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 until practice tips off.

Here’s the benefit of Illinois coach Brad Underwood’s recruiting methods (i.e. offering many players in one class). It’s all about options. As in having enough to counter the fickle nature of recruiting. Miss out on one prospect? Here’s (at least) three more guys that play the same position.

Names continue to come off the Illini’s recruiting board, including three on Tuesday. Four-star West Virginia forward Jalen Bridges is going to stay home and play for Bob Huggins, committing to the Mountaineers and apparently intending to reclassify to 2019. Another four-star forward Matt Cross committed to Miami, and three-star wing Luke Kasubke committed to Kansas State and former Illinois coach Bruce Weber.

Wednesday saw the Illini not make the cut for three-star wing D.J. Gordon but land in the top seven for four-star center Jaylin Williams. The Fort Smith, Ark., native earned his Illinois offer this spring with a strong showing on the Nike EYBL circuit.

“They said they like how I can expand the floor,” Williams told The News-Gazette in May about the feedback he got from the Illinois coaching staff. “They have a big man that kind of plays how I play (sophomore Giorgi Bezhanishvili) where he can set the screen and pop out and hit that jump shot or roll and finish down low.”

Accounting for the recruits that reclassified back to 2019 — Addison Patterson and Shon Robinson — Illinois has offered 54 prospects in the Class of 2020. Here’s an update on all of them. The “still available” recruits either haven’t trimmed their list or included the Illini when they did, which isn’t always a statement on just how hard Illinois is pursuing. The other two categories of players are fairly self explanatory.

Jaylin Williams

Jaylin Williams

Still available (24)

Keon Ambrose-Hylton, 6-8, 200, PF; Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio); Top 10 of Illinois, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Arizona State, California, Clemson, VCU, Saint Louis, Dayton and Florida

Davion Bradford, 7-0, 260, C; Mehlville Senior (Mo.)

Andre Curbelo, 6-0, 170, PG; Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.)

R.J. Davis, 6-0, 161, PG; Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.)

Hassan Diarra, 6-2, 180, PG; Putnam Science Academy (Conn.)

Saba Gigiberia, 7-0, 235, C; Prolific Prep (Calif.)

Coleman Hawkins, 6-9, 210, PF; Prolific Prep (Calif.)

Isaiah Jackson, 6-9, 200, PF; Waterford Mott (Mich.)

Ryan Kalkbrenner, 7-0, 225, C; Trinity Catholic (Mo.)

Zed Key, 6-8, 230, PF; Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.)

Ishmael Leggett, 6-2, 180, SG; St. John’s College (D.C.); Top 6 of Illinois, Wake Forest, South Florida, DePaul, Charlotte and Rhode Island

Karim Mané, 6-4, 195, PG; Vanier College (Mont.)

Jamal Mashburn Jr., 6-0, 180, SG; Brewster Academy (N.H.)

Bayron Matos-Garcia, 6-9, 245, C; Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tenn.)

Adam Miller, 6-3, 170, SG; Morgan Park; Top 10 of Illinois, Northwestern, Louisville, North Carolina State, Missouri, Arizona State, Wake Forest, Kansas and Chicago State

Clifford Omoruyi, 6-11, 230, C; Roselle Catholic (N.J.)

KK Robinson, 6-0, 175, PG; Oak Hill Academy (Va.); Top 7 of Illinois, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa State and TCU

Samson Ruzhentsev, 6-7, 210, SF; Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tenn.); Top 5 of Illinois, Georgia Tech, Florida, Ole Miss and Stanford

JaQuan Scott, 6-8, 200, PF; Mansfield Timberview (Texas)

DJ Steward, 6-3, 165, SG; Whitney Young; Top 8 of Illinois, Duke, North Carolina, Indiana, Louisville, Iowa State, Texas and DePaul

Jayden Stone. 6-3, 175, SG; Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.)

J.T. Thor, 6-9, 185, PF; Norcross (Ga.)

Kyree Walker, 6-5, 205, SG; Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.)

Jaylin Williams, 6-9, 230, C; Northside (Ark.); Top 7 of Illinois, Oklahoma State, Auburn, UConn, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Iowa State

Committed (15)

Jabri Abdur-Rahim, 6-6, 180, SF; Blair Academy (N.J.); Committed to Virginia

Posh Alexander, 5-11, 170, PG; Our Saviour Lutheran (N.Y.); Committed to St. John’s

Jalen Bridges, 6-7, 205, SF; Scotland Performance Institute (Pa.); Committed to West Virginia

Isaiah Cottrell, 6-9, 215, PF; Huntington Prep (W.Va.); Committed to West Virginia

Matt Cross, 6-8, 225, PF; Brewster Academy (N.H.); Committed to Miami

Dain Dainja, 6-9, 260, C; Park Center (Minn.); Committed to Baylor

Cam’Ron Fletcher, 6-6, 190, SF; Vashon (Mo.); Committed to Kentucky

Zeb Jackson, 6-3, 165, PG; Montverde Academy (Fla.); Committed to Michigan

Jalen Johnson, 6-8, 220, SF; IMG Academy (Fla.); Committed to Duke

Luke Kasubke, 6-5, 185, SG; Chaminade (Mo.); Committed to Kansas State

Daishen Nix, 6-5, 205, PG; Trinity International (Nev.); Committed to UCLA

Julian Strawther, 6-7, 210, SF; Liberty (Nev.); Committed to Gonzaga

Dalen Terry, 6-6, 180, PG; Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.); Committed to Arizona

Corey Walker Jr., 6-7, 205, SF; Hargrave Military Academy (Va.); Committed to Tennessee

Marcus Watson Jr., 6-0, 165, PG; Morgan Park; Committed to Wake Forest

Cut list, no Illinois (15)

Jaemyn Brakefield, 6-8, 210, PF; Huntington Prep (W.Va.); Top 10 of Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Louisville, West Virginia, Florida State, Kansas, UCLA and Ole Miss

Nimari Burnett, 6-4, 180, SG; Prolific Prep (Calif.); Top 5 of Texas Tech, Michigan, Alabama, Louisville and Oregon

Jaylen Clark, 6-5, 200, SF, Etiwanda (Calif.); Top 5 of TCU, Colorado, Southern California, UCLA and New Mexico

Hunter Dickinson, 7-2, 255, C; Dematha (Md.); Top 7 of Michigan, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Purdue, Providence and Notre Dame

Xavier Foster, 7-0, 225, C; Oskaloosa Senior (Iowa); Top 5 of Virginia Tech, Providence, Baylor, Iowa and Iowa State

D.J. Gordon, 6-6, 170, SF; First Love Christian Academy (Pa.); Top 6 of Pittsburgh, VCU, Minnesota, Providence, Iowa and Penn State

Andre Jackson, 6-6, 195, SF; Albany Academy (N.Y.); Top 5 of UConn, Iowa, Maryland, Syracuse and UCLA

Puff Johnson, 6-7, 185, SF; Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.); Top 7 of North Carolina, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Arizona

Walker Kessler, 7-0, 235, C; Woodward Academy (Ga.); Top 6 of California, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan and Auburn

Caleb Love, 6-3, 175, PG; Christian Brothers College (Mo.); Top 6 of Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisville, Indiana and Missouri

Moses Moody, 6-5, 185, SF; Montverde Academy (Fla.); Top 7 of Michigan, Kansas, Oregon, Southern California, Ohio State, Florida and Arkansas

Shakeel Moore, 6-1, 185, PG; Moravian Prep Academy (N.C.); Top 5 of Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, Ole Miss, North Carolina State and Providence

Matthew Murrell, 6-4, 190, SG; IMG Academy (Fla.); Top 5 of Texas, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Florida and Ole Miss

Jamari Sibley, 6-8, 205, PF; Oak Hill Academy (Va.); Top 10 of South Carolina, Maryland, Syracuse, Florida, Georgetown, Iowa State, Wake Forest, Marquette, Minnesota and Iowa

Jalen Suggs, 6-5, 185, PG; Minnehaha Academy (Minn.); Florida State, Mississippi State, Gonzaga, Minnesota and Marquette

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