Tevin King is one of the most underrated prospects in the state, but with the way he played for the Mac Irvin Fire in July, college coaches certainly took notice. They love his intensity and defensive prowess. Illinois hosted the guard on a visit Saturday. He got to see some fellow Chicago guys when he arrived.
"I got up there a little late, but when I got there they let me shoot around in the gym. A couple of the guys were out there like Mike Shaw, Tracy Abrams, and Mycheal Henry. It was a great environment."
What was the best part of the visit?
"The football game. I have never been in that type of environment with a lot of people. It was fun to see how excited they were."
King was especially impressed with how Illini fans support their teams.
"Wow! The support was awesome for the Illini! It was for all the athletes no matter the sport. I learned it was a great environment. I never knew how much fan support they have for the program. The coaching staff is great overall. They showed me much love."Coach (Bruce) Weber was telling me he likes the way I played during the summer. Jerrance (Howard) was telling me how the dog in me shows because I am from the West side. We also talked about going through the process to becoming a better point guard."
They even likened his game to a current Illini player.
"They said I play like a baby Tracy Abrams."
He has a special connection with Coach Howard because of some words of encouragement he gave King at the beginning of his high school career.
"I think I have a tight relationship with Jerrance because he was the first one that told me I was a good player."
King feels he and Illinois are a good fit for each other.
"I think it is a program that really fits my game because of their guard play. It is a great program."
What are some of the schools currently recruiting King?
"Illinois, Toledo, Marquette, Memphis, Ohio State, Colorado State and Detroit."
The point guard was instrumental in the success of the Mac Irvin Fire program this summer as he started on 15U in the spring but saw action at both the 16U and 17U levels as the season progressed.
"I think I played great with the Fire. I really raised my intensity when I played on the 17U. On the 16U, they put me in a good environment because I played with Jahlil Okafor. It was great playing with a USA player. I also learned a lot from Jabari Parker."
He expects big things at St. Mel this season.
"I am looking for a state championship. I am trying to make All-Conference and maybe All-State."
InsideIllini has long been a fan of King's game as he brings the tough and aggressive style Chicago guards are known for. He attacks the rim with authority and has a nice perimeter stroke. His best attribute is defensively, where he has a chance to be an absolute beast at the next level!
While many fans are focusing on Larry Austin for point guard in the Illini's 2014 class, King might be just as good.