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 101: A former Hoosier and the Illini - a match made in heaven?

We started the weekend with a hypothetical Class of 2021 haul for Illinois. Today? A look at the next two classes. 

Illinois has offered 11 prospects in the Class of 2022 so far, with one of them — North Carolina guard Jalen Hood-Schifino — already committed to Pittsburgh. That group includes a pair of in-state targets in Tinley Park's A.J. Casey and Yorkville Christian's Jaden Schutt. 

What it's a little short on, though, is top level prospects — at least when it comes to the updated Rivals75 for the 2022 class. Casey is the highest ranked at No. 19. Also ranked are No. 35 Tre White (Ribet Academy; Los Angeles), No. 46 Prince Aligbe (Minnehaha Academy; Minneapolis) and No. 64 Rodney Rice (Bullis School; Potomac, Md.).

The list of Class of 2023 offers is shorter. Just five so far, but two of those targets could wind up among the top prospects in the class. Rivals national analyst Eric Bossi broke down 10 rising sophomores that have caught his eye, including the likes of Bronny James and DaJuan Wagner Jr. Bossi also highlighted two '23 targets with Illinois offers:

Omaha Biliew: "As a freshman at Des Moines (Iowa) Dowling, Biliew didn't put up eye-popping numbers. So, being more productive in structure is going to be important going forward. But, I saw enough from him at USA Basketball to understand the type of talent the 6-foot-8 combo forward has. He has the athleticism, size and inside/out game to be a star in 2023."

Simeon Wilcher: "There's an awful lot to like with Wilcher. He's already very productive against very good high school competition. He has good size, he can play the one or the two and there is some pop in his legs. High school is off to a very good start for the potential star guard."

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