Lenzelle Smith Sr. Knows Weber Firsthand

There's been a lot of speculation as to whether Illinois' head coach really offered Lenzelle Smith Jr. of Zion-Benton High School a basketball scholarship. Read here for the latest on Smith, and what the family thinks of Weber.

Lenzelle Smith Jr. is a 6'3" guard from the class of 2010 that is one of the new names on the Bruce Weber watch list. We caught up with Lenzelle Smith Sr. to really find out about the scholarship situation and what they thought of the Fighting Illini.

"That's a great group of coaches; we were very, very impressed with the staff. Coach Jerrance Howard and [Wayne] McClain were great to us, and so was Coach Weber. You hear so many different things about the program, so we wanted to find out for ourselves. We loved it! This is how good they were to us: they did offer my son a scholarship and Coach Weber encouraged us to take other visits so Lenzelle will have something to compare Illinois to. How many coaches would do that? Not too many," said Smith.

"There's a great group of young men going to play down there. Lenzelle was able to play with the team, to see what it was like. Coach Weber even told us to think about the future players because a lot of those players down there right now will not be there if he comes. Weber told us to look at the 2009, 2010 players and imagine playing with them. We know all the boys: Crandall [Head], D.J. Richardson, Jereme Richmond, and Brandon Paul are all guys he's played against or with from time to time," Smith stated.

The younger Smith also holds offers from SIU and Indiana State, according to Mr. Smith, but the family is thrilled that the Illinois coaching staff sees enough talent in their son to offer him a scholarship so early.

One has to really wonder where all the scholarships are coming from, "Coach Weber told us not to worry about it and that's what we're going to do, take our time, see what's out there, and enjoy the process," said Smith.

InsideIllini.com will continue to follow the progress of Lenzelle's game and will keep you posted on any updates during this recruiting process.

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