Coleman Torches Nets at EYBL

Jalen Coleman has been lighting up the circuit all spring, but this weekend in particular, he really had everything clicking. His recruitment is heating up as well, and he spoke with us about it here, including his plans for trimming his list.

Illinois is still in search of at least one more guard to finish out the 2015 class. One of their primary targets Jalen Coleman remains on the board and is having a big spring with a new team in All-Ohio Red.

He had one of the signature performances at the final stop of the Nike EYBL circuit in Minnesota on Sunday. Coleman was phenomenal against Playground Elite in the afternoon contest. The 6'4" guard was in a zone and hardly missed a shot all game.

He started with an alley-oop then followed up by burying a deep three. His jumper was falling from everywhere, especially his pull-up threes. The 2015 prospect displayed a slick handle through traffic, getting to the basket with ease.

Coleman finished with 32 points on 12-14 shooting from the field. Coleman was efficient, and the continued development of the La Lumiere star was incredibly impressive to everyone in the gym. He followed that performance later in the day by dropping 25 points in a victory over Team Penny.

Coleman discussed the development in his game and where he feels strides have been made.

"Being more versatile," he said. "Knowing when to drive, make passes for others, and knowing when to score. I am still figuring that out with the team that I am on."

This past season at La Lumiere, Coleman saw his game go to that next level, and he has continued to prove that this spring with All-Ohio Red.

"It was great," Coleman said. "That is one of the reasons I went to that school (he said of La Lumiere). "Going there has improved me academically and on the court. It has been going well on both fronts and I look forward to next year."

Coleman is a priority recruit for the Illini coaching staff. Coach John Groce has continually made a strong impression on the 2015 prospect.

"Coach Groce has been to my school multiple times," he said. "I feel comfortable with him being my coach. He is easy to talk to and easy to understand. I know I want a coaching staff that is like family and somebody that I can work on my game with. I definitely feel comfortable with him in that aspect."

His lead recruiter is assistant coach Jamall Walker. The two have built a bond throughout his recruitment.

"He is a down to earth guy," he said. "He is all about improving and doing whatever it takes for his players to reach their goals. That is what I like about him and the coaching staff at Illinois. That goes to what I was talking about improving your game and feeling comfortable with them."

The coaching staff has stressed to Coleman how effective he could be in the Illinois style of play. He has taken notice and likes what he hears.

"They come off a lot of screens like they do at the higher levels in the league," Coleman said. "It is an easy transition. They can play a fast pace and a slow pace. I feel like that will be a good fit because I am not just full press, but I am an up and down guy."

Illinois already has commitments from a pair of wings in Simeon small forward D.J. Williams and Plainfield East shooting guard Aaron Jordan. Coleman talked about how his skill set would benefit from being in the same potential class with them.

"Being able to practice against those guys making them better and making me better is definitely a big aspect of whatever college I go to," he said. "Basically with me being a combo guard playing at the one and the two I feel I could help out tremendously."

Coleman mentioned he is hearing a lot from Indiana, NC State, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and UCLA. The junior says he is nearing the time he will be cutting down his list of potential suitors.

"I haven't had a for sure top 5 or top 8 because I have been away," he said. "When I get back home after this weekend and talk it over with my family I will figure out a date when I can cut it down."

He will also be looking to take some visits in the near future after discussing it with his parents.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories