Beal has Illini in top five

Beal has Illini in top five

CHAMPAIGN — Brea Beal's list of future college destinations includes a recent national champion and a pair of ACC powers. Oh, and her home state team.

The two-time News-Gazette All-State Player of the Year and two-time Illinois Ms. Basketball winner narrowed her list Friday. Illinois was on it along with South Carolina, Louisville, Duke and Michigan. Beal would easily be the highest-rated recuit for Illinois coach Nancy Fahey.

Beal, a 6-foot-1 wing, is a consensus five-star prospect ranked No. 12 in the 2019 class by ESPN and No. 16 by The Rock Island senior averaged 21.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for the Rocks last season in repeating her player of the year honors.

A commitment from Beal would fast track Illinois' rebuilding efforts under Fahey. The Illini went winless in the Big Ten last season, Fahey's first, and finished with a 9-22 record.