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Friday, April 13, 2012
Illinois releases Crete-Monee PG Orris

By Scott Powers

Crete-Monee senior point guard Michael Orris was released Friday from his letter of intent to Illinois and has reopened his recruitment.

Orris, a 6-3 point guard, was the Illini's lone Class of 2013 signed recruit. He averaged 12 points and four assists during his senior season. He originally committed to former Illinois coach Bruce Weber in September of 2011 and signed his letter of intent in November.

Weber was fired on March 9 and replaced by John Groce on March 29. Orris and his family met with Groce last week.

"What happened was Michael had a very close relationship with Bruce Weber," said Orris' AAU coach Scott Lidskin, who spoke on Orris' behalf on Friday. "When Bruce got fired, Michael and his family met with coach Groce. They said coach Groce was a real good guy and will do a lot of good things there, but they didn't feel as comfortable as they did with coach Weber. It's a different offense, different players."

This is the second time Orris will reopen his recruitment. He first committed to Creighton in May of 2011, and he decommitted from there in June after his former high school coach and recruiting advisor was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor.

"He's doing okay," Lidskin said of Orris. "Surprisingly, his spirits are great now. It's one of those things with everything going on with him the last two years with everything at Crete, coach Weber. It's been a rollercoaster ride.

"We're going to reopen his recruitment and get him in the right situation with the right coach. I know Michael's dream is still to play at a high-major school."

Lidskin had yet to hear from any schools on Friday. He was hopeful Orris' recruitment would be swift.