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).

Ty Rodgers
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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:

Wednesday brought good news for Illinois basketball with the commitment and signing of four-star wing Ty Rodgers. The best part? Since he's now an in-state recruit after transferring from Grand Blanc (Mich.) to Thornton, there will be plenty of opportunities to see him play this season.

Let's plan a few road trips:

Nov. 23

You can catch Rodgers in his Thornton debut at the Decatur Turkey Tourney, with the Wildcats taking on Eisenhower in the first game of the tournament. Odds are you'll be able to check them out in the winner's bracket on Nov. 26-27, too.

Dec. 4

This one's a two-fer on future Illini. Thornton facing St. Rita in the Chicago Elite Classic means Rodgers will square off against Class of 2024 commit Morez Johnson Jr. The Mustangs have three other recruiting targets on the roster, too, in 2024 center James Brown, 2024 point guard Jaedin Reyna and 2025 guard Melvin Bell.

Dec. 27-30

The Big Dipper at Rich South is one of the top holiday tournaments in the state of Illinois. No schedule yet for the event, but it regularly draws some of the state's best teams. Make the trip to Richton Park. It'll be worth it.

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

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