Updated: Mike Shaw verbally commits to Illinois

John Supinie

Chicago De La Salle senior Mike Shaw announced a verbal commitment to play basketball at Illinois during a press conference Thursday at the high school on the city's near south side, but the phone hasn't necessarily stopped ringing for the 6-foot-9, 225-pound power forward.

But there's no reason for Illini fans to worry, Shaw said after after pulling on an Illini hat in front his coaches and teammates. He's not going back on his word.

"I can't see any change,'' Shaw said. "I feel comfortable with the decision I made. It's been a long process. It hasn't been a long process for no reason. It's been long so I can make a decision.

"I'm a loyal dude. I'm not going to commit myself to a school, then right away pull out and say I can't do this.''

Shaw planned to sign in November after turning down DePaul, West Virginia and Marquette.

Shaw will give the Illini a strong rebounder and physical player, and the Illini will need big men after the graduation of forwards Mike Davis and Bill Cole plus center Mike Tisdale after this season.

Shaw is a three-time all-Catholic League selection who is ranked No. 58 by Rivals. He planned to sign a letter of intent on Nov. 10, the first day of the early signing period. He's been a target since the Illini first made contact in the eighth grade.

When Shaw played his first high school game as a freshman, Illinois coach Bruce Weber sat in the stands. Weber made a quick stop at De La Salle on Wednesday on his way to the Big Ten Conference meetings.

"I grew up watching Illinois,'' Shaw said. "When I saw coach Weber in the stands when I was younger, it was real big for me. As I got older, he was always there from the jump. I felt they really wanted me. I felt the love.''

Shaw joined Chicago Mount Carmel guard Tracy Abrams, Chicago St. Ignatius center Nnanna Egwu and Chicago Orr guard Mycheal Henry among the class of 2011. With Rock Island guard Chasson Randle committing to Stanford Wednesday, Illinois moved ahead with the vacant scholarship.

Illinois will host Devin Langford of Huntsville, Ala., over the weekend. Langford is a 6-6 senior with point guard skills.

John Supinie can be reached at

No. 13 Illinois vs Division II Lewis

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Assembly Hall

What: First of two Illini exhibition games

Video: Streamed on

Notes: Expect the same starting lineup that ended last season -- guards Demetri McCamey and D.J. Richardson, forwards Bill Cole and Mike Davis, and center Mike Tisdale. ... Reserve center Meyers Leonard scored 23 points in the intrasquad scrimmage Sunday. The final exhibition is Tuesday vs. Division II Southern Indiana. ... Lewis, a Division II program located in Romeoville, was picked to finish second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference's north division. The Flyers returned 87 percent of their scoring from a team that compiled a 17-12 record overall last season. Lewis was 8-10 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.