Illinois basketball has been pretty active in the class of 2022, and some of the big names the Illini are eyeing are on the move in the latest Rivals 150 rankings.
The first name Illinois seems to have some traction with in the new Rivals 150 is AJ Casey. The former Tinley Park star transferred to Chicago Public League powerhouse Whitney Young this offseason. Casey, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound power forward, was ranked as the No. 20 player in the class of 2022 before the new Rivals 150 rankings, and he didn’t move a single spot in the update.
Nothing concrete has happened in the Casey recruitment. He still has offers coming in from all over the country. The Illini were able to complete a Zoom call with the talented forward within the last month, though. I believe, along with a handful of blue bloods, that Illinois will be in the running down the stretch for Casey.
Isaac Traudt is another name that is squarely on Brad Underwood’s radar. The 6-foot-9, 200-pound power forward was originally ranked the No. 119 player for 2022, but Rivals bumped him up 58 spots in the new Rivals 150 to the No. 61 player in his class.
Illinois came in with an offer to Traudt within the last few months and even had a Zoom call the talented big man back a couple of weeks ago. The scholarship offers keep piling up for Traudt, so don’t be surprised if this recruitment lasts into 2021.
We continue down the list to find Isaac McKneely. The 6-foot-4, 175-pound shooting guard had checked in at the No. 78 spot in the Rivals 150 before Thursday, but it looks like he fell 16 places to No. 94 in the updated rankings.
McKneely has a smooth feel to his game that will be conducive to winning at the next level. Illinois sees that in this kid too. The Illini offered McKneely back in early July and has been contacting him frequently. It was reported in mid-August that Illinois was one of the teams that were talking with the guard nearly every day.
The last player on the Rivals 150 I want to mention is Jaden Schutt. At 6-foot-5, 180-pounds, Schutt has the size to compete at the next level, but he will need to get a little stronger to go up against some of the big boys in the Big Ten.
Schutt was listed as the No. 145 player in the class of 2022 but was dropped by Rivals two spots to No. 147 in the recent Rivals 150. You better believe Illinois is going to continue recruiting this kid hard, though. Underwood has already had a Zoom meeting with him and will continue making him a priority.
The names above are just some of the top recruits I believe Illinois has a strong shot at for 2022. There are more names littered through the Rivals 150 who the Illini are also after, but the relationships are still building. The Fighting Illini are poised to have a great class of 2022.