Surprising to just about no one with a shred of knowledge on the situation, Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) senior Austin Colbert is not headed to South Orange to play college ball. What may be a bit of a shock is that the 6-foot-9 forward chose Illinois as his collegiate destination.
"I decided to pick Illinois because I just want it to be the best fit for me," Colbert told Adam Zagoria on SNY.tv. "I feel like coach John Groce is going to develop me into a person, develop me into a player and push me every day in practice. Not only does basketball have a big value for me, but academics as well."
Colbert's decision went against the public grain as he was being strongly pursued by Villanova over the last several weeks and Miami (Fla.) was using a commitment from Austin's AAU teammate Davon Reed (Princeton Day, N.J.) as bait. Seton Hall had little going for them outside of the "local option" which lost some of its allure after Villanova entered the picture. However, I wasn't entirely taken aback about Colbert's decision to become a Fighting Illini as a local reporter from the News Gazette (East Central Illinois) had a scoop last week that Colbert was set to commit. Despite the information turning out to be partially incorrect, it was eyebrow-raising that it first came from an Illinois source.
In the end, Colbert is now off of the Seton Hall Recruiting Map, which looks curiously bare for the Class of 2013 with the early signing period set to begin on Wednesday.
- Seton Hall offered 2015 SG MaCio Teague three weeks ago. Teague is teammates with former 2013 target Kevin Johnson at Summit Country Day (Ohio) after transferring in from IMG Academy (Fla.) Teague has also received interest from Cincinnati, Akron and Dayton.
- The staff is apparently still pursuing 2013 G Isaiah Lewis (The Patrick School, N.J.), which speaks volumes about the status of the 2013 class. For what it's worth, the word on the street is not good regarding Isaiah.