Illinois coach John Groce scored his second major commitment in as many weeks Thursday night when No. 28 senior recruit Quentin Snider (Louisville, Ky./Ballard) chose the Fighting Illini over UCLA.
Two weeks ago, the point guard took his first official visit to UCLA, alongside ESPN 100 small forward Trevon Bluiett (Indianapolis/Park Tudor), and when Bluiett committed shortly after the visit, it seemed Snider might follow suit.
But Illinois made a late push to get Snider on campus last weekend, allowing it to make a final impression. The Illini followed that up by traveling to Louisville the next day to conduct an in-home visit to help Groce seal the deal.
Snider was a late addition to this year’s point guard market after having previously been committed to Louisville for almost two years.
He decommitted on July 31 due to concerns about the number of other talented guards on the Cardinals’ roster. In Illinois and UCLA, Snider narrowed his choices to two programs who could provide him what Louisville could not — an opportunity to run the show from the start.
The commitment is a potentially huge addition for Illinois because it was able to land one of the last remaining point guards capable of making an immediate impact. After Groce’s 2013 recruiting class was headlined by a pair of ESPN 100 swingmen in Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill, along with an athletic and skilled big man in Austin Colbert, his top priorities in 2014 were to get a post player and a point guard.
The frontcourt was solidified earlier this month when power forward Leron Black (Memphis, Tenn./White Station), No. 36 in the ESPN 100, joined another four-star big man, Michael Finke (Champaign, Ill./Centennial).
Snider’s commitment potentially completes the puzzle that began 18 months ago when Groce first arrived on the job. Since that time, he’s successfully recruited a highly talented young player at every position on the floor, and in the process has built a top national recruiting class in 2014.
This article was originally posted on ESPN.com