Illini Lose Brunson, But All Is Not Lost

Thursday’s column from CBS Chicago

Groce(CBS) It’s estimated that approximately 2.5 million brides walk down the aisle in America each year. The University of Illinois is never one of them, but it sure can rock that bridesmaid dress.

On Wednesday afternoon, senior point guard Jalen Brunson of Lincolnshire Stevenson became the latest five-star prospect to give his home-state school the cold shoulder, following in the recent footsteps of fellow Land of Lincoln phenoms Cliff Alexander, Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, Anthony Davis and Derrick Rose.

And this time, the out-of-state school wearing the gown and tossing rice was Villanova after Brunson made the announcement that he’ll be wedding himself to coach Jay Wright’s program in Philadelphia next year.

Just like last Novemeber when Chicago Curie’s Alexander notoriously snubbed Illinois in favor of Kansas during a televised press conference just hours after point guard Quentin Snider surprised everyone by flipping his commitment to Louisville, Illini coach John Groce’s program was again left as the runner-up with Brunson.

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