Taking stock among some of the state's best and brightest hoopsters

Taking stock among some of the state's best and brightest hoopsters

The Illinois men's basketball roster for the 2019-2020 season got even more of an international flair on Saturday with Belgium forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk committing to the Illini. But Brad Underwood and his coaching staff still have their eye on in-state talent. Here are five promising prospects that the Illini have on their recruiting board, via Sports Editor MATT DANIELS:

ADAM MILLER

The shooting guard in the Class of 2020 can score. A bunch. That's probably the greatest attribute from the 6-foot-3, 170-pound left-hander. Illinois has been in on the Chicago Morgan Park product even when he started his high school career at Peoria Manual. Arizona just offered Miller last week, one of 12 high-major offers Miller has at the moment.

DJ STEWARD

The Class of 2020 guard from Whitney Young will likely duke it out with Miller for Mr. Basketball honors this upcoming season. Should be fun to watch. The 6-foot-3, 165-pound combo guard went on an official visit to Texas last week, with other Big Ten programs like Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern all having offered Steward.

MARCUS WATSON

A strong spring on the EYBL circuit with the Mac Irvin Fire has elevated the Class of 2020 point guard. Small in stature (5-10, 155 pounds), the left-handed Watson makes up for his lack of size with his passing and ability to get to the rim. Illinois was one of the first high-major schools to offer him, and he's poised to continue his rise this upcoming winter.

MAX CHRISTIE

The Class of 2021 guard from Rolling Meadows is the state's top-rated recruit at the moment. Ranked 11th nationally by 247Sports in his class, the 6-foot-6, 165-pound Christie helped the U.S. U16 team win a gold medal on Sunday night at the FIBA Americas Championship in Brazil. Eight Big Ten teams have already offered Christie, and so has Duke.

AJ CASEY

The Class of 2022 big man generated significant buzz last week when it was reported he'll play his upcoming sophomore season at Tinley Park instead of at powerhouse Chicago Simeon. The 6-foot-9, 180-pound Casey contributed at Simeon as a freshman, helping the Wolverines win a Class 4A sectional title, but he'll be the focal point at Tinley Park.

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