Illinois Wolves Duo Nabs SLU Offer

One of the nation's best AAU programs, Illinois Wolves, saw two 2014 prospects get offers from the Billikens today in Ore Arogundade and Malek Harris. Both spoke to BillikenReport.com about their recruitment!

He hasn't had the permanent head coaching title for long, but SLU's Jim Crews and his staff have been hard at work on the recruiting trail.

Following the April live recruiting periods, the Billikens offered Illinois Wolves AAU duo Ore Arogundade and Malek Harris. Arogundade, a six-foot-two shooting guard, possesses a nice slashing game and an improving shot. Harris is a brute in the paint and rebounds at a very high level.

Both players talked to BillikenReport.com on Wednesday evening following their discussions with Crews.

"I just came into every game w/ mindset to play hard," Arogundade said. "My confidence is way up. I've just been in the gym putting countless hours in working on weaknesses in my game. When you practice moves, you get confident when the games come around."

Ballhandling and a more consistent outside jumper have been areas of focus for Ore, and it's paid off big-time. He has landed several offers this spring.

"It's a very humbling experience," he said. "I'm thankful for it."

Playing on one of the top AAU teams in the country certainly doesn't hurt his stock, either.

"It's a great experience -- one of a lifetime," he said. "Coach [Mike] Mullins is one of the best coaches I've ever had. Just going around playing the best competition gets you ready for college."

Although he would like to continue his recruitment for quite some time, there are some aspects that will end up determining his final decision.

"The relationship I have with the coaches," Arogundade noted. "Having an impact right away and being able to fit in."

The Billikens, spearheaded by associate head coach Jim Whitesell's connections to the area, have worked on the duo fairly hard.

Harris echoed much of what Arogundade noted. The relationship with the staff continues to evolve, but he's looking forward to it.

"This was the first time I talked with the head coach," he said. "They're in the A-10 and to beat the likes of VCU and Butler. They're building toward a great future."

Harris is a load on the block but is trying to prove that he's able to do more than corral boards.

"I'm working on my shot off the dribble," he said. "Getting a pull-up, mid-range game. Also, attacking the rim and dunking on people."

He gives a lot of credit to Mullins, and rightfully so.

"I don't know if I would be playing as good as I'm playing without [this team]," he said. "I take most pride in playing as hard as I can. Anything to help the team. I just do what I have to do. I've never been one to really force my game. I let the game come to me."

The Wolves have some new parts to their team, but the April season was a success.

"This has definitely been a great experience with this 17's team," he said. "We have a couple new guys in, but we all come together and accept our roles."

For most who haven't seen him play, Harris has a high-motor and knack for reading the ball well off the glass.

So what's he looking for in a school? Well, besides SLU, Iowa, Kansas State, Oregon State, DePaul, and many others are tracking his progress, but the criteria will remain the same regardless of where he ends up.

"Definitely where I feel most comfortable with," he said. "From visiting and who I can trust and who believes in what I can do with their program."

Although the two are very good friends, so much so that Harris called Arogundade his "brother", decisions will come independent of one another.

"It would be really cool," Harris said of the idea of playing together. "At the end of the day, it's what's going to be best for us, though."

There is no timetable for either at this moment, as they both maintain they are worried about focusing on the current AAU season as a priority.


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