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).

Cam Ward

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 207: Summer storylines

Illinois is still really just beginning to piece together its Class of 2025 recruiting. Like previous classes it began with in-state offers to guards like St. Rita's Melvin Bell and Joliet West's Jeremiah Fears. The Illini staff has started to branch out this summer, though.

The latest target? Upper Marlboro, Md., native and Largo High School standout Cam Ward. The 6-foot-6, 180-pound sophomore is one of the few wings with an Illini offer so far in the '25 class. He joins previous wing targets Koa Peat out of Perry (Ariz.) and Jackson Keith out of Durham South (S.C.).

Ward's recruitment itself has really only just begun. He got his first offer in May from Bryant and has since added offers from George Mason, Georgetown, Canisius, Virginia Tech and Central Michigan in addition to Illinois. 

Ward put together a stellar freshman season at Largo (Md.) as a freshman. He helped lead the Lions to a 12-6 record and averaged 27.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.4 steals while earning Washington Post All-Met honorable mention recognition. 

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

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