College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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Illinois nearly doubled its recruiting pool for the Class of 2022 last week with new targets from both right here at home and across the country. Here’s a look at the 20 prospects, courtesy beat writer SCOTT RICHEY:

Prince Aligbe

The 6-foot-6, 185-pound small forward is a consensus four-star recruit and ranked as high as No. 49 in the class by Rivals. Aligbe averaged 11 points per game as a sophomore for a loaded Minnehaha Academy (Minn.) squad.

Mark Armstrong

Armstrong had a breakout sophomore season at St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.), putting up 19.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.1 assists per game. The unranked 6-3, 165-pound point guard has four other high-major offers.

Reggie Bass

The Muncie, Ind., native plays at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tenn. The 6-3, 190-pound three-star shooting guard averaged 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in a complementary role in 2019-20.

Jérôme Beya

Beya is currently unranked, but the 6-9, 205-pound power forward wound up on Illinois’ radar by playing with 2021 Illini target David “Deivi” Jones at Teays Valley Christian School (W.Va.). Beya is originally from Kinshsasa, Congo.

AJ Casey

Casey earned 2020 News-Gazette All-State First Team honors after putting up 22 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.1 blocks per game at Tinley Park. The 6-8, 205-pound four-star power forward ranks as high as No. 21 nationally.

Lewis Duarte

Duarte transferred from Hamilton Heights to Veritas Prep (Calif.) in 2019-20 and teamed with 2021 Illini target Deiman Reyes. The 6-5, 185-pound shooting guard and Dominican Republic native has seven total offers.

Abdou-Halil Barre

Barre transferred from Our Saviour New American (N.Y.) to prep powerhouse Montverde Academy (Fla.) for his sophomore season. The 6-8, 220-pound power forward was born in Benin but grew up in Paris.

Jaquan Harris

Harris is ranked as a three-star recruit and No. 125 nationally by Rivals. The 6-4, 180-pound point guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals as a sophomore at St. Thomas Aquinas (N.J.).

Joseph Hunter Jr.

Hunter added multiple new high-major offers in the last week, with Arizona, Arkansas, TCU and Washington State also getting involved. The 6-5, 185-pound combo guard is a consensus four-star and ranks as high as No. 46 nationally.

Ramel Lloyd Jr.

Lloyd put up 21.9 points per game at at Taft Charter (Calif.) as a sophomore, but he’s transferring to Dream City Christian (Ariz.) for his junior year. The 6-6, 190-pound four-star point guard ranks No. 57 overall by 247Sports.

Mason Manning

Manning, a native of Jackson, Miss., averaged 13 points and five assists as a sophomore at First Love Christian Academy (Pa.). The 6-1, 170-pound point guard is a three-star recruit and ranks No. 122 per Rivals.

Randi Ovalle

Illinois offered Ovalle last June, and the Dominican Republic native has since transferred from San Gabriel Academy (Calif.) to St. John Bosco (Calif.). Ovalle, a 6-7, 205-pound small forward, is currently unranked.

Trey Pettigrew

Pettigrew’s breakout sophomore season at Fenwick saw the 6-3, 175-pound combo guard average 16 points and three assists playing alongside 2021 Louisville commit Bryce Hopkins. Pettigrew is a three-star recruit per Rivals.

Rodney Rice

A shoulder injury hampered Rice last season, but he still averaged 22.9 points in 16 games for The Bullis School (Md.). The four-star point guard, ranked as high as No. 51 nationally, will play at DeMatha Catholic (Md.) next year.

Jaquan Sanders

The 6-3, 170-pound shooting guard had a solid sophomore season at Our Saviour Lutheran (N.Y.) — the same program Illinois recruited one-time signee Bernard Kouma. Sanders also picked up an offer from Xavier last week.

Jaden Schutt

Schutt set the IHSA single-game record with 17 three-pointers and made 45 percent of his threes last season at Yorkville Christian. The 6-5, 170-pound shooting guard averaged 23 points and nine rebounds.

Silas Sunday

Sunday checks several Illinois-specific recruiting boxes. He’s got Kofi Cockburn size at 7-foot and 290 pounds, is a native of Ireland and plays his high school ball with Sanders at Our Saviour Lutheran (N.Y.).

Kyle Thomas

Illinois is the first offer for Thomas, who, like his dad, plays at St. Joseph, and the 6-9, 220-pound center played a key role for the Chargers in 2019-20. His dad, the late Daryl Thomas, won a national title at Indiana in 1987.

Kelel Ware

The Illini offered multiple Arkansas natives in the 2020 class, who all wound up choosing the home state Razorbacks. Ware, a 6-10, 210-pound center, is the next attempt. Rivals has Ware as a three-star recruit ranked No. 124.

Tre White

White has moved around, going from Little Elm (Texas) to Milwaukee Washington to San Antonio (Texas) Cornerstone Christian to now Rivet Academy (Calif.). The four-star small forward decommitted from Kansas in December.

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).