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).

Listen to this article
underwood6

Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Brad Underwood press conference at Ubben in Champaign on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette Brad Underwood press conference at Ubben in Champaign on Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

Questions? Click here to reach our beat writer

Illinois basketball recruiting took on a different look when Brad Underwood was hired in March 2017. Think an extremely wide net. Here’s a breakdown of every 2020, 2021 and 2022 recruit with an Illini offer, courtesy beat writer SCOTT RICHEY:

CLASS OF 2020

PLAYER HT WT POS. SCHOOL 

Jabri Abdur-Rahim 6-6 180 SF Blair Academy (N.J.)

Richey's comment: Virginia, Michigan and Villanova pursuing son of NBA All-Star, Shareef, the hardest.

Posh Alexander 6-0 170 PG Our Saviour Lutheran (N.Y.)

Richey's comment: Broken arm kept Alexander from teaming up with Illini freshman Bernard Kouma last season.

Keon Ambrose-Hylton 6-8 200 PF

Richey's comment: Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio) Canadian forward averaged 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds this spring on Nike EYBL circuit.

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

Richey's comment: Big man put up a double-double (16.5 ppg and 11 rpg) in return to St. Louis in 2018-19.

Jaemyn Brakefield 6-8 215 PF Huntington Prep (W.Va.)

Richey's comment: Athletic, four-star forward had four 20-point games for Phenom U. in EYBL action.

Jalen Bridges 6-7 180 SF Scotland Campus Prep (Pa.)

Richey's comment: Recruitment blew up for West Virginia native with eight high-major offers since April.

Nimari Burnett 6-4 180 SG Prolific Prep (Calif.)

Richey's comment: Chicago native won gold with Team USA in the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in Mongolia in June.

Isaiah Cottrell 6-9 215 PF Bishop Gorman (Nev.)

Richey's comment: Recent West Virginia commit averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 blocks as a junior.

Matt Cross 6-8 225 PF Brewster Academy (N.H.)

Richey's comment: Cross’ EYBL team struggled, but he was unstoppable averaging 23.4 points and 9.5 rebounds.

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

Richey's comment: Puerto Rican point guard led Crusaders to their record eighth Class AA title in March.

Dain Dainja 6-9 260 PF Park Center (Minn.)

Richey's comment: Top 50 big man out of Minneapolis committed to Scott Drew and Baylor on Saturday.

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

Richey's comment: Davis vaulted up recruiting rankings after big spring on EYBL circuit (20.3 ppg).

Hassan Diarra 6-2 180 PG Putnam Sciene Academy (Conn.)

Richey's comment: Tough guard averaged 12 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists for PSA Cardinals in EYBL.

Hunter Dickinson 7-2 255 C DeMatha Catholic (Md.)

Richey's comment: Four-star 7-footer earned latest scholarship offer from North Carolina on Monday.

Cam’Ron Fletcher 6-6 195 SF Vashon (Mo.)

Richey's comment: Two-way wing put up 18 points per game in leading Vashon to MSHSAA Class 3 state title.

Xavier Foster 7-0 225 C Oskaloosa (Iowa)

Richey's comment: Foster helped lead Oskaloosa to IHSAA Class 3A title, averaging a double-double at state.

D.J. Gordon 6-6 170 SF First Love Christian Academy (Pa.)

Richey's comment: Athletic wing shot 37.9 percent from three-point range in first spring on EYBL circuit.

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

Richey's comment: Hawkins has recent visits to Rutgers and Marquette and holds seven total high-major offers.

Andre Jackson 6-6 195 SF Albany Academy for Boys (N.Y.)

Richey's comment: Jackson averaged a double-double (17.4 ppg, 10 rpg) for Federation Class A state champs.

Isaiah Jackson 6-9 190 PF Waterford Mott (Mich.)

Richey's comment: Five-star forward is returning home after playing at SPIRE Academy (Ohio) last year.

Zeb Jackson 6-3 170 SG Montverde Academy (Fla.)

Richey's comment: Michigan commit is still all in on Wolverines after Juwan Howard hired as new coach.

Puff Johnson 6-7 185 SF Moon Area (Pa.)

Richey's comment: Younger brother of 2019 lottery pick Cam Johnson averaged 22.1 points as a junior.

Jalen Johnson 6-8 200 SF Nicolet (Wis.)

Richey's comment: Top recruit in Wisconsin down to Duke, Kentucky, Arizona and hometown Badgers in top four.

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

Richey's comment: Legit shot blocker swatted 4.1 per game at Trinity and 4.5 per game for Mac Irvin Fire.

Luke Kasubke 6-6 185 SG Chaminade (Mo.)

Richey's comment: Shooter put up 22.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists for Red Devils in 2018-19.

Walker Kessler 7-0 235 C Woodward Academy (Ga.)

Richey's comment: Kessler told 247Sports on Sunday his top five was Michigan, Gonzaga, Auburn, Duke and UNC.

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

Richey's comment: Standout effort at NBAPA Top 100 camp yielded nine new offers this month alone.

Caleb Love 6-3 180 PG Christian Brothers College Prep (Mo.)

Richey's comment: Love has shown ability as a scorer for CBC (19.4 ppg) and for Brad Beal Elite (16.1 ppg).

Karime Mané 6-5 190 PG Vanier College (Quebec)

Richey's comment: April breakout on UAA circuit (14.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg) behind Mané’s boost in recruitment

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

Richey's comment: Son of NBA All-Star, Jamal Sr., averaged 15.8 points for PSA Cardinals on EYBL circuit.

Bayron Matos-Garcia 6-8 240 C Hamilton Heights Christian (Tenn.)

Richey's comment: Three-star center from Dominican Republic committed to Mississippi State on Oct. 27, 2018.

Adam Miller 6-3 175 SG Morgan Park

Richey's comment: N-G First Team All-State pick averaged 28.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists as junior.

Moses Moody 6-6 185 SG Montverde Academy (Fla.)

Richey's comment: Second season in EYBL saw Arkansas native put up team best 17.7 ppg for Brad Beal Elite.

Shakeel Moore 6-1 185 PG Piedmont Classical (N.C.)

Richey's comment: Recent Illini offer broke his ankle in January but was back on court by late April.

Matthew Murrell 6-4 190 SG IMG Academy (Fla.)

Richey's comment: Tennessee native transferring to IMG for senior season from Whitehaven in Memphis suburbs.

Daishen Nix 6-5 205 PG Trinity International (Nev.)

Richey's comment: Alaskan-born guard is highest ranked (No. 10 by 247Sports) of Illini’s point guard targets.

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

Richey's comment: Nigerian big man averaged 10.2 points and 6.3 rebounds on loaded Roselle Catholic team.

Addison Patterson 6-6 200 SG Bella Vista Prep (Ariz.)

Richey's comment: Reclassification to the 2019 class is still on the table for the consensus four-star wing.

KK Robinson 6-0 175 PG Bryant (Ark.)

Richey's comment: Robinson’s EYBL success (17.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.7 apg) led to run of high-major offers.

Shon Robinson 6-10 210 PF EDUPRIZE Schools (Ariz.)

Richey's comment: Chicago native committed to Ole Miss on April 1 over more than two dozen other offers.

Samson Ruzhentsev 6-7 210 SG Hamilton Heights Christian (Tenn.)

Richey's comment: Russian wing was coming on for MOKAN Elite before wrist injury sidelined him in May.

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

Richey's comment: Three-star forward has three other high-major offers in Miami, Oklahoma State and TCU.

Jamari Sibley 6-9 180 PF Nicolet (Wis.)

Richey's comment: Sibley announced his top 10 in May and included three Big Ten programs, but not the Illini.

Richie Springs 6-9 217 PF MacDuffie School (Mass.)

Richey's comment: Strong finish to EYBL regular season saw Springs average 16.8 points in final four games.

DJ Steward 6-3 165 SG Whitney Young

Richey's comment: Four-star guard averaged 24.3 points for the Dolphins and 24.1 this spring in EYBL play.

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

Richey's comment: Australian guard helped Sacred Heart (Ala.) win the 2018-19 Class 2A state championship.

Julian Strawther 6-7 210 SF Liberty (Nev.)

Richey's comment: Four-star Gonzaga commit averaged 14.5 points and 6.4 rebounds in second spring in EYBL.

Jalen Suggs 6-5 185 PG Minnehaha Academy (Minn.)

Richey's comment: Elite two-sport athlete won football and basketball state titles during junior season.

Corey Walker Jr. 6-7 205 SF Bishop John J. Snyder (Fla.)

Richey's comment: Five-star wing committed to Tennessee in March after putting up 21 ppg as a junior.

Kyree Walker 6-5 205 SF Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.)

Richey's comment: Walker put up crazy numbers (30.1 ppg, 11 rpg, 5.3 apg, 3.1 spg) at Hillcrest in 2018-19.

Marcus Watson Jr. 6-0 165 PG Morgan Park

Richey's comment: Mac Irvin Fire guard finished EYBL regular season as the assists leader at 9.5 per game.

Jaylin Williams 6-9 230 C Northside (Ark.)

Richey's comment: Eight double-doubles in 13 EYBL games this spring earned Williams four high-major offers.

CLASS OF 2021

PLAYER HT WT POS. SCHOOL 

Patrick Baldwin Jr. 6-10 200 SF Hamilton (Wis.)

Richey's comment: The No. 1 player in the class is currently a 100 percent crystal ball prediction for Duke.

Isaiah Barnes 6-6 160 SG Oak Park-River Forest

Richey's comment: Performance at Riverside-Brookfield Shootout last weekend got in-state wing his offer.

Charles Bediako 6-11 215 PF Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio)

Richey's comment: Ontario native represented Team Canada in last year’s FIBA U17 World Cup in Argentina.

Kendall Brown 6-7 195 SF East Ridge (Minn.)

Richey's comment: Top 25 wing was the leading scorer (17.5 ppg) for East Ridge’s state semifinal team.

Ahamad Bynum 6-1 175 SG

Richey's comment: Simeon Wolverines’ guard just picked up his third high-major offer Tuesday — from Missouri.

Kennedy Chandler 6-1 160 PG Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.)

Richey's comment: Four-star point guard averaged 14 points and 5.5 assists for MOKAN Elite in EYBL action.

Max Christie 6-6 165 SG Rolling Meadows

Richey's comment: Ranked No. 9, Christie is the top Illinois prospect since Jahlil Okafor (No. 1 in 2014).

Terrence Clarke 6-7 185 SG Brewster Academy (N.H.)

Richey's comment: The five-star wing and Boston native hasn’t eliminated reclassifying to 2020 as an option.

Moussa Diabaté 6-9 190 PF DME Academy (Fla.)

Richey's comment: French big man was teammates with Illini sophomore Samba Kane in 2017-18 at Florida Prep.

Gerald Doakes 6-2 180 PG ProVision Academy (Texas)

Richey's comment: Arkansas native now on his third school has reclassified backward into 2021 class.

Michael Foster Jr. 6-9 220 PF Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.)

Richey's comment: Five-star forward transferred from Milwaukee (Wis.) Washington to Hillcrest this summer.

AJ Griffin 6-7 200 SF Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.)

Richey's comment: Younger brother of UI guard Alan Griffin won gold with the U16 national team this month.

Jaden Hardy 6-4 185 SG Coronado (Nev.)

Richey's comment: Top five prospect averaged 20.6 points and shot 38 percent from 3 for Vegas Elite in EYBL.

Chet Holmgren 7-0 190 C Minnehaha Academy (Minn.)

Richey's comment: Holmgren averaged 5.8 blocks on the UAA circuit with double-digit blocks in three games.

Bryce Hopkins 6-7 220 SF Fenwick

Richey's comment: In-state wing saw his recruitment jump a level last week with four new high-major offers.

Harrison Ingram 6-7 200 SF St. Mark’s School (Texas)

Richey's comment: Four-star wing averaged 18.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists in sophomore season.

Jonathan Kuminga 6-8 210 SF Our Savior New American (N.Y.)

Richey's comment: Top 15 scorer in the EYBL this spring (20.8 ppg) has 18 high-major offers ... so far.

Khristian Lander 6-2 165 PG Evansville Reitz (Ind.)

Richey's comment: Five-star, top 15 prospect averaged 22 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists as a sophomore.

Louis Lesmond 6-6 175 SF Niles Notre Dame

Richey's comment: Now “in-state” recruit played for France in 2018 FIBA U16 European Championship.

Manny Obaseki 6-3 175 SG Allen (Texas)

Richey's comment: Four-star guard capped UAA play in May with 34-point game to push average to 15.6 ppg.

Alexis Reyes 6-5 180 SG Cushing Academy (Mass.)

Richey's comment: Combo guard out of Boston has other offers from St. John’s, Rhode Island and UMass.

Deiman Reyes 6-8 230 C Veritas Prep (Calif.)

Richey's comment: Big man out of Barranquilla, Colombia, played in 2017 FIBA South American U17 Championship.

Nate Santos 6-8 200 PF

Richey's comment: The Loomis Chaffee School (Conn.) Geneva native received offers from Illinois, TCU and Creighton prior to his transfer.

Brandon Weston 6-4 170 SG Morgan Park

Richey's comment: Mac Irvin Fire wing put up 13.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for stacked EYBL squad.

CLASS OF 2022

PLAYER HT WT POS. SCHOOL 

Prince Aligbe 6-5 185 SF Minnehaha Academy (Minn.)

Richey's comment: Aligbe played for Minnehaha Academy as an eighth-grader and has now won two state titles.

AJ Casey 6-8 185 PF Tinley Park

Richey's comment: Former Simeon standout holds a trio of offers so far in Illinois, DePaul and Tulane.

Randi Ovalle 6-7 200 PF San Gabriel Academy (Calif.)

Richey's comment: Dominican Republic native latest offers also include Mississippi State and Washington State.

Rodney Rice 6-3 175 PG Bullis School (Md.)

Richey's comment: Rice also has reported offers from Georgetown, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech and Penn State.

Tre White 6-5 190 SG Milwaukee Washington (Wis.)

Richey's comment: Texas native ended his recruitment early with a commitment to Bill Self and Kansas on Sunday.

News-Gazette