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Blue & Gold

2019 Commit: Ali Ali, 6-7 SF

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I'm on my phone so can't post a link tonight, but we got a verbal commitment from Ali Ali, a 6-7 small forward from East Noble HS in Kendalville, IN.

 

I'm excited about Ali as he's got nice length and is a a smooth offensive player w/ a nice outside shot.

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2 hours ago, Blue & Gold said:

I'm on my phone so can't post a link tonight, but we got a verbal commitment from Ali Ali, a 6-7 small forward from East Noble HS in Kendalville, IN.

 

I'm excited about Ali as he's got nice length and is a a smooth offensive player w/ a nice outside shot.

Strange that a quick kudo to his commitment came from Lloy Ball, Volleyball legend from Ball State and at least two time USA Olympian.  Wonder if Ali played HS volleyball.  Let's see him "ROOF" the opposition.:rock:

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36 minutes ago, Captain Kangaroo said:

On his Twitter feed he says "I prefer to be called by my last name."

 

Zipmeister's new favorite player?

 

possibly possibly

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This was great...like B & G said, class act and very humble, but seems self confident too.  And also, ditto on a traditional Frosh recruit.

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He was asked more questions by the press in that interview than he will all 4-5 years at Akron.

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Glad to have him as a Zip. We can build on him being a freshman. I'm impressed with how articulate he is. I hope he excels in the years ahead. Congratulations to the coaching staff for bringing him in.

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Here are a couple of the latest high school games involving Ali Ali (East Noble #12) for anyone with the time and patience. I was curious to see how he is progressing. My assessment is that he flashes the skill and athleticism we desire from a small forward, but by no means does he take over games. He doesn't shoot much at all from the outside in these 2 games, but I know he has the range. I did see a very solid handle for a kid his size, 6'-8". He is quick when he wants to be and makes the difficult pass. And he has no problem dunking in the open court and he hits his free throws. I think it's possible he is a red-shirt candidate. Either way he needs another 15-20 pounds of muscle so he can hold his ground and battle inside.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlkV7zFLRAk

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmDnZlt3Qok

 

Edited by Illini Zip
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11 hours ago, Illini Zip said:

I think it's possible he is a red-shirt candidate. Either way he needs another 15-20 pounds of muscle so he can hold his ground and battle inside.

It isn't the worst thing to red-shirt next year. Our roster will be loaded with upper-classmen, and Freshman PT would be minimal. 

 

That said, I wish we recruited an instant-impact frosh that would push the seniors for PT. We need a kid that can consistently shoot the 3-ball.

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7 minutes ago, Captain Kangaroo said:

It isn't the worst thing to red-shirt next year. Our roster will be loaded with upper-classmen, and Freshman PT would be minimal. 

 

That said, I wish we recruited an instant-impact frosh that would push the seniors for PT. We need a kid that can consistently shoot the 3-ball.

Agreed.  We only lose Ivey.  I think Utomi will play halfish of his minutes at the #3 with Williams splitting time between the #4/#5 when we go small.  Then you throw Lepear in back from injury and Jimond's minutes are more than taken up.  I would prefer a redshirt unless you are committed to playing him 15-20 minutes a game.

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I actually feel pretty much all of Ivey's minutes at the 3 will be filled by Utomi. Utomi may get a few minutes at the 4, but I expect that's where Williams will play most of his minutes. Riak has been the anchor of a top 30 defense. He'll continue to get his 25-30 minutes a night. We also have Reece coming in who will officially be a junior. I can't imagine Groce took a flier on a junior unless he expected him to be able to step in and be in the rotation immediately. I expect him to get most of the minutes at the 4 that Williams doesn't play. 

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55 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

I actually feel pretty much all of Ivey's minutes at the 3 will be filled by Utomi. Utomi may get a few minutes at the 4, but I expect that's where Williams will play most of his minutes. Riak has been the anchor of a top 30 defense. He'll continue to get his 25-30 minutes a night. We also have Reece coming in who will officially be a junior. I can't imagine Groce took a flier on a junior unless he expected him to be able to step in and be in the rotation immediately. I expect him to get most of the minutes at the 4 that Williams doesn't play. 

I could see a starting 5 of LCJ, Cheese, Utomi, Williams and Riak, with Banks and Reece playing major minutes.  Throw Roscoe, Sayles and Toles into the mix and they have a nice rotation.  

 

However, in today's day and age, they'll lose one or two of those guys. 

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43 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

 

I could see a starting 5 of LCJ, Cheese, Utomi, Williams and Riak, with Banks and Reece playing major minutes.  Throw Roscoe, Sayles and Toles into the mix and they have a nice rotation.  

 

However, in today's day and age, they'll lose one or two of those guys. 

Not to mention E-man. That's pretty much how I see it as well. On paper I think that looks like a team that can win the MAC. My hope is that getting Utomi back to his more natural position will help him be more comfortable on the offensive end.

 

I honestly think Banks is a much better 3-point shooter than we've seen in MAC play. He was straight money during OOC play. At this point I just feel it's a confidence issue. His shot selection has mostly been good. The shots just have quit falling. Hopefully he can be that bench scorer. If not, we may be forced to move Cheese into a Nick Perkins type 6th man role.

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28 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

Not to mention E-man. That's pretty much how I see it as well. On paper I think that looks like a team that can win the MAC. My hope is that getting Utomi back to his more natural position will help him be more comfortable on the offensive end.

 

I honestly think Banks is a much better 3-point shooter than we've seen in MAC play. He was straight money during OOC play. At this point I just feel it's a confidence issue. His shot selection has mostly been good. The shots just have quit falling. Hopefully he can be that bench scorer. If not, we may be forced to move Cheese into a Nick Perkins type 6th man role.

 

Wow, how'd I forget E-man?  Agreed on Banks.  I think he could be a very good 6th man/offensive threat type of player.

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I agree with everyones comments, but I am all out of "likes" AGAIN. I vote for more "likes".  

 

I would just add, don't forget about Mikal Dawson. He is likely to only get garbage minutes at the start of next year, but unlike Ali Ali, Dawson has the strength to compete in the MAC on day one. So he will not be red-shirted, guards seldomly are. He will also be creating competition in practice and pushing the guards in the way Captain Kangaroo desires. It's possible by MAC play he could earn some real playing time.  

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A list of his counterparts and their recruiting status...

 

Cameron Alford, Brownsburg - Alabama A&M (Committed)

Ali Ali, East Noble - Akron (Signed)

Noah Applegate, Penn - Truman State (Offered)

Harold Bennett, Crispus Attucks - ?

Ethan Brittain-Watts, Culver Academy - Boston U (Signed; other offers include IUPUI, Miami OH, Ball State, South Dakota)

Zane Gross, Silver Creek - ?

Jared Hankins, Lawrence North - Indiana State (Signed; other offers include IUPUI, Miami OH, St. Bonnie, SIUE, IPFW, New Orleans)

Jalen Johnson, Indianapolis Manual - Alabama A&M (Committed; other offers include SIU, Illinois-Chicago)

Zach Kuhn, Shelbyville - ?

Drew Lutz, Penn - (Offers include Malone & that level)

Jevon Morris, Munster - ?

Andrew Owens, Carmel - Findlay (Signed; other offers include Salem, Grand Valley State, Air Force)

Jakobie Robinson, Warren Central - McKendree (Committed)

Derrick Stevenson, New Albany - ?

Karsten Windlan, Carmel - ?

 

Interpret this list how you will - 1st Team All State in Indiana is no joke. Congrats to Ali Ali!

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Ali made the Indiana All-Star team. Based off the below report he also had season ending shoulder surgery. I'm not sure if that will have an impact on his availability next fall or not.

 

VIDEO: Much love to East Noble's @IamAlix2 for making the Indiana All-Star team - huge honor! Unfortunately, he had surgery for a shoulder injury and won't be able to whoop up on Kentucky, but best of luck to the future @ZipsMBB guard! @CoachRyanEakins @ENobleSchCorp https://t.co/mh17mDbjFS

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