College/Prep Sports Reporter

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

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Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:

Episode 154: Recruiting, always recruiting

Sencire Harris turned an unofficial visit Monday to Illinois into a scholarship offer, joining a growing list of Class of 2022 prospects on the Illini's recruiting board. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard is a consensus four-star recruit and is ranked as high as No. 59 nationally. 

Harris helped lead St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio) — LeBron James' alma mater — to a 25-2 record and a state title in 2020-21. The Fighting Irish, who also boasted Ohio State-bound senior guard Malaki Branham, beat St. Francis de Sales 72-50 despite trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half to claim the OHSAA Division II championship. It was SVSM's ninth total state title.

Branham led the Fighting Irish with 37 points in the title game. Harris filled it up in other ways, finishing with five points, five assists and six rebounds.

Harris' recruitment is still in the early stages despite his four-star status. His first offer came last summer from new Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes. It took almost a year for other programs to get involved, with Maryland, Hampton, Xavier and now the Illini doling out offers.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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