Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood reacts to a call against his team during the first half of a game against Iowa State on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Ames, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall / AP)
A few hours after Illinois announced it was hiring Brad Underwood as its new basketball coach, four-star point guard Trent Frazier tweeted his enthusiasm about the hire.
"Will not be decommitting," the Florida native tweeted Saturday. "For next 4 years I will be continuing at The University of Illinois. Looking forward to play for an awesome coach!!"
One of Underwood’s first tasks at Illinois will be retaining a top-15 recruiting class signed by former coach John Groce, who was fired last week after five seasons.
Not everyone in the class was as certain as Frazier.
Da’Monte Williams, a guard out of Peoria and son for former Illini player Frank Williams, said he would need to get to know Underwood better before deciding.
"It’s all right," he said of the hire. "I’m just waiting to see what he’s like. I’m going to wait it out. It was a good pickup for them. I don’t know much about him."
He said other recruits in the class felt similarly.
"We’re just going to see how it is," he said.
Schools typically release a player from his letter of intent if requested after a coaching change.
Williams said Underwood reached out to him by phone but declined to share details of their conversation.
"I didn’t really know (Groce was) getting fired, but (he) was a big part of why I wanted to go there," Williams said.
Jeremiah Tilmon, a 6-foot-10 power forward from East St. Louis, is considered the gem of the class and is rated a five-star recruit by some services. He and guard Javon Pickett, from Belleville-East, have not publicly commented since Underwood’s hiring.
Tilmon’s mother, April, told the Illini Inquirer, Scout.com’s Illinois website, that the family did not have a comment about Groce’s firing last week. Tilmon initially hedged when the early signing period began in November but eventually signed with Illinois.
Edwardsville guard Mark Smith, an uncommitted Class of 2017 prospect whom Illinois is recruiting, told the Illini Inquirer after Groce was fired: "I will be looking at whoever they hire, and I’ll be looking to build a relationship with them and go from there."
Underwood’s hiring away from Oklahoma State was made the day after the Cowboys lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Michigan. Underwood was at Oklahoma State for just one season, orchestrating a turnaround from a 12-win season to 20 wins.
He previously spent three seasons as the head coach at Stephen F. Austin.
Underwood will be introduced at a public news conference on Monday in Champaign.
This article was sourced from http://halo4news.net