The University of Illinois reportedly lost out to Florida State in the chase to sign Xavier Rathan-Mayes, a 4-star recruit out of West Virginia.
Rathan-Mayes had built up a rapport with Illini coach John Groce and his staff during an official visit to the campus, but still decided to play for FSU—his father’s alma matter—according to The News Gazette, via IlliniHQ.com.
The Seminoles will be delighted with Rathan-Mayes’ commitment, as the 6’4” guard is ranked as the No. 25 recruit in the nation, per Rivals.com.
According to MaxPreps, Rathan-Mayes averaged 14 points and 4.7 assists last season while leading Huntington Prep to a 24-2 record.
Groce certainly could have used a talented player in his first season after leaving Ohio to take over for Bruce Weber. The team he is left with finished 17-15 overall this past season and went 6-12 in the Big Ten.
For Florida State and head coach Leonard Hamilton, this is a fantastic signing that will help a strong program become even better. The Seminoles finished third in the ACC last season behind Duke and North Carolina before losing to Cincinnati in their second NCAA tournament game.
ESPN describes Rathan-Mayes as a “super skilled” player with “a great shooting stroke from behind the arc.” His talent will certainly give FSU a boost in perimeter scoring this next season.
For the Illini, they missed out what could have been a massive signing, and the road back the NCAA tournament still looks rocky for Groce and the Illini.