Illinois Fighting Illini head coach John Groce found himself a good get in Aaron Jordan, who is rated as a four star prospect according to 247sports.com. Jordan committed in early January of 2015 and will be ready for the start of the 2015-2016 season.
Jordan, a 6-foot 4 shooting guard from Plainfield, Illinois, seems to be one of the few high school players in basketball who still has a lot of state pride inside of him. A lot of players like to try and leave their home state just to experience what life is like in other places, which certainly isn't a bad thing. But its always cool to see players who are willing to stay home in front of their friends and family.
"I just felt the time was right; it was Legend's Day at Illinois and all the Flyin' Illini were there, and it just felt right to do it," Jordan noted via ChicagoTribune.com. "I went through the whole process, and at the end of the day, Illinois was the one. It's close to home, I grew up in Illinois. It's home."
With Jordan, his talents are about as smooth as it can get for someone of his age with room to grow. On tape, Jordan has the ability to light up the gym from any angle along the perimeter (even with a hand in his face) with confidence. Too many times at the college level it seems like players wait for the complete wide open shot to make a move. Jordan doesn't seem to care based on the film.
Jordan also does a pretty good job of having body control in traffic while taking punishment with a foul. He also has developed a nice quick floater while driving in the lane, while at the same time managing to avoid a charging foul.
Jordan is also pretty mature for his age in terms of knowing when to be a spot up jump shooter on the fast break and when to put the ball on floor. He also brings the ability to utilize the pick and roll every now and then. The Fighting Illini have certainly found themselves a player who can be a game wrecker.
If any opposing defense thinks about running a 2-3 zone against the Fighting Illini this upcoming season while Jordan is on the floor, they better think twice. While Jordan's perimeter game is well noted, he also has a very quick first step when posting up in the paint, especially against smaller defenders. His ball handling is very smooth and if the Fighting Illini need him to be a point guard in a spot duty role, he can certainly do that as well.
The one thing Jordan should probably be able to do a little bit more of is attacking the basket when he enters the season as a freshman. As talented as Jordan is, he should utilize his ability to be a slasher more often, especially playing in a physical conference like the Big 10. He has shown to be pretty athletic with his dunking ability by splitting defenders throughout his high school career as well.
As Jordan gets more seasoned at the college level, not only should he be able to get bigger as the years go along, but if everything he has shown in high school is a good indicator, Jordan could very well be a leader of the Fighting Illini by the end of the 2015-2016 season.