The No. 51 (Rivals.com) overall prospect is off the board.
Quite the bad news/good news day for the Illini, what with Turner's surprising OSU verbal being followed by teammate McCamey's Illinois verbal. Both surprised me, though in hindsight, neither should be all that surprising, I guess.
I was unaware that Turner's father lived in Ohio, actually. Had I known that I never would've felt too great about him ending up at Illinois, regardless of what he had said about the Illini being his favorites.
And McCamey's verbal to Illinois wasn't all that surprising, all things considered, because a couple weeks ago he said Illinois would be his favorite if we offered him; he had supposedly been an ACC lean, but that was when we were waiting to see what happened with Rose. Now, what's still happening with Rose....who knows. If Turner was also headed here then I'd take that as a sign that we'd moved on from him.
Or maybe the staff knew earlier this week, when McCamey was in town, that Turner was headed to Columbus, offered him then, and he accepted on the spot. That's my guess.
As far as Rose goes, I'd have to assume with a scholarship still available that we're still very much after him, selling him on being part of a Deron/Dee/Luther Part II.
And I'd also have to assume that, if in the interim someone like Alex Tyus or Alex Legion wants to take our final scholarship, that we're not going to wait around for Derrick.
Anyway....here's the article from Illiniboard.com on McCamey's commitment.
Within the course of 16 hours, the highly recruited duo of Demetri McCamey and Evan Turner from Westchester St. Joseph’s High School have gone from elite prospects to verbal commitments. Head coach Bruce Weber and his staff got the man they wanted from St. Joe’s today with McCamey’s commitment. Here are some quotes from the newest Illini.
One of the first things out of Demetri McCamey’s mouth was, “I’ve been dreaming about going to Illinois since I was little. I knew last Tuesday after my visit, that’s where I wanted to be.” said McCamey.
“I had a great time on my visit. I got to hang out with one of my closest friends, Jamar Smith. It was a great time. I got to play with the players, so it was just a perfect fit for me” he added.
When asked about Evan Turner, McCamey said he was very, very shocked by his decision. He thought Turner would attend Illinois. “He had to do what was best for him. I don’t think a lot of people understand that his dad lives in Ohio and he has a lot of family up there. On the court we will go at it, but off the court we will still be great friends.” said McCamey.
Why did McCamey verbal to Illinois? “It’s easy. It’s a great program. I really like Coach Weber a lot and he’s done a great job with the program.”
With this commitment McCamey, along with Eric Gordon, (whom both stand 6-4) could be one of the nation’s biggest backcourts. “I’m really excited about playing with Eric. It’s going to be a good fit. I’ll probably play the point and he will play the two spot. It should be great. If the coaches would like for me to talk to other players about coming to Illinois then I hope they let me know because I don’t have a problem doing it.” McCamey stated.
According to Scout.com McCamey is currently ranked as the 81st best prospect of the class of 2007.
What is one of the best ways to overcome the loss of a highly coveted recruit? How about by going out and landing a commitment from his high school teammate. That is exactly what the University of Illinois did, and they did so less than 24 hours later by receiving a verbal commitment this morning from 6'3 Demetri McCamey from St. Joseph High School in Westchester, IL. McCamey chose the Illini over Wake Forest, DePaul, Indiana, and Michigan.
McCamey's commitment goes a long way toward easing the blow which was felt among the Illini faithful when McCamey's teammate, 6'5 Evan Turner, committed to Ohio State yesterday. He becomes Illinois' fourth commitment from the class of 2007, joining 6'4 Eric Gordon from North Central High School in Indianapolis, 6'9 Bill Cole from Richwoods High School in Peoria and 6'11 Mike Tisdale from Riverton High School in Riverton, IL in what is shaping up to be an excellent recruiting class.
While Illinois' interest level in McCamey had always been high, it became even more intensified right before the start of their satellite camp at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. At that time it was learned that McCamey would be taking an unofficial visit to the Champaign campus, which he did this past Tuesday. It was at that point that Bruce Weber and the Illini coaching staff extended the scholarship offer to McCamey and needless to say he jumped at it.
McCamey is an outstanding athlete with a strong upper body and an explosive first step. He has the ability to take over games, which is a big reason why he has ascended in the national rankings. While McCamey still needs to learn to play under control at all times, there is no question that he has all the makings of being a dynamite player in the Big Ten.
With McCamey now in the fold, Illinois Prep Bulls-eye believes that the Illini coaching staff is looking more closely than ever at the possibility of reviving the "three headed monster", the three guard offensive attack which helped lead Illinois to the final four in 2005. Contrary to opinions that are already being offered by others, we do not think that McCamey's commitment means that Illinois will stop recruiting the state's top prospect, 6'3 Derrick Rose from Simeon High School in Chicago. In fact, we think it means that they are recruiting him harder than ever. Considering that Gordon and McCamey are now on the way, Jamar Smith is coming off a spectacular freshman year, and Rose is still out there, it goes without saying that the possibilities are endless.
Continue to check in with Illinois Prep Bulls-eye for all of the latest as it pertains to recruiting and high school basketball in Illinois.
I made the Deron Williams comparison earlier- and it is a logical comparison if you think about the similarities- but I've also heard that a better comparison would be a much bigger and more athletic version of Kiwane Garris, a great Illini guard in the mid-90's that just wasn't big or quick enough to stick in the NBA.
I went by the IB after turner chose OSU. That place is awesome.25 pages in a few hours. I'll have to go take another look now.
Illiniboard is the most manic-depressive place on the internet. I love that place.
I didn't know about Turner until the next morning, and I usually avoid that place after losses- be it an actual game, or in recruiting- because it's just too negative. But we certainly bounced back quickly from that one, I guess.
Well, if Rose came here, McCamey would probably be at the 3, much like Luther. Rose is going to be THE point guard no matter where he goes, but as we know, the motion offense certainly lends itself to multiple guards being playmakers/initiators, as all of our guards would be able to do, except Jamar.
As to whether or not McCamey would start, who knows. It'd be either him or Jamar, as I'd assume at this point that Weber's trying to replicate the three-guard set from '05.
Gordon has one-and-done possibility, but on the other hand....how many 6'3" (maybe 6'4") shooting guards ever go one-and-done? I'd be mildly disappointed if he was only one-and-done (that is, unless we went to a Final Four in his one year here), and thrilled if we got him for 3+ years. If I had to guess, I'd guess that E.J. is a 2009 lottery pick.
I've seen Gordon play a few times, and I really do think he's better than Rose, if only because he's a little bigger and a little more polished, and a much better shooter, though slightly less athletic (though that's like saying "Steve Francis is less athletic than Dwyane Wade") and not as good of a ball handler. When North Central played Simeon last December, Gordon outscored Rose 32 to 6, and Derrick had 9 TO's.
Then again, Rose outscored EJ 20-10 a few weeks ago in an AAU games, so who knows.
Rose, Gordon and Brian Randle on the same court.....that'd be the Flyin' Illini all over again. I'd want to take those guys back in a time machine and do a team dunk contest against Kenny Battle, Nick Anderson and Kendall Gill.
I can understand your excitment. I get to watch Brandon Rush, Julian Wright, Sherron Collins, Darrell Arthur. All former dunk contest participants. I would take this team in a dunk contest against any team in the country.
Game can i once again get your thoughts on Julian Wright. I remember being very excited to land him, but remember you saying you thought he was greatly over rated. I understand everyone's concern about his scoring abilities but if you have ever watched a Kansas game you can understand that he can dominate a game without ever scoring. Anyways he is penciled in as a lottery pick in next years draft. Have your opinions on him changed or are you still down on him?
Yeah, my opinion has definitely changed on Julian.
Keep in mind, I also thought all of these things when Illinois still conceivably had a chance at him (Julian is the one and only kid that I feel Weber simply did a poor job of recruiting). I hate when people say things like, "Oh, you wouldn't say that if he committed to Illinois!" I may not say it, because I don't like badmouthing our guys, but I'd still think it. Same thing with Scheyer. I've never felt that he's going to be an impact player in college (though considering how much better his outside shot got in his senior year, I may reconsider that one), yet if I say so, people will think it's only because he committed to Duke.
But watching him in high school, I saw a guy who I thought was going to be somewhat of a disappointment in college no matter where he ended up. Obviously he's a ridiculous athlete and a very good passer, I just didn't think he'd ever have the ball in his hands long enough to do much with that passing ability, because I didn't think he could handle it well enough to be a small forward, much less a point guard, like some laughably predicted.
The big thing for him was he accepted and embraced the idea of playing PF. He simply doesn't yet shoot it well enough from the outside to do anything else, but he's developed a nice midrange jumper. There were times later in the year where I saw him be the guy to flash to the soft spot in the zone, and knock down a little 12-foot jumper in the lane. Granted, I didn't get to watch him every game, but was one of the things that turned his season around, if you ask me.
Plus, his ballhandling ability is a little better than I thought, at least in the open court.
Last edited by TheGame414 : 07-03-2006 at 11:43 AM.