Illinois Inks 2015 Class

Illinois has signed four commits in the 2015 class as of Wednesday including three newcomers and one returning player. Here's a closer look at what each brings to the Illini.

Jalen Coleman-Lands
Overall National Rank: No. 35
Position Rank: No. 8 SG
State Rank: No. 2 in Indiana
Star Rating:

By now most Illinois fans know how Coleman-Lands' commitment happened and how it was out of the blue, but Illinois remained locked in on Coleman-Lands since his freshman year of high school. Coleman-Lands is arguably one of the top pure shooters in the 2015 class, however this past spring and summer, he demonstrated that his ball handling and dribble-drive game are much more developed now. Coleman-Lands will be thoroughly tested this year, playing a rigorous schedule against the nation's best along with his La Lumiere teammates.

At Illinois, Coleman-Lands will be coming into a position already occupied by upperclassmen Kendrick Nunn and Aaron Cosby, but with his skill set, it will be extremely difficult to keep him off of the floor. His ability to hit from deep is something Illinois has been missing over the last couple years. Coleman-Lands will likely come off the bench to provide a scoring boost in the early part of his career, but as he adapts to the college game, he has the potential to be an all-conference guard sooner rather than later.

D.J. Williams
Overall National Rank: No. 55
Position Rank: No. 10 SF
State Rank: No. 2 in Illinois
Star Rating:

D.J. Williams was the first member of the 2015 class for Illinois, and comes from a program that has been very kind to Illinois in recent years. The Simeon Wolverine will follow in the footsteps of former state champion teammates Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate in Champaign. Williams was an important role player on those championship teams, but last year and now this year, is one of the central cogs in the Simeon machine. Without a true point guard last year, Simeon coach Rob Smith put the ball in Williams' hands, despite him being more of a small forward by nature. Williams showed how much better he can be when he is more aggressive with the ball, and still has room to grow in that regard.

At Illinois, Williams will be able to carve out his own nice as a high-post swingman who will be able to increase his presence in the post as he adds strength to his long frame. Williams is very skilled but will need to be more physical and improve as a rebounder. Williams will be a mismatch for many of the post players he will face in college as long as he is able to add the needed strength to his frame to hold his ground. Williams' game may even be a nice complement to Leron Black's on the floor at the same time and would be an interesting mix to watch.

Aaron Jordan
Overall National Rank: NR
Position Rank: No. 22 SF
State Rank: No. 6 in Illinois
Star Rating:

Jordan, like Coleman-Lands, is one of the elite shooters in the 2015 class. Jordan addresses a big area of need for Illinois and will provide a dangerous three-point shooting threat. Beyond just his shooting, Jordan is a tireless worker who has made major strides in other areas of his game. His body has undergone a substantial transformation and continues to get better all the time. Jordan didn't play with one of the mainstream AAU programs, but he proved that he could be successful and thrive no matter what name was on the front of his jersey. However, Illinois fans should be glad that he will have their name across his chest the next four years.

Jordan has the potential to be the Malcolm Hill of this class as far as making a big leap between his freshman and sophomore years in college. That's not to say that Jordan won't have success his freshman year, because he very well could hit the ground running as a role player early on, but with Jordan's work ethic and hunger to learn from Coach Groce and his staff, he could make a major jump in his overall abilities between his freshman and sophomore years and be a dangerous player for the remainder of his career.

Darius Paul
Overall National Rank:Top-5 JUCO
Position Rank: NR
State Rank:NR
Star Rating: NR

It's not often that a former Illini is a member of the Illinois hoops signing class, but Darius Paul, after being suspended for the entire 2014-2015 season by Coach Groce due to a handful of poor decisions on Paul's part, has signed back on with Illinois and will rejoin the team in the summer of 2015. The former Western Michigan and Illinois power forward is spending this year at Lamar State-Port Arthur with Coach Lance Madison while making amends for his transgressions. But by all accounts, Paul is already having success at LS-PA.

Paul, who would have been a major contributor after sitting out all of last year due to transfer rules, is a physical presence in the post and would have been a nice one-two punch with senior Nnanna Egwu. Instead, he will return next year in a very open front court and in theory could walk right into a starting role if he does the necessary work to earn the position. Paul brings lots of value to the team as a rebounder and is starting to prove himself as a consistent post scorer. In the past, he has floated out to the perimeter at times, but if he can find a mean streak and get more comfortable with scoring over both shoulders, he could bring the low post presence to Champaign that the Illini will desperately need.

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