Shaun Pruitt May be Pleasant Surprise

<p>Just recently I had the chance to see Shaun Pruitt play again since his high school days. He may be the one true physical post player on this year's team

Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber went toe-to-toe with Michigan St. Tom Izzo for the 6-10 giant, trying to prove he will be a presence in the state of Illinois when it comes to recruiting. Pruitt was a four star recruit by TheInsiders.Com

Pruitt looks like he's starting to grow into his body; he's really trimmed down a lot since his high school days at West Aurora High School. During the scrimmage you could also see that he's finally starting to look healthy again from a nagging ankle injury that bothered him during high school.

Make no mistake about it, Pruitt likes to battle in the post but also likes to turn and face to hit that eight to ten foot jump-shot. It may take a few games for the big man to adjust to the college game or maybe months before he does, but when it happens he will be someone Weber can count on for solid minutes. One thing's for sure - you can see his potential at this level. The part of his game I liked watching more than any other is his ability to go after rebounds for put-back baskets, which should free up things for James Augustine.

With starting big man James Augustine coming back from injuries and sometimes foul prone, Pruitt could play a very large roll in Illinois' success this season. With Augustine, Nick Smith and transfer Marcus Arnold from Illinois St., the big man will get some early seasoning on how to play the post.

Pruitt will be that player that likes to bang and finish when around the basket for Illinois; missing little bunnies around the basket shouldn't be a problem for him. Most times when Pruitt sees an opportunity to dunk the ball he does, which means no more missed lay-ups.

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