Good Morning, Illini Nation: Remembering the hat trick | Sports

Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:

The latest episode of the “Titus & Tate” podcast with FOX Sports duo Mark Titus (a former Ohio State walk-on) and Tate Frazier hit on a rather sore subject for Illinois basketball fans. The first thing Titus, who played for the Buckeyes when John Groce was an assistant coach under Thad Matta, thinks of when he thinks commitment video is Cliff Alexander and the Illinois/Kansas hat trick.

“Every Illinois fan on Earth thinks he’s coming to Illinois,” Titus said. “Finally, at long last, the No. 3 recruit in the country is a Chicago kid and he’s going to play for the Illini. It’s happening. He literally picks up the Illinois hat, sets it down, grabs the Kansas hat and puts the Kansas hat on. Those two seconds are etched in etched in my brain forever.”

The full video is below:

Yeah, not the best moment in Illinois basketball recruiting history albeit one that will live on forever. Of course, that recruitment didn’t exactly pan out for Kansas either. The NCAA launched an investigation into his eligibility (later finding his mom received impermissible benefits), and Alexander was ultimately held out of the end of the 2014-15 regular season, Big 12 tournament and NCAA tournament.

Still … an infamous moment for Illini basketball if there ever was one. 

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