Illini Hot After Daniel Payne

The Illini are looking to junior college transfer Rodney Alexander to be a difference-maker this year and now Bruce Weber is after another juco athlete, Daniel Payne, for 2008 and beyond. Read here for the latest on Payne from his assistant coach, Ryan Martin.

Daniel Payne (6-7, 210) is a sophomore at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College playing the small forward position. Make no mistake about this recruitment, Illinois is battling the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Wichita State Shockers for his services, according to his assistant coach Ryan Martin.

"Daniel will not make a decision anytime soon. I think right now he just wants to enjoy his season and worry about recruiting when it's over. He's never been to Champaign but after we're done with our season, that's when he will take his official visits," said Martin. "Coach Jay Price is recruiting Daniel. But if things go well for him, I would expect other schools to get involved."

"We really like his game. He's improved from the time he got here in all aspects of his game. He's got what I like to call a ‘Hot Motor.' The kid can go forever, he never gets tired. Daniel also does a good job off the bounce and defends very well," added Martin.

"Last year he made 35 three-pointers in the regional and national tournaments, so he can definitely shoot the basketball," Martin admitted.

Some sources have said Arkansas leads for his services but Martin feels that Illinois is in the mix. Again, Martin expects Payne to wait until he's done playing this season before making his decision. In the meantime, we'll keep you updated on Payne's season and his recruitment here at

Illini Inquirer Top Stories