Looks Like University Of Illinois - Andres Feliz
It's rare that I get to write one of these for a player I've seen in person. Before the football scrimmage on Saturday, I went over to Ubben with my friend Carmen and we watched Andres Feliz and Alan Griffin scrimmage with (what's left of) the basketball team. The six scholarship players, two walkons, and the two recruits.
Griffin was pretty much what I expected after watching film of his senior year (where he was named MVP of their state tournament). Long arms, nice shooting stroke, not the most athletic - he kind of lumbers when he runs - but he'll fill that Aaron Jordan role just fine. I think that's the future for Griffin. Jordan's understudy for one year and then three years in that same "spot up for three, get some rebounds from the wing, guard the other team's wings" role.
Feliz was not what I expected. He was much, I don't know, thicker than I expected. He's more the bulldoze into the lane type, not the quick, shifty point guard type. I guess I was expecting more of an Ahmad Starks kind of player, but he's definitely a bigger, more physical point guard. I think he can contribute.
My concern going into Saturday - he only had one offer (from us). I had seen somewhere that he was listed as having offers from places like Wichita State and South Carolina, but I searched and searched on WSU and USC sites (blogs, message boards) and the most I could find was a thread on a WSU message board talking about how their coaches had watched one of his games at the Junior College national tournament. I couldn't find anything on any other school's blog/message board saying "we offered Feliz today". I'm not sure the reason for that.
But I was encouraged to see that he was named a first-team Juco All American. Junior college recruiting has fallen off in recent years (compared to where it was 15 years ago), so I wanted to get some idea what kind of company he was in by being named a Juco All American. Here's what I found on the other guys on that team:
Andres Feliz - Committed to Illinois
Rashawn Fredericks - Down to Cincy, UAB, USF
Shane Gatling - Wide variety of offers: Dayton, Ole Miss, St. Louis, Colorado, Wazzu
Charles Jones Jr. - Committed to Utah
Wendell Mitchell - Committed to Texas A&M
Tremell Murphy - Odd offer list. Bradley, Chicago State, MTSU, Tennessee Martin... and Oregon.
JJ Rhymes - No offers I could find.
Isaiah Tisdale - No offers I could find.
Ricky Torres - Offers from Wazzu, Va Tech, SMU, Oregon State, Wichita State.
That's a lot better than "we landed a juco point guard who doesn't have any other offers". And that one list had him as the #1 juco PG, so that's another notch. He was headed to play for Orlando Antigua at South Florida coming out of high school, he didn't get in, he went to junior college, and now Coach Antigua brought him in at his new school.
And we have quite the international flavor as well. Feliz is from the Dominican Republic. Samba Kane is from Senegal. Giorgi Bezhanishvili from the Republic of Georgia via Austria. Matic Vesel from Slovenia. And Greg Eboigbodin is from Nigeria. We're basically Gonzaga at this point.
Where does he fit on the team the next two years? I think it's obvious that he's Te'Jon Lucas' replacement. The minutes that were going to go to Te'Jon - which were going to be reduced with the arrival of Ayo Dosunmu - are now going to go to Feliz. How many minutes? Well, I think Trent and Ayo will each get 28 minutes per game. with Da'Monte Williams maybe getting 16 minutes leaving 8 for Feliz. It will probably be more than that - I'm suggesting those four guards split 80 minutes when in reality we'll sit whoever is at the three (Aaron Jordan. Tevian Jones) and run with three guards at times. So let's say Feliz gets around 12-14 minutes per game.
The concern? Can he shoot the three. His shot looked OK on Saturday - form was fine, and he didn't kick his feet like Te'Jon - but I'm not sure he's going to be a go-to shooter. I think he'll be there to intiate the offense, play defense, and occasionally bulldoze his way into the lane.
Tom Cruises - I'm going right down the middle here. He's not a big project like Giorgi, and he's not a sure thing like Ayo. He's right in the middle.
Andres Feliz, two and a half Tom Cruises.