Wilkes Stops By U of I

Elite 2017 Wing Kris Wilkes wanted to see more than just the basketball program at Illinois on his visit Tuesday. See what his impressions were of the UIUC campus.

The Illini have had quite a few visitors over the last week. On Tuesday they hosted a key out of state prospect in North Central (IN) 2017 five-star small forward Kris Wilkes.

We caught up with Wilkes to get a recap of how the visit went.

“When I got there we sat and talked and watched a video of the team and the new stadium that they are building. After we went to get food and viewed the campus a little bit."

One area of campus Wilkes really looked forward to seeing was the engineering department.

We went and viewed the engineering building because I want to study robotic engineering," he said. "We later viewed other parts of the campus in a golf cart. Then went back to the gym to watch some of the players work out.”

Wilkes is not emptily saying that academics are a critical part of his decision process. At Illinois, he feels like the staff provides the same support off the court that he gets on the hardwood.

"They care about every player getting better at what they want to work at," he said. "They also care about how the player is doing in class and strive for them to not just pass enough to stay on the team, but actually work hard in the classroom like they do on the court."

The Illini coaching staff expressed what intrigues them about the rising junior.

“They liked that I am versatile, that I can play many positions and that I would fit well on the wing,” he said.

After spending some time with Head Coach John Groce and his staff in person, he shared what stood out about the staff and the team.

“They all have good personalities and they seem to get along well and work together,” he said.

Illinois broke through in the state of Indiana in 2015 with the commitment of shooting guard Jalen Coleman-Lands. He talked about what that means to him.

“It shows that it is a good school to go to, but I don’t really know him.”

IlliniPlaybook was one of a few outlets in attendance all week at the Nike Elite 100, where we saw Wilkes in action. The #16 prospect in the class of 2017 checked in at 6’-7” without shoes and boasts a 6’9” wingspan. The slender wing excels using his quickness and athleticism, slashing to the basket off the bounce and getting out in transition. Once he adds strength, he will be an even better finisher in the paint. Defensively he projects well with his length and athleticism.


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