Michael Orris picks Illinois

Updated: September 11, 2011, 3:51 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Crete-Monee senior point guard Michael Orris committed to Illinois on Sunday.

Orris, a 6-foot-3 point guard, chose the Illini over Boston College and Nebraska.

"Illinois just was right," Orris said. "It's an hour and a half from home. It's the Big Ten. It's playing before 15,000 people. The family atmosphere they have there is tremendous. Going to Coach [Bruce] Weber's house and seeing the entire team and seeing how he interacts with the whole coaching staff was great.

"I just knew it was right. I felt it in my heart. This is the place I want to go."

Orris averaged 10.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds last season for Crete-Monee. He also shot 50 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line.

Orris is considered one of the state's top Class of 2012 recruits. He began to draw more high-major interest after a productive summer playing the club circuit with Old School. His offensive ability was especially on display when he scored 40 points in one game over the summer.

"It's one of the best games I've seen," Old School coach Scott Lidskin said. "That's saying a lot because I coached Jon Scheyer all those years. Not a lot of guys in the country could stop him going to the rim. He's quick and strong. He became more confident in his outside shot. He hit eight 3's in that 40 game.

"I think it'll be a really good fit with Illinois. I know the Illinois program pretty well. I think over the next three (to) four years they have a chance to be really good."

ESPN recruiting coordinator Reggie Rankin concurred. He also thought Orris could be a great piece to Illinois' puzzle.

"I really like the way Orris distributes the ball, gets to the rim and hits open J's in the arc," Rankin said. "He should be very good on the break and in Illinois' motion and pressure man defense. He's a nice overall fit."

Orris will join Illinois freshman Tracy Abrams as the Illini's only natural point guards on next year's roster. That was also attractive to Orris.

"Nothing's going to be promised, but I can't wait for the competition," Orris said. "I can't wait for the opportunity that is going to be given to me. I think I bring a lot to the table that people don't comprehend because I'm not highly rated. I think I know basketball. I think I know what I can mean to a team. I think I know how to win."

Orris had previously committed to Creighton in May, but reopened his commitment shortly after his former high school coach Matt Ryndak was charged with eight counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor.

"Everyone had heard what happened with my high school coach," Orris said. "He had a lot of influence on my recruiting. He was the person who handled my recruiting. When the newspapers came out and found out what happened ... I felt I had to go through the process again."

Illinois now has one Class of 2012 commitment.

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.