In a competitive Big Ten, you go where you have to go to get talent. Sometimes that includes heading into enemy territory.
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery recently offered a scholarship to 2014 Champaign (IL) Centennial High combo forward Michael Finke. His father, Jeff Finke, is an alumnus of the Illinois football program (87-90).
"I got a call from (Iowa Assistant) Coach (Andrew) Francis on June 15, the first day they could talk to us and he said they were really interested in me and they were going to keep watching me and go from there," the 6-foot-9, 200-pound Michael Finke said. "They obviously liked what they saw the month of July and they offered. I've talked to Coach Francis, Coach (Kirk) Speraw and Coach (Fran) McCaffery. They all seem to like me pretty well."
Wisconsin also has extended a scholarship offer to Finke. He visited Madison on Aug. 1.
"Right now my two high major offers are Iowa and Wisconsin," Finke said. "They're both definitely at the top right now. I wouldn't say that I have a No. 1, a No. 2. I'm just going from there.
"I've already been to Wisconsin so I know what they have to offer. I'm going to Iowa on the (Sept.) 15th and we'l see where it goes from there."
Finke enjoyed a strong summer playing for the Peoria Irish AAU program. His versatile game also has garnered scholarship offers from South Dakota State, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Illinois-Chicago, Eastern Illinois, Loyola, North Dakota State, Nebraska-Omaha and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
"Coach McCaffery told me that he loves how I can face up and shoot; also post up and take you off the dribble," Finke said. "He likes that I'm a dynamic player and loves how I can guard a guard and I can also guard a 6-11 guy."
"I've always been an Illinois fan since I can remember," Finke said. "There's definitely an interest from me because they're in my backyard. I'm gong there on Monday, so we'll see what happens."
Finke said he attended several Illinois games when Weber was coaching there.
"I loved the coaching staff then," Finke said. "When the new coaches came, I just had to start all over. I talked to Coach (Jamall) Walker a little bit and he seems like a pretty good guy. I'm interested to get on campus and talk to Coach (John) Groce and see where it goes from there."
Saturday, Finke joined a talented group of recruits at Purdue's Elite Camp in West Lafayette. Malek Harris (Iowa offer), Keita Bates-Diop, Amanze Egekeze and Jordan Ash of the Illinois Wolves were the other players with high major offers at the event along with Guerin Catholic forward Aaron Brennan (Hawkeye interest).
"It was pretty fun. I talked to (Purdue) Coach (Matt) Painter and (assistant) Coach (Micah) Shrewsberry," FInke said. "Those were the two coaches I talked to mostly. It was fun. We did a lot of work, ate lunch and scrimmaged after that.
"It was really competitive, but I think for the most part I held my own."
Finke said he plans to head back to Wisconsin for a visit on Sept. 22. He's in the process of setting up a trip to Missouri. On his tours, there are a couple of things he'd like to see.
"For me, definitely a program that wins; and tradition," Finke said. "From there, I really like the Big Ten. But right now, the biggest thing for me is to win; a good program, good facilities, good coaching staff. We'll just see what happens."
Finke, who is considering a major speech communication, does not have a college decision time in mind.
"We're just going to take it slowly and see what happens," he said.