Jawun Evans commits to Oklahoma State over Illini, USC

Jawun Evans, the No. 36-ranked player in ESPN’s Top 100 in the Class of 2015, has committed to Oklahoma State over Illinois.

The highly-sought after point guard out of Dallas has long been one of John Groce’s main targets in this year’s class, but on Wednesday he became the latest Illini target to slip away.

Evans announced his decision to ESPN.com early Wednesday, picking the Cowboys over the Illini and Southern California. The announcement comes less than a week after he wrapped up his final official visit to Oklahoma State. 

Evans, along with fellow recruit Jalen Brunson, was seen as a potential program-changing recruit for Illinois, capable of starting right away at point guard and excelling in Groce’s fast-paced offense.

Instead, both have committed elsewhere, and the Illini are still without a true point guard in their 2015 recruiting class.

The cupboard is not bare for the Illini, who currently hold the nation’s sixth-best recruiting class with commits D.J. Williams, Aaron Jordan and Jalen Coleman-Lands already on board. However, the reality of Evans heading to Oklahoma State stings for the program after he was once considered a strong Illinois lean by many national recruiting experts. 

Groce will now look elsewhere in an attempt to fill the 2015 class, with one open scholarship still to offer. Evans’ friend and AAU teammate Elijah Thomas is still strongly considering the Illini, and Groce has been recruiting elite swingman Carlton Bragg and top Canadian prospect Jamal Murray as well.

Murray is currently a member of the 2016 class, but could possible re-classify to the 2015 class and commit to a school this spring.

Groce will continue his relentless pursuit of top talent, but Evans’ decision has struck a familiar blow to a fan base that is all-too accustomed to finishing second.

Alex can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @aroux94.