The mere chance of Jabari Parker possibly joining the Illinois basketball program, even for one season, left many Illini fans salivating at the thought.
Alas, the Chicago Simeon senior star forward left Illinois off his top 10 list when he announced his decision via Twitter last month, although his father mentioned the star might reconsider this week. Parker is the top Illinois high school senior among Rivals.com's updated top 150 players in the Class of 2013, which was released on Tuesday.
But Parker, the first high school basketball player to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated since LeBron James, isn't atop the rankings. Parker slides in at No. 2, a spot behind Julius Randle, a forward from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas. Randle has schools like Kentucky, Kansas, Baylor, North Carolina and Florida, along with many others, on his potential college destination.
Both of Illinois' two commits for the Class of 2013, guard Malcolm Hill from Belleville (Ill.) East High School and big-bodied forward Maverick Morgan from Springboro (Ohio) High School, cracked Rivals' Top 150 list. Ever-tantalizing prospects and two Illinois targets, Demetrius Jackson from Marian High School out of Mishawaka, Ind., and Chicago Simeon's Kendrick Nunn, are both in the top 50.
Hill, a a 6-foot-5 inch guard for the Lancers and one of the top seniors in the St. Louis Metro East area, checks in at No. 64.
Morgan, a 6-10, 240-pound forward, barely makes it on to the top 150, registering in at No. 148.
Jackson, a 6-1, 185-pound guard who Illinois fans are envisioning as the point guard best fit to run new head coach John Groce's system and who is set for a visit to Illinois' campus this weekend, comes in at No. 27, just below Syracuse commit and former Illinois target Tyler Ennis, who is ranked 21st.
Jackson made a sizeable jump from previous Rivals.com rankings that had him pegged at No. 70.
Nunn, a 6-3, 175-pound guard, checks in at No. 42.
The high school teammate of Parker's is set to make an official visit to Illinois in mid-September, the first stop on what will also include visits to Marquette, Ohio State, UCLA and Memphis.
Other Illinois prep players on the top 150 include St. Charles East guard Kendall Stephens, a Purdue commit, at No. 56, Morgan Park guard Kyle Davis at No. 109, an Illinois target who committed to Dayton on Sunday, Davis' teammate, guard Billy Garrett, a DePaul commit, at No. 115, and Illinois target Sterling Brown, a 6-4 combo guard from Proviso East who came in at No. 130.