Kinney Planning a Pair of Big Ten Visits

James Kinney's original plans to visit Indiana for Hoosier Hysteria fell through, but now the '09 Illinois point guard is looking to re-schedule that trip as well as scheduling a visit to another Big Ten school...

Bloomington, Ind. – James Kinney will soon be making a second try at an unofficial visit to Indiana.

The 6'1" point guard from Champaign (Ill.) Centennial H.S. was planning on being in Bloomington for Hoosier Hysteria a week and a half ago, but those plans were derailed at the last minute due to some travel issues. Now, he's eyeing another weekend for an unofficial to the Hoosier program, most likely the weekend of Nov. 3-5.

"I was planning on being (at Hoosier Hysteria), but I look at it that it wasn't the right time for me to go down there," Kinney said. "We'll definitely be going down there in the future."

If Kinney does make it down Nov. 3, it would come one week after an unofficial visit to Iowa, where Kinney said he and his father plan to go this weekend. Kinney has been hearing a great deal from Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter's staff as of late, as Iowa has joined Indiana, Iowa State and Southern Illinois as the programs showing him the most interest.

"I think if one was to offer first, I'd think it might be Iowa," Kinney said.

Indiana hasn't offered, but Kinney said they've made it clear they are very interested.

"Coach (Rob) Senderoff and Coach (Kelvin) Sampson keep telling me that they are really interested and that they want us on campus real soon," Kinney said.

Whether it's Iowa, Indiana, or someone else who is the first to offer, there was a time when Kinney thought he might commit to the first major conference school to put an offer on the table. After all, he's watched as fellow'09 Illinoisans D.J. Richardson, Brandon Paul and Joseph Bertrand have ended things early and pledged to Illinois.

"It's tough being patient because with D.J., Paul and Bertrand committing, that kind of motivated me to get it over with," Kinney said. "But I thought about it, and it's not my time yet. I need to sit back and be patient and my time will come."

With that in mind, Kinney said he plans to wait until next fall to decide, giving him enough time to see what develops with his four primary suitors as well as any others that begin showing more interest.

Indiana's interest originated last April, when Senderoff saw Kinney shine at the Real Deal on the Hill AAU event in Fayetteville, Ark. Playing alongside Richardson and others on the Illinois Stars AAU team, Kinney helped lead his team to the 16-and-under final, eventually losing to the Indiana Elite 16-and-under squad.

"That was pretty much my coming out party in Arkansas," Kinney said. "Not a lot of programs had heard of me before, other than the local ones. But I had a big game in the semis, and that was the game that got my name out there."

What those coaches saw was an energetic, athletic point guard who can also slide over and play the two-guard spot as well. While his height might make him a more likely fit at the point, he does have a 6'5" wing span so it's conceivable that he could play either guard spot.

"Most schools want me to play point guard, but I think once I get there and get settled in, I can be pretty effective at the two guard as well," Kinney said.

Senderoff took notice of those skills in Arkansas, and the IU assistant has been spearheading IU's recruiting efforts with Kinney. That will now have to change due to IU's self-imposed sanctions which include taking Senderoff off the recruiting trail for a year, but Kinney still intends to head to Bloomington to give the program a closer look.

"I want to check out the facilities, the academic buildings, things like that," Kinney said. "I also want to see what percentage of their players graduate each year, because you have to have a life after basketball if that doesn't work out."

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