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).

Boogie Fland
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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 169: It's time

Recruiting, as they say, never stops. Here's some news and notes to get you caught up as the weekend begins:

— Per Prep Hoops' Scott Burgess, Illinois basketball will have a slew of in-state visitors today around the football game. Scheduled to be on campus for unofficial visits are five 2024 recruits in St. Rita's James Brown, Morez Johnson and Jaedin Reyna, Peoria Notre Dame's Cooper Koch and Lemont's Nojus Indrusaitis. All five have Illinois offers. Class of 2023 wing Richard Barron out of St. Ignatius is also set to visit unofficially. He does not yet have an Illini offer.

— New to Illinois' Class of 2024 recruiting board is Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) guard Johnuel "Boogie" Fland. Fland is a 6-foot-2, 165-pound combo guard and holds other offers from Virginia Tech, St. Bonaventure, UCLA, TCU, Seton Hall, Kansas State, St. John's, Fordham, Miami, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Long Island, Rider, Siena and Bryant.

Fland is currently only ranked by ESPN, but they have him as a five-star recruit and the No. 14 overall prospect in his class. He averaged 9.8 points, 4.8 rebouds and 1.8 blocks in 2020-21 for Stepinac, and he participated in the Team USA U16 training camp Aug. 13-18 in Houston. 

— Three 2022 recruits with Illinois offers came off the board Thursday and Friday, including Arkansas native Nick Smith picking the home state Razorbacks, four-star wing Otega Oweh choosing Oklahoma and three-star center Christ Essandoko committing to Providence.

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

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