Each year it's the goal for every high school coach, player and parent to reach the state finals in basketball, but only eight teams can make that trip in Illinois. Last year, Illini recruit Bill Cole was able to get to the championship game only to lose to Chicago Simeon. "This year our team should be really good, it's going to be a new look for us, we lost some seniors but we should be more athletic," said Cole. Not only will Richwoods be considered one of the best teams in the state of Illinois but, according to Cole, national basketball magazine Streets and Smith listed Richwoods as the nation's 23rd best team in high school basketball.
Cole is a 6-10 forward/center with tremendous guard-like skills, which is great in Bruce Weber's motion offense. Lucky enough Cole's team runs a lot of what he will do when he arrives at Illinois which is a huge advantage. Last year freshman Jamar Smith played well from the start, partially because his learning curve wasn't as steep due to the similarities between the Richwoods offense and Bruce Weber's system. "I've been trying to get stronger and quicker and become really affective from fifteen feet and posting up to the basket," Cole said.
Even though Cole was once a teammate of Smith, they don't get to see or talk to each other much, "I see him once in awhile during the summer at the gym or something but he's down there doing his thing so we don't get to see each other very much, but I watch them play."
Recently Cole was finally able to meet future teammate Demetri McCamey during the annual Orange and Blue scrimmage game, "That was great getting to hang out with Demetri, he's a good guy, it's should be great playing with him." Said Cole.
Illiniboard.com will be able to follow Cole a lot this season and give updates on his games, stay tuned.
Last year Bill Cole and his Peoria Richwoods team finished 2nd at the state tournament, this year Cole will be a senior, get inside for an update on Cole.
High school basketball starts officially today.