Big recruiting class gets even bigger for Illinois men's basketball

John Supinie

An unusually large recruiting class got even larger for the Illinois men's basketball team.

Mike Davis, a 6-foot-9 forward from T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., has accepted a scholarship offer to join the Illini for the upcoming season, according to the Washington Post. If Davis enrolls at Illinois, it would give the Illini six freshmen on scholarship, a walk-on freshman and a junior-college transfer in this recruiting class.

The thin but athletic Davis initially planned to attend prep school. But when his grades allowed him to be eligible this year, he decided to join the Illini. Davis apparently won't sign a letter of intent, but he is expected to move into a dorm room Friday and start the fall semester when classes begin Aug. 22.

Davis averaged 17 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three assists as a senior to lead Williams to a 26-4 record and a spot in the state tournament quarterfinals.

Illinois coach Bruce Weber and his staff can't comment on Davis since he is still a recruitable athlete. Davis took an unofficial visit to Illinois last weekend. Before his grades improved, Davis planned to attend South Kent School, a prep school in Connecticut.

According to one recruiting source, Florida, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Auburn showed interest when Davis' grades made him eligible. Davis must still pass the NCAA intial eligibility clearinghouse to become eligible.

Illinois already had freshmen Mike Tisdale, Bill Cole, Demetri McCamey, Quinton Watkins and Jeff Jordan plus junior-college transfer Rodney Alexander. Forward Richard Semrau heads into the season as a redshirt freshman after missing last season because of injury.

One or two players from the incoming freshman class are likely to redshirt. Davis is a likely candidate for a redshirt season.

John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com.