When asked about his visit to Champaign this time, immediately Matt Humphrey (Hales Franciscan, Illinois) said, "Oh - the practice was great. That was by far one of my favorite things. Coach Weber is a good coach. I liked how they ran it. They met and talked first, then he divided them in to groups and every single player got attention. They had the guards on one end and the big guys on the other. They had Brian Randle work both ends and that was cool to see. Then they had this 2-on-2 drill that I really liked also. Seeing Brian work was cool and the dunk contest was good to see. They do a lot things and watching Brian work at that level was great," said Humphrey.
Both Matt's parents are Illinois alums. "My father played baseball for Illinois and he got drafted by the Texas Rangers. I don't live very far from the campus - it's about an hour and a half away," he said.
Make no mistake about this: Illinois hasn't offered Humphrey and it bothers him somewhat. He's not making a big deal about it, but then again he stated that Notre Dame, Miami and Arizona State have offered him.
Like most athletes, they all had opinions on the Eric Gordon situation and Humphrey was no different. "I mean, IU is a good school and Illinois is too. I just think the pressure got to him if you ask me. He's a local kid and they didn't want him to leave the state. I'm sure he was getting it from everywhere," said Humphrey.
Last night I spoke with another student-athlete who asked to remain anonymous. He somewhat agreed with Humphrey in regards to the pressure to stay local, but the same should happen for Illinois. This four-star athlete said, "Here in Illinois, if we could keep all the great players here at home we could win Big Ten titles and national championships. But for some reason players feel they need to leave the state, which is too bad because I think most forget who the 2005 National Coach of the Year was. Once Coach Weber can get all the players and coaches around the state to stay home, other schools will have a hard time taking players away."
Humphrey, a state product himself and having had a parent go through the recruiting process, will make the right choice for himself and he will be confident with his decision. At this point he doesn't have a favorite school but will watch and see how things work out.