Dominique Keller is a wanted man on the hardwood courts for next season. He's a 6' 8" 225-pound forward from Port Arthur (TX) Lee C.C. Keller graduates this spring thus making him available to some lucky college program for the class of 2008.
Just a couple weeks ago, the Illini entered the picture for Keller's services. But despite the late interest, he's paid a lot of attention to Weber, Illinois, and the Illini fans. "Last week, Coach Howard came to see me play. I scored 30 points and had 14 rebounds but it wasn't one of my better games. I usually make my free throws. That night I started the game 1-for-5 but then ended the night going 6-for-6. People may laugh at that but I'm averaging 25 ppg and 10 rebounds," said Keller.
This JUCO All-American power forward doesn't hesitate to say what he thinks of Howard. "He's a great guy. One of our assistant coaches, Mr. Wilson, knew Coach Howard and said to me that ‘I would trust my life with this guy, what he tells me is the truth.' So I figured if my coach, who I trust everything with, can say that about Coach Howard, I feel the same way," Keller said. His interest in the Illini, though, goes deeper than the respect he and his coach have for Howard. "I love everything about Illinois. Coach Weber is a great coach and the fans up there are awesome. I love watching their games on TV," continued Keller.
Keller gave InsideIllini.com all the schools interested in his services: Illinois, Oregon State, Texas A&M, California, Charlotte, and Kentucky. "Right now, Illinois is number one with me. They're my favorite at this time. I plan to visit Illinois, hopefully, in the next two weeks. I may visit one other school, but I'll visit Illinois for sure, probably after my spring break. Coach Weber will be here to see me tonight," said Keller. The big man explained another reason for his interest in Illinois, "The thing I liked about them is they told me how I would fit in if I came and worked hard. They're loosing Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle, so it's all up to me if I went there for getting playing time," Keller added.
Keller is a very important recruit for Illinois because would add much needed muscle and scoring from the low post. It is clear the Illini have Keller's interest, but the key will be if the staff can close the deal. "Coach Howard was great, I liked him and he's a very respectable guy. He's doing a great job and knows what to say to players because he can relate to us," he added.
When Keller decides on a college, we'll be here to let you know right away. Keller's expecting to make a decision real soon, so keep it tuned to InsideIllini.com for updates.