Fighting Illini Coaches Follow Michael Orris

Fighting Illini basketball coaches were in Fort Wayne last weekend to evaluate many of their top targets. One of the players they paid particularly close attention to was 2012 point guard Michael Orris. He remains one of their top priorities in his class. Orris spoke with InsideIllini and provided an update on his recruitment.

Michael Orris played for Illinois Old School at the Gym Rats Basketball National Championships. He impressed college coaches with his quickness off the bounce and ability to get in the lane at will. His leadership and point guard skills were evident. He also showed he could score, as was shown when he dropped 40 points in one game.

The Crete-Monee senior discussed how his July went.

"I had good games and bad games. I started off real consistent in Indianapolis. Then I hit a bad stretch in Waukegan. Ever since the last game in Milwaukee, I have been playing consistently well every game. This has been fun, getting to play in front of college coaches with my teammates."

How did the coaches affect your game?

"Everybody says they try not to think about it, or it doesn't make them nervous. The reality of it is that it does. At the end of the day, you just have to play basketball. I love the game of basketball. It is my passion, and you just have to play regardless of who is watching."

Orris would be described by most scouts as a pure point guard who can score when needed. He expands on that concept when describing his own game.

"My game all depends on the team I am playing with. At Crete last year, it was all about making my teammates better, getting them open shots, setting up my guys when they are hot, and being that smart and witty point guard, which I am.

On my AAU team, I am the scorer. Next year at Crete, I am going to be the scorer. It all depends. At the next level I am going to have to score when needed.

If there is an open jump shot I will hit it, but at the next level I am going to be setting up my guys with assists and being the true point guard leading my team to a win."

One aspect that was apparent was his ability to get in the lane and finish through contact while getting to the line.

"That is all weight room. At the next level, it will be more weight room because you have to finish through contact."

Once committed to Creighton, he appears to have an increased list of college choices.

"Right now I have Big 10 schools, Pac 10 schools, ACC schools and a bunch of mid-major schools showing interest."

The Illinois coaching staff is obviously interested in him, as they have been tracking him throughout July and had assistants watching him in Ft. Wayne. Has was aware of their presence.

"It has been good. We will see what happens."

He is unsure right now about when he will get back to Champaign for another visit. Orris talked about his timetable for a decision.

"It really doesn't matter. It is whenever it feels right. Whenever the best opportunity comes my way I will know, and there is no timetable on that."

Orris discussed what his role would be if he were to commit to Illinois.

"There are a lot of talented players there. That is where I excel because I will be getting my teammates open shots all night long. I will be passing to McDonald's All-Americans and very high level talent. I will be like an Aaron Craft type player that is able to set them up for good shots."

This sounds exactly like what the Illini coaching staff is seeking. Orris' recruitment is one Illini fans will be tracking closely for 2012.

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