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Hoop Job

Cliff Alexander Talks Okafor, Illini Visit

Chicago Curie (IL) junior power forward Cliff Alexander has established himself as a premier recruit and a top five player nationally in the class of 2014 over the past year.  Known early in his career as just a powerful dunker Big Cliff is coming along with his post game and he showed it off against the other top national 2014 post Jahlil Okafor and Chicago Whitney Young (IL).
Alexander displayed a good combination of power and emerging skill.  He got Okafor in foul trouble by going up and through him.  The Curie star also displayed a nice baseline spin, shake move, and an improving jump hook.  He spoke with us after the game about the match up of the top two posts nationally.
“I came out ready to play.  Everybody says he is better than me.  I wanted to come out and show people that he is not.”
Alexander has been working on developing his post game especially his jump hook.
“That is something I have been working on all season.  Being dominant in the paint.”
The other recent development with Alexander was his unofficial visit to Illinois last weekend.  He spoke about what he enjoyed on the trip.
“It was great.  I came down and watched the game.  It was a great game.  Coach Groce can really coach.  I love his coaching ability.”
He closely watched Illini big man Nnanna Egwu to see how his game has progressed under the first year coaching staff.
“Nnanna their big man was doing great.  He was shooting jump shots.  Last time I saw him he wasn’t shooting those jump shots.”
Alexander discussed how he fits into the up tempo style that Illinois employs.
“That is what I want to do.  Get out and run.  That is all I want to do.  Beat the big man up the floor.  My game translates a lot toward it.  Get the rebound, push, and go behind the guard.”
What does he like about Head Coach John Groce?
“He is a great guy.  Great personality.  He’s funny.  Great guy to be around.  I love him.”
His lead recruiter from the assistants is Paris Parham who was in the house to see him go up against Okafor.
“Coach P that is my man.  I love him.  He is a great guy and funny.  He shows a lot of interest.”
A big thing with Alexander’s recruitment is schools showing him and his family a lot of respect.  He feels he has received that from Illinois .
“A lot of respect.  Coach P is a great guy.  Coach Walker is a great guy.  The whole coaching staff is great.  Showing a lot of respect.”
The junior power forward says he is taking his time with his recruitment and has no visits planned for the near future.  With AAU season just around the corner there is no time to rest after Curie’s loss to Whitney Young for Big Cliff.

“Get back in the gym starting tomorrow.”