Just after paying a visit to Massachusetts recruit Josh Sharma, head coach John Groce and assistant coach Dustin Ford went to Simeon High School in Chicago to visit four players from the 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes.
The four Simeon players that Groce went to see included: 2015 small forward D.J. Williams (Illinois commit), 2015 small forward Ed Morrow, 2016 shooting guard Zack Norvell, and 2016 small forward Ben Coupet.
Out of the four players, the only one to have an offer from the Illinois Fighting Illini is D.J. Williams. Williams committed to the Orange & Blue in November of 2013, but still shows the tiniest bit of interest in Georgetown, Purdue, and Tennessee.
The other three Simeon players seem to be up for grabs.
Not many big name programs are looking at the other three recruits (at least not offering that is). Morrow has the most offers at eight and the two biggest names are Iowa and Nebraska.
Because of this, Zack Norvell should become a #1 priority for John Groce even though he is a 2016 recruit. Norvell is currently the #1 ranked recruit from the state of Illinois and is the 10th best shooting guard.
The last Simeon player to be #1 in the state of Illinois was Duke’s own Jabari Parker, but he was also the #3 overall 2013 recruit.
Right now, Illini fans should see Norvell as a Kendrick Nunn-like recruit. Just like Nunn, Norvell is a Top 60 recruit. The only difference is that he has a higher position ranking and is the top recruit in the state of Illinois.
So far, Coach Groce is doing all the right things by heavily targeting Simeon High School players. For year, Simeon has produced some of the best basketball players in the country and that is good enough reason for Illinois to recruit their players.
If Groce has his way, there will be a strong pipeline between Simeon players and the Illinois Fighting Illini.
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