Illinois Coach John Groce had a pretty good Thursday.
First, he landed a commitment from Ballard point guard Quentin Snider. Then, Chicago big man Cliff Alexander announced that he will use one of his five official visits on a trip to Champaign.
Alexander will visit Illinois on Oct. 26. He used his first official visit on a trip to hometown DePaul in August. He also has official visits scheduled for Arizona (this weekend), Kansas (Oct. 4) and Memphis (Oct. 18).
Alexander said earlier this summer that Louisville would definitely get an official visit, but players are only allowed to take five official trips and the 6-foot-9 prospect never scheduled one for U of L.
UK and Michigan State have long been seen as frontrunners in his recruitment, but neither of those schools will get an official visit either.
Illinois has made Alexander a priority in this recruiting class, which already includes Snider, four-star forward Leron Black and three-star forward Michael Finke.
Mike Oliver — Alexander’s high school coach — told the Herald-Leader following the DePaul visit that Alexander is seriously considering staying close to home for college.
“That’s something that he and his mom have talked about,” Oliver said. “They figure he’s a one-and-done, or at most two years (in college). So they figure if they can get a good situation in the state of Illinois … that would be something they would consider.”
Scout.com ranks Alexander as the No. 5 overall prospect in the Class of 2014. Snider (31st) and Black (46th) are also considered top-50 prospects.