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).

Trent Pierce
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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 199: Offseason slow down?

Illinois added to its Class of 2023 recruiting board Wednesday with an offer to Tulsa (Okla.) Union forward Trent Pierce. The 6-foot-8, 185-pound small forward is ranked as a four-star recruit by ESPN — and No. 74 overall in the class — and a three-star prospect by 247Sports.

Pierce, whose lead recruiter is Illini assistant Chester Frazier, holds other offers from Minnesota, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Loyola Chicago, Oral Roberts and Tulsa.

On the Class of 2024 front, Illinois hosted Dayton, Ohio, native Jonathan Powell on an unofficial visit Wednesday. The 6-4, 170-pound guard received his Illinois offer about one month ago, with the Illini trailing only Dayton in terms of getting a jump on Powell's recruitment.

Powell, who averaged 16.8 points and 4.5 rebounds and shot 38 percent from three-point range for Chaminade Julienne (Ohio) in 2021-22, now also boasts offers from Ohio State, Xavier, Texas A&M, Cincinnati and Indiana. Powell transferred to Centerville (Ohio) in March and will likely play a key role for what's become one of the better teams in Ohio of late.

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

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