas (Woodrow Wilson) TX
Other RecruitsWill Simonton6’11C
Jerome Brown2GChicago (Morgan Park) IL
Ahman Fells6’5WFChicago (Simeon) IL
Greg Travis6’0PGChicago (Curie) IL

Comments: It is worth repeating what an outstanding job new Flames head coach Howard Moore and his hard-working assistants have done on the recruiting trail in a relatively short time on the job.  Moore has proven that he is going to be a recruiting force not only in Chicago but nationally as well.  Brown was a one-time Florida State commit, and the majority of recruits in this class should be capable of making an immediate impact in the Horizon League.

We welcome comments regarding this story or any other entry published by Illinois Prep Bulls-eye.  They can be made by e-mailing us at [email protected].  


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