Rodney Alexander, a 6-7 wing from Benton Harbor (MI) High School, started his collegiate career at Redlands Junior College in Oklahoma. His former high school coach Ramsey Nichols said, "When Rodney was a senior in high school a lot of coaches from everywhere showed interest in him because, let's face it, the kid's an athlete if I ever saw one. But most of them kind of backed off because they knew he wasn't going to qualify."
Illini fans seem to be pleased and looking for the "goods" on Alexander and what he will bring to the table. How about this quote from Mr. Nichols, "Illinois got a true basketball player. I know he will dazzle them with dunks and make a few ESPN highlight reels. He's a great kid that can play. Think about it - if a school like Illinois was after him for such a long time - you know he can play."
Assistant coach Tyler Brown went a step further on Alexander, but first he really wants people to know what kind of person and student Rodney is. "He's a great kid with a great personality. That's why he picked Illinois. He hit it off with Coach Weber right off the bat. Illinois recruited him for a solid year and Coach Weber had a plan for him and laid it out for Rodney and the staff here. We were extremely impressed with them. Assistant coaches Jay Price and Tracy Webster all played key roles. Rodney is a good student. I can't remember what his grade point average is right now, but I know it's really good and he's fully qualified for Illinois."
When asked what type of player Rodney is today compared to high school, Brown didn't hesitate to express kind words. "First thing that comes to my mind is "athlete" - what a tremendous athlete he is. He can guard any position on the floor; he's quick enough to guard a one; smart enough to guard a three; and strong enough to hold his own against a five. Rodney can shoot it from the perimeter; can finish in traffic; take people off the dribble; dunk on people; and handle the ball. I think he's good enough to play positions 1-4 there for them. I really think he's a tough guard because he's not one-dimensional."
According to Brown, Alexander will sign his letter of intent with Illinois today. He will round out Weber's class this year. His numbers went like this: 13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.