Will Van Vleet Jump Into 2012 Illini Picture?

The Fighting Illini want to shore up the point guard spot with a player in 2012. Several options have recently come off the board. One player that could be under consideration for a spot is Fred Van Vleet. He describes himself as a floor general and leader.

Fred Van Vleet is a point guard from Auburn High School in Rockford, Illinois. His specialty is running a team, leadership, and a nice mid-range jump shot. To this point, he has a variety of mid-majors showing interest, but with Illinois's need for a point guard, they could jump in the mix.

The Illini coaching staff has kept marginally in contact with Van Vleet over the years.

"A little bit. They have kept in contact distantly. They are not really on me hard."

However, he does have an interest in the UI. He is a fan of the head coach and where they get there players.

"Bruce Weber is a great guy and great coach. I think they are staying true to the state. They get their own kids and try to build them up that way."

When it comes to being recruited by Illinois, he says it would be great. But he just wants to play somewhere he is wanted.

"Obviously I would. It is the home state school. I'm not really into dream schools. I just want to go where I am wanted."

Illinois has reached out to several floor generals in 2012 in-state. Why should the 5'-10" Van Vleet be the best fit for Illinois?

"It is a great class for point guards in state. I think I am overall a pure point guard and can lead any team."

The schools currently showing interest in him are mid-majors.

"Kent State, NIU, Pepperdine, Colorado State, Drake, and Nevada."

Van Vleet says he would like his recruitment wrapped up before winter arrives.

"Ideally, I would like to make a decision before my senior season."

He described his game.

"A pure point guard that is a floor general. I score when I have to, but I do whatever it takes to win. My strengths are my court vision and commanding my troops. I have a great feel for the game and am a good ball handler."

He averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals last season for Auburn. He led them deep in the state tournament.

"It went real well. We had a core group of young guys. We were very underrated and undersized. I think we made a good run to the super sectionals. Overall, I think we had a great season and made our city proud."

How did he feel he played?

"I did all right. I'm not going to say I played great. Overall, I think I did good playing the point guard role and leading my team."

Van Vleet plays on the AAU circuit with Pryme Tyme. His play has been impressive and noticed by scouts who have seen him this spring.

"It has been going good. We placed second in the Chicago Hoops opener. So far so good. We just have to come and show people we can play."

Only time will tell if Illinois will show heavy interest in Van Vleet. If he keeps up his strong play during the July evaluation period, it is certainly a possibility.

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