May 30, 2012, 5:21 PM EDT
It’s no secret that numerous Big Ten and Big East college basketball programs make recruiting Chicago for talent a heavy priority. In the sometimes no holds barred, highest-bidder environment of college coaches though, Marquette’s reported snagging of assistant coach Isaac Chew, after he had been on the job at Illinois for a month, is particularly notable.
Marquette coach Buzz Williams is known as one of the most persistent coaches on the recruiting trail, which apparently also extends to his assistants. Chew seemed to be set as the Chicago guy for Illinois, but that only lasted a month. Now, Williams has a potential force in Chicago in Chew, who originally went to Illinois from Missouri a short time ago.
What was originally lauded as a solid recruiting asset for new Illinois coach John Groce has now turned into a back to the chalkboard moment, as Groce will need to hit a home run to replace Chew in the coming weeks. There’s an accurate clamoring that Illinois needs to be strong recruiting Chicago for the long-term success of their program. July’s evaluation period is just over a month away, and one would figure that a move will need to be made to be fully staffed for that onslaught of events.
With one Chicago-based newcomer on the roster next season in the top player in Illinois in 2012, forward Steve Taylor, and scholarship offers out to a handful of other players in Illinois, Williams no doubt has made the area a priority. With Chew, a former high school player in the Windy City, on the way to bolster his own constant recruiting efforts, Marquette is in good shape going forward recruiting-wise.
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