On many occasions, I have stated how big the class of 2023 is for the Illinois basketball program.
For the time being, the Illini have a solid roster that can win a national title. But, when 2023 rolls around, this team is going to go through some changes.
Being able to replace great players with talented recruits is extremely important for the future of the team. On Wednesday, some of the top targets for the Illini had their recruiting ranking updated by 247Sports.
Here is where some of the Illinois basketball recruiting targets land in the 247Sports top 150.
1. Matas Buzelis
I would argue the highest-rated prime target for the Illini right now is Matas Buzelis. A Mac Irvin Fire AAU player, Buzelis has shot up the recruiting rankings with his great size and athletic ability.
Buzelis was previously ranked as the No. 43 player in the class of 2023, but 247Sports moved him up 39 spots to No. 4. That is one of the biggest leaps I have seen a player make in quite some time.
Every team in the country is after Buzelis, but only Florida State and Wake Forest have secured official visits. That means there are three official visits left on the board.
I am still keeping hope that Illinois ends up with one of the final three official visits. Buzelis is an in-state kid despite playing for Brewster Academy. The connection with the Mac Irvin Fire will hopefully provide some bump for us as well.
The Illini coaching staff clearly thinks they still have a chance. Just in the last few weeks, Brad Underwood and his staff went and visited Buzelis. Putting in resources like that means the Illini could end up being in the running for the talented forward.