Tyler Griffey Makes It Official, He's Illini

Four star basketball players are signing scholarship tenders with the University of Illinois Wednesday. Three promising guards committed to the program at the same time a year ago. They were followed in short order by power forward Tyler Griffey. The talented and versatile Griffey will fit perfectly into the motion offense.

A product of Lafayette High School in St. Louis, Missouri, Tyler Griffey is a mobile and intelligent forward who can shoot from outside and post up. At 6'-9", he can run the floor and plays a true team game. He will compliment guards D. J. Richardson, Brandon Paul and Joseph Bertrand as part of one of Illinois' best ever signing classes.

"I've been looking forward to this day for a long time," Tyler Griffey stated recently. "I'm really excited that it's finally here. I can't wait."

Illinois coach Bruce Weber has worked with Griffey since his freshman year, and they have developed an outstanding relationship.

"Definitely. We talk at least once a week, and I talk to Coach (Jay) Price alot. It's really gotten fun, it's really been cool to know them."

Tyler shares the same optimism as his fellow signees when it comes to the future of Illinois basketball.

"I think the potential's there. We could be really special. We are planning to work extremely hard once we get on campus. If we take care of business in practice and do what Coach says, we'll do fine. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to it."

Griffey hasn't received much love from the recruiting experts, some of whom haven't seen him play much. His rankings have hovered just above or just below the 100 level, but he knows he is a good player.

"I could care less where I'm ranked. I'm not gonna lie, I have looked at them before. I know how good I am and what I need to work on. Coach Weber knows what I need to work on. I'm looking forward to listening to my future coaches, my coaches right now and my dad. They can make me a better person and a better player."

Tyler chose to participate in fewer AAU spring and summer events than most high school ballers. And this past summer, he had a great opportunity to travel overseas with an Adidas program.

"That was an experience of a life. I was gone for a good month and a half this summer. When you play with Josh Smith, Kyle Lowry, Gilbert Arenas, all those NBA guys that we were running with. You can't beat that."

Before he can attend Illinois, Tyler has another high school season ahead of him. He feels his team can do well this year.

"We're looking pretty good. We have a real good junior guard and another big man who helps out alot. So it should be fun."

Of course, the four years after this should be even more fun.

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