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5/26 Big Ten Morning Power Bar: The Illinois Offseason Roller-coaster Continues

Jalen Coleman-Lands leaves Illinois, Minnesota offers dynamic wing, and Northwestern targets three-star rising point guard.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Every week, the BTPowerhouse Friday Power Bar will detail what’s going on across the league on the recruiting trail.

As the NBA draft deadline has come and gone, the attention now shifts toward the prospects fighting for acclaim and notoriety on the AAU circuits. However, there is also still plenty in store for the remaining uncommitted 2017 recruits, as well as a transfer market still chock-full of experienced talent.

Let’s take a look at this week’s recruiting headlines.

-Jalen Coleman-Lands to Transfer From Illinois.

One step forward, two steps back. The Fighting Illini offseason continues to provide hope and elation, only to be snatched by blindsiding disappointment. A day after signing Mark Alstork, a move that appeared to stabilize Illinois’ perimeter, guard Jalen Coleman-Lands announced his intent to transfer. With him, Coleman-Lands takes an elite perimeter shot and minutes Brad Underwood desperately needed.

Jalen Coleman-Lands’ arrival at Champaign represented a step in the right direction for the Illinois program. Out of the prestigious La Lumiere School in Indiana, he ranked in the top 100 nationally, top 10 for shooting guards, as well as top 3 in the state.

His impact was immediate. After hitting his 87th three, Coleman-Lands set the Illinois freshman record for three point makes in a season. He finished the year shooting 42% from deep and averaged double figures in scoring. Last season wasn’t much different, as the 6-foot-4 guard shot 38% behind the arc.

Coleman-Lands decision marks yet another departure in what seems like a never ending list for the Illini. Earlier this month, guard D.J. Williams announced he was transferring from the program. Illinois also lost out on two previous commits in Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett, both of whom initially expressed their intent to stay, only to make a quick exit.

Now, Illinois must rely more heavily on their incoming freshmen class. With 2017 guards in Mark Smith, Trent Frazier, and DaMonte Williams, they certainly have the bodies to replace their departures. The problem, however, lies in their experience. Without Coleman-Lands, that problem will likely be on full display next season.

-Minnesota Offers 2018 Forward Souleymane Koureissi.

The Golden Gophers extended an offer to Souleymane Koureissi on Wednesday, marking the 13th offer for the 2018 forward. Minnesota represents the only power five scholarship for Koureissi, joining South Florida, St. Louis, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Stony Brook, Columbia, and Binghamton among others.

While currently unranked, Koureissi has done a nice job of utilizing offseason AAU play to increase his exposure. A member of the Castle Knights on the Adidas circuit, the 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and a highly respectable 24 player efficiency rating.

Though he has the height of an interior big, Koureissi is anything but. He demonstrates a keen passing eye, quick first step, and ball handling skills resembling that of a guard. Koureissi also possesses the ability to step back and hit from deep. He may still be raw, but the potential of a dynamic, all-around threat is there.

-Three-Star Point Guard Jordan Lathon Picks Up Northwestern Offer.

Already with high profile offers from Butler, Iowa State, Wake Forrest and DePaul among others, three-star guard Jordan Lathon picked up yet another from Northwestern on Wednesday. Lathon’s stock is currently red hot, and it’s only a matter of time before more teams will come knocking.

Currently representing Team Rush on the Adidas AAU circuit, Lathon has turned his fair share of heads. As Brian Snow from Scout noted:

“He has a pretty solid feel for the game, is a good athlete, and is dynamic in transition. Lathon has to continue to refine his jumper and cut down on the turnovers some, but he makes a lot of good things happen for his team and is a tough and versatile guard on the court. Defensively Lathon has a chance to be tremendous with his combination of size, athleticism, and length.”

If Lathom decides to head to Northwestern, and he continues to develop, the Wildcats have more than an adequate replacement plan for Bryant McIntosh.


Check back next week for more Big Ten recruiting headlines.