August 6, 2014

Future Illini to visit officially




Illinois basketball recruit Aaron Jordan performed well on the summer circuit, developing more of an all-around game running with the Illinois Stars.

Jordan, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Plainfield (Ill.) East, is known as a shooter, but it was his overall skill set and ability to get teammates involved that were the focal points for Jordan this summer.

"I think I improved in a lot of areas," Jordan said. "I improved my shooting off the dribble. But it was more about getting my teammates good looks."

The 4-star Jordan checks in at No. 65 nationally in the Rivals 150. Along with Chicago Simeon wing D.J. Williams, Jordan gives Illini coach John Groce a good start to the 2015 recruiting class.

An expanded skill set makes Jordan more of a weapon offensively. Now he wants to continue to add strength in preparation for the rugged play in the Big Ten before he arrives on campus in Champaign next year.

"I think my overall game is great but there's always room for improvement in each area of the game of basketball," Jordan said. "My strength is probably the biggest thing. The sooner my strength increases the better things will when it comes to my overall game. Getting in the weight room like I have has made a big difference."

Now that his AAU career is over, Jordan has time to focus on his upcoming prep season.

Jordan was named to the Chicago Sun-Times All-Area team following his junior season, leading the Plainfield East Bengals to an 18-8 record. He averaged nearly 20 points per game and shot 50 percent from behind the arc.

Bigger and better things are expected in the 2014-15 season, according to Jordan.

"We are going to have a pretty good team," Jordan said. "The core of our team has been playing together for a while. Everyone is hungry. We've been in the gym pretty much every day putting up shots and getting in the weight room."

His ability to make plays coming off of ball screens makes Jordan a good fit in the Illini system. It's a system that Jordan trusts in, and he's excited about the direction of the Illinois program.

"There's a bright future at Illinois with (Groce) there," Jordan said. "He's going to make it happen, and I'm glad to be a part of it. Illinois felt like home to me and my game could make an impact there."

The Illini will ink both Jordan and Williams in November during the early signing period. In the meantime, he keeps in close contact with Groce and the rest of the staff.

Jordan was a fixture at the State Farm Center during the Illini's season, and he will be back in Champaign soon.

"I talk to them every week," Jordan said. "I'm going to take my official visit in the next couple of weeks."


More official visits on tap

Aug 29: Jalen Brunson, point guard, Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson

Sept 11-13: Jimmy Whitt, shooting guard, Columbia (Mo.) Hickman

Sept 18-20: Elijah Thomas, power forward, Lancaster (Texas)

Oct 3-5: Shake Milton, shooting guard, Owasso (OK)

The Illini are also expected to host point guard Jawun Evans and big man Doral Moore.






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