Illini come up short — big surprise. College basketball in the state of Illinois still a long way from claiming another real contender.
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(CBS) The Illinois men’s basketball program is a bridesmaid once again.
Stevenson senior guard and five-star recruit Jalen Brunson chose Villanova over Illinois on Wednesday afternoon in a press conference at his school, extending the Illini’s agonizing run of just missing out on some of of the nation’s top prospects. Last November, then-Curie senior Cliff Alexander chose Kansas over Illinois, and the Illini have also missed out on Simeon forward Jabari Parker in the 2013 class and Young center Jahlil Okafor in this 2014 class that is now on campus.
The 6-foot-2 Brunson averaged 26.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game last season, and he drew widespread attention after he scored 56 points in a Class 4A state semifinal against Young.
Brunson is the son of former Chicago Bulls guard Rick Brunson.