Cliff Alexander is an extremely strong and athletic 6'-8" power forward. He uses his physical tools to block shots, rebound and score at a high level. Alexander has all the tools high major programs look for in big men. Illinois assistant coach Jerrance Howard is his lead recruiter.
"Coach Howard came to one of my practices last season."
He has built a good relationship with the coach.
"He told me to keep doing what I am doing. I am doing real good so far. He is looking forward to seeing me play more."
Alexander says he could see himself playing in the Orange and Blue down the line. He discussed what he likes about his home state program.
"I like their program. They are pretty good. I think my game would fit in pretty good with their style."
He is also a fan of head coach Bruce Weber.
"He is a very good coach. I like how he coaches."
What schools are currently recruiting the big man the hardest?
"Ohio State, Illinois, Arizona, Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa and USC."
Last year as a freshman at Curie, he averaged 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game.
"I think I did pretty well. We finished the season 29-3. I did real good playing against stronger and older people."
He is going up against Division I players every night in the Chicago Public League.
"It is pretty tough playing against the top players in the city and country."
Alexander has played well this spring, including a standout weekend at the Chicagohoops Memorial Day Classic. He was dominant at times with his combination of skill, athletic ability and strength.
On the offensive end, he showed he could face up and play down on the block. His quickness allows him to get to the hoop with ease. He understands how to receive passes from the perimeter and where he needs to be to seal off his man for the dunk.
Alexander rebounds well with his quickness off the floor and length. The most impressive aspect of his game is defensively, where he is a game-changer with his shot blocking. He consistently swatted balls into the stands on opponents coming into the paint. He agrees with this assessment.
"I am a dominant player. My strengths are rebounding, shot blocking and my post play."
Alexander has vaulted himself into the top 5 of the 2014 rankings and is a prospect Illinois will certainly be keeping tabs on over the next couple years.