Ennis, a 6'2" point guard, is ranked No. 20 overall in Rivals' 2013 recruiting rankings. He is originally from the Toronto area, but is currently playing prep basketball at St. Benedict in Newark, N.J. According to Rivals, his main strength is passing the ball, although he is also a skilled shooter and rebounder.
Ennis selected the Orange over Illinois, Memphis, UCLA and Louisville.
Head coach John Groce and the Illini are still hot on the trail of Indiana prep point guard Demetrius Jackson, who is a four-star recruit and ranked No. 70 overall on Rivals. To this point, they have received commitments from Belleville, Ill. shooting guard Malcolm Hill and Springboro, Ohio power forward Maverick Morgan as part of their 2013 recruiting class.
The Illinois Fighting Illini appear to have a one in five chance of landing Simeon product G Kendrick Nunn, according to ESPN Chicago. The senior from Chicago received offers from eight schools, but has narrowed his list to include only:
The Illini basketball team, after a rough 2011-12 season, brought in new head coach John Groce. And Nunn's father, Melvin Nunn, says that played a major role in including the Illini in the final five:
"They didn't have a chance of recruiting Ken at Ohio," Melvin said. "We loved the coaching staff at Ohio, but they weren't a bigger school. Since they moved onto a bigger school, a bigger spotlight, that's how we got interested in Illinois now more than when coach (Bruce) Weber was there. We have a good relationship with coach Groce."
Kendrick Nunn has a four-star rating from ESPN and is considered the No. 54 prospect in the nation and No. 2 in the state of Illinois.
New Illinois coach John Groce is trying to rebuild the Illini as quickly as he can, and to that end, he says that he and his staff are working hard. Groce doesn't want to use the fact that he's only been on the job a few months as an excuse for taking things slowly.
“From the standpoint, we came here to put us in the best position to get this thing done as quickly as possible,” Groce said by phone on Friday. “I’m not really a patient guy. I didn’t come into this position thinking this is going to take us this long. That’s not my mindset."
One of the quickest ways for a new head coach to engender himself to his fan base— especially if he wasn't the fan base's first choice to be coach— is to make waves in recruiting. Illinois Fighting Illini head basketball coach John Groce won't convince fans of his ability by landing just one recruit, but with that said, landing center Maverick Morgan can't hurt. Morgan, a 6' 10" power forward/center from Ohio, tweeted today that he has committed to Illinois: