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May 1, 2014
Donovan Oliver a blossoming talent
Who is Donovan Oliver you may ask? He's a 6-foot-4 athletic guard from Kewanee (Ill.) and plays for the Quad City Elite AAU basketball program.
Oliver is a member of the class of 2016, and is off to a great start this spring on the AAU circuit. The interest level of coaches is starting to pick up for the Kewanee Boilermaker.
"Right now I've had coaches come in to watch me work out," Oliver said. "Creighton, West Virginia and Bradley have been here. I think by the time spring is over I will start to get offers from some of these schools."
Being from the state of Illinois, Oliver has a lot of interest in the Fighting Illini.
"I think coach Groce made a call to my coach (Steven Salisbury) early, but I've only received letters from them lately," Oliver said. "I really like Illinois and coach Groce. It would be great if I had a chance to play for my state university."
When watching Oliver play the first thing you notice is his athletic ability and long arms. He plays above the rim. Oliver said Wisconsin and Iowa are the other two Big Ten schools starting to take notice, but DePaul has probably been the most active thus far.
Being able to defend is also a strong part of his game. His all-around game is starting to come together, but only a sophomore, his upside is growing each time out.
"I know I need to work on my jump-shot," Oliver said. "I can shoot it, but I think I need to work on it and become more consistent. I'm working on that. I'm off to a good start. I'm averaging about 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game. I think once I'm able to show I can shoot it consistently, more offers will start to come."
This weekend the Q.C. Elite played in the NY2LA in Minnesota. He was able to talk to the Iowa coaches, but knew the Illini were in attendance as well.
"I know it's early in the process for me, but I really like coach Groce," Oliver said. "I hope their interest level picks up. I really like them."
Oliver will keep us updated on his recruitment and any interest he receives from the Illini.
Kedric Prince has covered the Fighting Illini for over a decade. He is currently the Illini recruiting analyst for the Moline Dispatch / Rock Island Argus newspaper in the Quad Cities. Follow Kedric on Twitter @KedPrince4