Illinois Basketball: Mac Etienne continues to be top of mind for Illini

It will be interesting to see how the Illinois basketball recruiting classes shake out over the next two years.

The class of 2020 seems to be pretty much wrapped up with signings from Adam Miller, Andre Curbelo and Coleman Hawkins. These three will form a strong base for the future.

Illinois’ class of 2021 is still forming, though. Luke Goode is the first player who has committed to the Orange and Blue. The 6-foot-5, top 100, wing player should be a great fit for the program. There is still a multitude of recruits left for the Illini to snag, but one player is sticking out as a top priority for the program.

Micawber “Mac” Etienne is someone who Illinois needs on the team come 2021. The 6-foot-10 big man out of Connecticut is a top 60 recruit for the class of 2021. He is being hounded by a number of programs but, on Wednesday, the Illini had a chance to try to pull closer with Etienne.

According to Jake Weingarten of, Etienne had a virtual meeting with the Illinois coaching staff. It is exciting for the Illini to get a meeting with the center because there has been a strong connection there for quite some time. Back in March, he took an official visit to Champaign, which ended up being his most recent in-person visit. Here is what he had to say about the official visit at the time.

“The Illinois visit, I really liked that it is a big school with a great campus,” said Etienne. “They played a big game against Iowa when I was there. You could see how they utilize their big men, and how the energy of their big men feeds the team. Also, I could see how it is a family environment. When I was in the locker room, they were throwing water on the coaches and laughing, it was a lot of fun.”

Illinois continues to be a strong presence in the recruitment of Etienne. That is important because the Illini don’t have a big man secured for the 2021-22 season. Having someone like Etienne come in would help the program tremendously.

An added bonus for Illinois would be the possibility of Etienne reclassifying too. Weingarten is also reporting that the big man is 50-50 on reclassifying to the class of 2020. That means we could have a replacement for Kofi Cockburn if he decides to stay in the NBA Draft. That would make a commitment from Etienne even bigger.

I love what we are doing with the Etienne recruitment. Illinois isn’t letting up. We know that he is our No. 1 priority moving forward. Let’s snag him and continue building.