Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Illini impress Nunn; UCLA ruled out
By Scott Powers
Kendrick Nunn likes the idea of being the player to turn things around for Illinois.
Simeon senior guard Kendrick Nunn has eliminated UCLA from his final list of five schools, and Memphis could soon follow with the same fate, leaving Illinois, Marquette and Ohio State, his father said on Wednesday.
Nunn's father, Melvin Nunn, said UCLA was cut from his son's list after the Bruins took a recent commitment from Allerik Freeman, who is ranked the No. 14 senior shooting guard in the country by ESPN. Nunn is ranked the No.17 shooting guard.
Melvin said Memphis may soon also fall from the list. Nunn had planned an official visit to Memphis on Sept. 21, but Melvin said he has yet to hear from any Memphis coaches to confirm the details. The Tigers also received a commitment from shooting guard Markel Crawford, who is ranked No. 34 at the position, in August.
"I don't think (the Memphis visit) is going to happen because I haven't heard from Memphis about scheduling it," Melvin said. "I'm just going to let it take its course. If they're not going to call at all, I'm not going to call."
Nunn also began his in-home visits this week. Illinois coach John Groce made his visit on Sunday, and Marquette coach Buzz Williams was in on Monday.
Melvin was especially impressed by the Illini's presentation, which lasted 5 ½ hours. Illinois assistants Paris Parham and Jamall Walker joined Groce on the visit.
"Illinois put on a fantastic presentation," Melvin said. "They brought in their projection screen. It was something you'd expect from a campus visit. They brought it into the home, which was pretty nice.
"It consisted of different categories with style of play, what Illinois can bring you in the future when basketball is over, leaving a legacy in your own state, player development, recruiting."
Melvin said Groce emphasized Nunn was the recruit the Illini believed could turn the program around. Melvin said his son was intrigued in being that player for Illinois.
"Yeah, because you got to think this is his state school, him having that opportunity to be that guy," Melvin said. "Just like he told him, he's going to be one that gets that ball rolling."
Melvin said Marquette's presentation was also good. Nunn especially liked a video of comparing his game to Darius Johnson-Odom. Marquette was at Nunn's house for 3 ½ hours.
"It was neat with some highlights of Kendrick mixed with some highlights of Odom," Melvin said. "Kendrick even said it was pretty nice how they created it."
Nunn will make an official visit to Illinois this weekend and also has visits to Marquette and Ohio State planned in the coming weeks. His visit to Ohio State may occur on Sept. 21 if the visit to Memphis is cancelled. He will visit Marquette on Oct. 13.