Who's on Illini's watch list?

Who's on Illini's watch list?

Illinois basketball beat writer SCOTT RICHEY will be there, scoping out a slew of Illinois recruiting targets, and he breaks down five (of many) he’ll have his eye on:

Jaden Hardy, Vegas Elite

Hardy was one of a handful of 2021 recruits playing up on the 17U circuit last spring, and the 6-foot-4 guard clearly proved he could compete at that level. The five-star prospect is now ranked as high as No. 2 nationally (ESPN) and no lower than No. 6 (Rivals) in his class. Hardy also picked up where he left off last year in EYBL action by averaging 18 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists the final weekend of April while also shooting 48.1 percent from three.

Ryan Kalkbrenner, Mac Irvin Fire

The Trinity Catholic (Mo.) product is one of four Illinois targets on the Mac Irvin Fire roster along with Adam Miller, Marcus Watson Jr. and Michael Foster Jr. Even on a team loaded with talent, Kalkbrenner, a Class of 2020 target, stood out April 26-28 in Atlanta. The 7-footer made a splash in his EYBL debut by leading all players in blocked shots with 3.5 per game. That earned Kalkbrenner, who also averaged 9.5 points and seven rebounds, Defensive Player of the Session honors.

Jamal Mashburn Jr., PSA Cardinals

A deep PSA Cardinals backcourt will get deeper when A.J. Griffin (also an Illini target) joins Mashburn, Hassan Diarra and AJ Hoggard. Mashburn, the son of former NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburn, joined Diarra and Hoggard as double-digit scorers two weeks ago in Atlanta. The 6-foot Class of 2020 guard capped the opening EYBL weekend with a 25-point game thanks to 6 of 9 three-point shooting. Mashburn averaged 16.8 points for the weekend and shot 45.5 percent from three.

Moses Moody, Brad Beal Elite

It was about this time last year the now Montverde Academy (Fla.) guard — by way of North Little Rock, Ark. — was breaking out during his debut season on the circuit and catching the attention of the 

=Illinois coaching staff. Moody, a Class of 2020 target, is back with BBE and teaming with more Illini targets (Caleb Love and Cam'Ron Fletcher), and the four-star 2020 guard averaged 14.8 points, four rebounds and 1.2 steals during the opening weekend of EYBL play in Atlanta.

Addison Patterson, Team WhyNot

Patterson and fellow Illinois recruiting target Nimari Burnett give Team WhyNot one of the more dynamic backcourt duos on the circuit. The 6-6 Canadian guard is a consensus four-star 2020 recruit, but he could possibly reclassify to the 2019 class. Patterson, who is averaging 15.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists on the circuit, told FloHoops this week Illinois, Oregon and Southern California are currently recruiting him the hardest.

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