Another point guard domino is about to fall in the Midwest with four-star playmaker Te'Jon Lucas announcing his decision on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. CT.
Lucas told IlliniInquirer.com he will decide between Illinois, Old Dominion and USC. The Milwaukee native locked in plans to take an official visit to Champaign this weekend, and he was expected to make his decision shortly afterwards. That played nicely into the hands of Illinois, but the expedited announcement certainly adds a twist.
Lucas has taken official visits to USC and Old Dominion. He and his parents came down for an unofficial visit to Illinois at the beginning of August. That was a while back, but Illini head coach John Groce and assistant Paris Parham went up to Milwaukee last week for an in-home visit with Lucas, his mom and his AAU coach.
"It went great," Lucas told IlliniInquirer.com "They said that I was a priority and explained why I should choose Illinois."
A source indicated that the Illini were very close to closing the deal after the in-home, and it would seem that they could beat out Old Dominion and USC being that they're willing to avoid waiting for Charlie Moore.
If he chooses Illinois
Adding Lucas would end one of the most painful droughts at one particular position in the recent memory of major college basketball. While he may not be the star that fans were hoping for, Lucas would give Groce a Big Ten worthy point guard and one that can make plays at a high level. He isn't going to shoot the lights out, but Lucas can make talented pieces around him better with his vision and outstanding feel for the game.
The Illini staff can end any thought of coming up empty-handed again, and they get someone who can develop into a very nice option. Lucas would also have the chance to immediately challenge Jaylon Tate for the starting role, although Jalen Coleman-Lands may also be in the mix. Either way, Illinois gets what they needed and still gives them an opportunity to swing at lead guard targets in the 2017 class.
If he doesn't choose Illinois
Missing on Lucas would officially put the Illini in panic mode and turn Moore into a make-or-break get. You'd have to seriously question the ability of this staff to land a point guard - whatever the reason may be. There isn't much else to it.
What's the buzz?
There was a great feeling about Illinois' chances heading into the official visit this weekend. The timing of the decision threw some question marks in the mix. That being said, it appears that the Illini will have reason to celebrate when the announcement is made.
Groce and his staff didn't waste any time after being turned down by Xavier Simpson. They were in Milwaukee last Wednesday when Simpson picked Michigan, and all indications are that they got the job done.
The Illini knew the level of urgency and they set out to take the sure thing when it was there. It looks like they have it in Lucas.
Click HERE to read more!