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:
An incredible amount of basketball talent has emerged out of the state of Minnesota (namely in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area) in the last five recruiting classes. Illinois has tried to tap into that wealth of talent under two coaching staffs.
Former Illini coach John Groce offered Jericho Sims (Texas), McKinley Wright IV (Colorado) and Theo John (Marquette) in the Class of 2017. Current coach Brad Underwood kept up that pursuit with offers to Zeke Nnaji (Arizona) in the Class of 2019, Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga) and Dain Dainja (Baylor) in the Class of 2020 and Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) and Kendall Brown (Baylor) in the Class of 2021. All of them, obviously, chose to go elsewhere.
But the pursuit continues. Illinois was an early offer for Class of 2022 recruit Prince Aligbe, who was teammates with Suggs and Holmgren at Minnehaha Academy, and the Illini added to their '22 board Monday with an offer to Tre Holloman.
Holloman is a consensus four-star recruit in the 2022 class and ranks as high as No. 58 nationally by ESPN. The Cretin-Derham Hall standout currently lands as a consensus top 80 prospect given his rankings by Rivals and 247Sports.
Holloman has been a key contributor at Cretin-Derham Hall since his freshman season. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard averaged 10.9 points, 9.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 steals in 2018-19 while putting up a 40/34/72 shooting slash. A year later he put up 11 points, 9.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game and shot 44 percent overall, 37 percent from three-point range and 73 percent at the free throw line.
The 2020-21 season saw Holloman put together a breakout junior year for the Raiders. He averaged 20.3 points, 9.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 4.2 steals while shooting 49 percent from the field overall, 34 percent from three-point range and 82 percent at the free throw line.
Holloman's Illinois offer means he's now being targeted by half the Big Ten. Minnesota is obviously involved along with Michigan State, Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. His other offers include Baylor, Marquette, Texas, Iowa State and the newest Division I program in his hometown, St. Thomas.
Holloman is also a high major football recruit. He's considered a three-star athlete/cornerback and has football offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Nebraska.