Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 3/27/14
It was previously thought that the Illini were out of fit for Jalen Brunson, a blue chip point guard prospect out of Stevenson High School. However, Illinois got back in the derby in February. They’re right up there with Michigan and Michigan State. Those are three potential landing spots. Villanova and to a lesser extent UConn are still in the running to the lesser extent. When Duke commit Jahlil Okafor received his national player of the year award Wednesday, the talk during Okafor’s media availability turned to Brunson. Understandable as Okafor is the premier preps player in both the state and the nation. Jalen Brunson is the next biggest thing in that state of Illinois and Okafor’s AAU teammate with the Mac Irvin Fire. “He’s like a little brother to me I love him dearly, he played phenomenal against us,” Jahlil said. Okafor was asked what advice he would give Jalen Brunson. “Stay humble, you don’t want to do anything that’s too far out of your character because it does make it a lot harder when people are rooting for you to fail. Stay good and stay true to who you are because it then makes it a lot easier when people root for you to succeed,”   Okafor said. His father, Chuck Okafor, is an assitant coach with the Whitney Young Dolphins, where Jahlil played his prep ball and won a state title very recently. Along the way they encountered Jalen Brunson. “I like J.B. He’s the real deal, he’s going be the next big thing,”said Chuck who played power forward for Westark Community College, West Texas A&M University and Carl Albert State College. And coached with the Fire. John Groce went off the Brunson recruiting trail to land Quentin Snider from Louisville. Well, you know how that ended up on National Signing Day. With Snider pulling an Eric Gordon, Groce and Illini are back in on Jalen Brunson, and the previous mutual disinterest has now been replaced with mutual interest. Illini commit Aaron Jordan cracked the Scout.com Top 100 for the Class of 2015 at #86. Brunson, an Illinois target in the class, checked is #35. What a great complement that would be. Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent commentator on national talk radio. The former NBC Chicago and Washington Times contributor has also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)   Follow paulmbanks The post Jalen Brunson recruiting update: Illini vs Michigan State vs Michigan? appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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