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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Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Illinois head coach Brad Underwood during their NCAA basketball game at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

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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 105: 10 new offers - with plenty more to come

Last week was an important one for Illinois' recruiting efforts in the Class of 2022. It marked the first time the Illini coaches could reach out to the now junior class personally. Lots of midnight phone calls ... well, at least 12:01 a.m. last Monday.

Illinois ultimately offered 10 new recruits in the 2022 class. They run the gamut from in-state prospects like Fenwick's Trey Pettigrew and St. Joseph's Kyle Thomas to national prospects on the rise like Californian Ramel Lloyd Jr., who's headed to Dream City Christian in Glendale, Ariz., for his junior season.

The Illini also reached out to nearly two dozen more 2022 prospects. They don't have offers yet, but ... they might. 

"I love making calls to kids for the first time because they’re really excited," Underwood said in a recent Saturday SportsTalk appearance. "As the recruiting process goes on and starts to drag on for those kids, they’re not near as excited. They get tired of all the calls. I love that enthusiasm. I love hearing that in their voice. To me, those are really fun calls to make."

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