Blog: Good things will come to those who wait for Cliffmas

Thank you, but I’ve had enough.

The last time I checked, Cliff Alexander isn’t running for president.

But somehow we’ve reached that stage.

Over the last month or so, a disturbing trend has involved wondering where the forward from Curie is planning on enrolling to play college basketball. And not only have the updates on the horserace become daily, but every few hours there seems to be a new Tweet about it.

Trust me, I totally understand the excitement. What John Groce has been able to do in his short time at the University of Illinois has been nothing short of sensational. After an NCAA Tournament berth last year, he’s done stellar on the recruiting trail and created considerable buzz around a program that hasn’t had much since the days of Deron Williams and Dee Brown.

And if Groce can lure Alexander away from the coach that brought Williams and Brown to Illinois in the first place, he can be a game-changer. More talent will flow towards Champaign-Urbana and more wins will follow.

But what more are we going to learn at this point?

Alexander’s list was cut down to – in alphabetical order – DePaul, Kansas, Illinois and Memphis with the only real possibility of eliminating Memphis before he makes a final decision, and the subtraction of that program will hardly constitute as news.

So I ask you, let the man be. There’s just about one more week left before he makes his decision, and that’s something we can all wait for (and if you don’t think you can, then you’re out of luck).

But I know I’m in the minority. The average fan is more concerned with crystal balls and “journalists” who repeatedly claim to be unbiased but still spread information that is clearly trying to sway a player in one direction (“I don’t know what will happen, but X Player not going here would be a shocker to me” or “This coach’s offensive scheme would be perfect for X Player”).

And when the announcement day (Nov. 15) does come, I know the inevitable, “I’m certain of where Cliff is going” Tweet will come about. Let that day be for him; please don’t attempt to steal any of the thunder.

What these reporters should do, is speak to Alexander’s parents, coaches, friends and those he trusts to get an inside look at the pain-staking process this must be for him. How is he able to focus on school, life and basketball with the biggest decision of his life looming over him? How is his ego staying in check? What does he imagine the moment being like when he commits or plays his first game?

Show me that the guy is human. If you’re going to be a journalist, write something worthwhile – something truly important and stop contributing to the onslaught of rumors. The place for that is the message boards where all the other fans are.

And if you don’t want to take any of that advice, I hope that you’ll at least consider this:

§ 12-7.3. Stalking.

(a) A person commits stalking when he or she knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to:

(1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person; or

(2) suffer other emotional distress.

IL ST CH 38 § 12-7.3 (2013).

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