Illinois is one of the best places in the world to play basketball as this state as well as neighboring Indiana and Kentucky are feature fan bases that are especially devoted to this sport. As a result, Illinois basketball recruiting involves many of the country’s top teams while several Illinois basketball commits head here from across the country to combine playing the sport that they love with earning a top-notch education.
Illinois college basketball is comprised of nearly 100 schools, including 13 at the NCAA Division I level. Two of them play in the Big Ten Conference – Illinois and Northwestern – while other schools that have been powerhouses at times include but are not limited to DePaul and Loyola-Chicago. Here’s a breakdown of the Illinois basketball colleges by level:
Whether you want to play and study in the world-renowned city of Chicago or in a more intimate setting such as Macomb or Charleston, you’re going to want to jump right into the Illinois basketball recruiting process and get your name and game out there. You should also be proactive in your NCAA basketball recruiting process and contact several programs to better ensure that you will find the best fit possible. Do keep in mind that this is a decision that can impact your entire life, not just four years of it.
This process should start early in the freshman year of high school for both men’s and women’s players. And understand that coaches will also be as proactive as time allows and could always be watching or otherwise keeping up to date on your play and how you’re progressing through your time in high school.
The greatest moment in Illinois college basketball history occurred on March 23, 1963. On that date, Loyola-Chicago’s men’s team knocked off Cincinnati in dramatic fashion, rallying from 15 points behind in the second half to prevail, 60-58 in overtime, at historic Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., to claim the national title. Of course, the Ramblers are more recently known for making a stunning Cinderella run to the 2018 Final Four.
But that’s not the only popular school in this state. That most popular would have to be the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and the men’s and women’s basketball teams that represent Illinois’ flagship university. The University of Illinois draws the largest attendance numbers in the state, and the Fighting Illini are one of two colleges located in this state that play in the Big Ten Conference, the other being Northwestern University, which is located in Evanston, a suburb just to the north of Chicago.
In fact, University of Illinois basketball recruiting, and Northwestern University basketball recruiting are amongst the most intense in the country. At both, top players look to combine a world-class education with a world-class basketball experience while coaching staffs want to bring together teams that will compete for Big Ten and national titles.
As a result of all the interest that there is in the University of Illinois basketball recruiting process, the number of resources for finding out more information is plentiful. In fact, if you’re looking to get recruited for Illinois basketball, you’ll want to keep up to date on news related to both Illini basketball recruiting and how the current season is going. Some of the best websites that are dedicated specifically to the Fighting Illini include the Chicago Sun-Times, IllinoisLoyalty.com, BleacherReport.com, IlliniBoard and the Illinois athletic department’s official website.
Of course, several other prestigious opportunities await throughout the state. For examples, schools such as Bradley, Illinois State and Southern Illinois regularly draw significantly sized crowds to their games, which are popular community events in their respective cities. Additionally, DePaul, which plays in the Big East Conference, is another Chicago-based school that attracts a lot of interest from Illinois basketball prospects and fans alike.
Illinois Division II basketball colleges provide outstanding opportunities as well, which can be enjoyed at schools such as McKendree and Quincy, while great options provided by Illinois Division III basketball colleges can be had at universities such as Augustana and Wheaton. NAIA basketball colleges, including Lincoln Christian and Olivet Nazarene, offer top experiences too.
To see what’s going in with basketball recruiting in Illinois, consult several websites to keep yourself updated. Quality ones include Rivals.com, VerbalCommits.com, ESPN, FieldLevel.com and The News-Gazette, which is the daily newspaper that serves the Champaign-Urbana area, where the University of Illinois is located.
Conversely, if you are a part of or want to learn more about what the high school basketball scene is like for Illinois basketball prospects who play in this state and are looking to continue playing at the college level, PrepHoops.com is an informative resource.
How can you get yourself seen by those involved with Illinois college basketball recruiting? The best and, in most cases, initial way of getting yourself in front of coaches is electronically, through a highlights video or even a live stream of a game that you’re playing. Of course, you can send a recording directly to the people responsible for Illinois basketball recruiting at the schools that you’re considering, but it would be better to use a trusted resource such as NCSA. This is because basketball recruiting in Illinois is a time-consuming process for coaching staffs, and, as a result, they are quite selective on who they spend time on.
Otherwise, continue to play quality basketball and impress in the classroom, and a member of the coaching staff may come and see you play in person. Note that Illinois Division I basketball colleges are generally the ones who will recruit nationally and, in some cases, worldwide. Conversely, those at smaller schools will have smaller budgets and be more apt to visit Illinois basketball recruits who are already located in or near Illinois to save on the costs of their Illinois basketball recruiting trip. There are exceptions, however.
Another option to consider is to take part in a high school basketball combine. These events allow players to show what they can do in activities such as agility drills, running and jumping. Although the actual act of playing with a basketball is not part of these events, the information learned from these activities can prove to be invaluable for coaching staffs and to you as a player looking to get recruited for Illinois basketball teams.
It should also be noted that college basketball camps provide some of the best opportunities for you to get yourself in front of coaches. One of the primary reasons for this is because these tend to take place outside of the playing season for both high school and college teams. Also, if you attend a camp that is run by a school that you’re considering, you can push yourself right in front of the Illinois basketball recruiting staff that you’re looking to impress. Of course, these benefits are on top of using these camps to help you improve as a player.
It’s important to accurately determine which types of schools and teams that you can realistically be a part of. Ask one or more trusted sources for their unbiased opinions. Of course, do trust your own gut feeling too, but also consider what others have to say on the matter.
Consider the possibility that you might be good enough to be amongst the Illinois basketball commits for the Fighting Illini but that you might not receive much playing time there, especially your first couple of years with the team. If that’s the case, you might want to consider being more involved with the NCAA basketball recruiting process with other schools in the state or elsewhere, at places where you might be able to start and garner quite a bit of playing time from the start.
The same can be said regardless of where you might fit in skills-wise. The bottom line is that you want to consider whether you’d rather play for a smaller college and increase the odds that you’ll receive playing time initially and throughout your career versus heading to a larger school and not being as assured of something like that.
You want to be realistic about your chances of being intimately involved in the NCAA basketball recruiting process at all, especially at the Division I level. This is because less than 1 percent of NCAA baseball recruiting prospects end up on a Division I roster, and a fraction of those Illinois basketball recruits will be playing for a team like the Illinois Fighting Illini or Northwestern Wildcats.
Although you need to be a solid player to be engaged in Illinois college basketball recruiting for any school, the odds that you’ll be considered by an Illinois basketball recruiting coach increase a bit outside of the Division I ranks. In fact, about four-fifths of the Illinois basketball recruits who head to a school in this state will be on a Division II, III, NAIA or junior college roster.
As you navigate the Illinois basketball recruiting process, make sure to also consider many other aspects. The intent is that, once you complete your NCAA basketball recruiting experience, you’ll remain at the same school for four years and earn your degree there at the end of it. Therefore, you’re going to want to do your best to ensure that you’re at a place that’s a good fit for you off of the court as well as on it. In other words, don’t focus solely on the quality of the basketball team or on the Illinois basketball recruits who you’ll be competing with for playing time. Also consider everything else that the school has to offer, from the academic side to the community feel of it.
NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) has been involved with NCAA basketball recruiting in general and Illinois basketball recruiting specifically for 20 years, when Chris Krause struggled through the recruiting process as an athlete and wanted to help ensure that Illinois basketball recruiting prospects as well as prospects playing other sports located throughout the country do not have to be as lost and confused as he was at that time.
What does NCSA do? We help thousands of high school student-athletes, including many who are involved with basketball recruiting in Illinois, learn more about the Illinois basketball recruiting process or the process involved with their sport and where they would like to play. We also help them improve their profiles and the likelihood that they will end up at the school that provides them with the best fit sports-wise, academically and socially.
Thanks to its decades of experience, NCSA is now working with tens of thousands of coaches, many of whom are focused on boys and girls basketball recruiting efforts in Illinois. Some of the more impressive stats related to NCSA include it having had a direct influence on more than 90 percent of the sporting rosters across the country, helping athletes receive enough exposure that their profiles have been viewed millions of times and hundreds of thousands of athletes being followed by college coaches.
If you’re interested in increasing your ability to be involved with basketball recruiting in Illinois, get started today on your free profile with NCSA, and you might end up as one of the 25,000 NCSA athletes who commit to a college for sports next year. If you have any questions, make sure to call 866 495-5172.