Several 2015 targets on Rivals' Top 100
No Chicago big men dominate the list of top players in the Class of 2015.
Plenty of Illinois targets do, though.
According to the latest scholarship numbers, which could fluctuate greatly by the time the 2015-16 season starts for John Groce's squad, Illinois would have five open scholarships to dole out.
It's the same number Groce and his staff had last November when it landed Austin Colbert, Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan, Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate.
Getting either Jahlil Okafor and/or Cliff Alexander with the next signing class would represent a monumental recruiting coup for Illinois.
But a key class in the building of Groce's Illinois teams comes with the Class of 2015.
Rivals.com recently released a top 100 prospect list in regards to that class.
Illinois has offers to several of the names on the list.
Highest among them is Diamond Stone, a 6-foot-10, 253-pound center from Milwaukee. Stone — who also holds offers from Arizona, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Indiana, UCLA and Wisconsin, among others — checks in at fifth on Rivals' updated rankings.
Power forward Elijah Thomas (6-9, 235) — who has 18 offers — from Dallas is slotted in at No. 9.
Another power forward high on Groce's priority list is Carlton Bragg, who also holds offers from Missouri, Ohio State, Texas, UCLA and Wisconsin, among others. Bragg (6-8, 205) was recently in Champaign-Urbana for a visit in June, and the Villa Angela-St. Joseph product is ranked 12th.
Right below Bragg at No. 13 is Chicago St. Rita wing Charles Matthews.
Matthews has seen his stock rise and currently holds offers from Illinois, Arizona, DePaul, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio State, Providence, SMU and Wisconsin.
He is the highest-rated Illinois prep player.
Stone, Thomas, Bragg and Matthews are all five-star recruits.
Just below that rung is Jalen Brunson, the point guard from Lincolnshire Stevenson who is at No. 25 and who visited Illinois last weekend. Brunson (6-0, 175) has offers from Connecticut, Creighton, DePaul, Oklahoma State, Purdue, SMU, Temple, Tulsa, Virginia and Xavier.
Combo guard Jalen Coleman (6-3, 180), who recently transferred to La Lumiere (Ind.) School from Indianapolis Cathedral, has received offers from Illinois, Indiana, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Providence and Purdue.
He checks in at No. 30.
Chicago Simeon small forward D.J. Williams is another player to keep an eye on. Williams (6-6, 185) is ranked 46th and has interest from Illinois.
Hyron Edwards, a 5-11, 160-pound point guard from East Chicago (Ind.) Central who has an offer from Illinois along with offers from Indiana and Purdue, is at No. 91.
Several other Illinois players who do not have offers yet from the Illini but have received interest are scattered throughout Rivals' rankings.
Chicago Whitney Young small forward Joseph Toye (6-7, 200) is at No. 55 followed by Westchester St. Joseph's point guard Glynn Watson (5-11, 160) at No. 56, St. Rita forward Myles Carter (6-7) at No. 79, Plainfield East guard Aaron Jordan (6-4, 170) at No. 84, Lake Forest forward Evan Boudreaux (6-7, 220) at No. 88 and Palatine guard Roosevelt Smart (6-1, 170) at No. 95.