'Biggest weekend ever'

'Biggest weekend ever'

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CHAMPAIGN — This weekend has program-changing potential for both Illinois basketball programs. Men's coach Brad Underwood will host E.J. Liddell, Terrence Shannon Jr. and Oscar Tshiebwe on official visits. Women's coach Nancy Fahey will have Brea Beal, Klarke Sconiers and Jeanae Terry on campus for official visits of their own.

That six-deep group features a pair of five-star recruits (Tshiebwe and Beal), the reigning News-Gazette All-State Players of the Year and Illinois Mr. and Ms. Basketball (Liddell and Beal) and a top 40 four-star wing (Shannon).

Both basketball programs and still searching for their first commit in the 2019 class. The players visiting this weekend are clear priorities — particularly on the men's side and with Beal for the Illini women — and with Underwood and Fahey trying to rebuild their respective teams a commitment from any of the six would be a significant step in that direction.

"Maybe the biggest weekend ever for basketball," beat writer Scott Richey says in his weekly podcast, 'Inside Illini Basketball.' "They all fit what Illinois wants out of this class.

"If they get one of those guys, that's big. Two? That's huge. And all three? That's program-changing in my opinion."