Brad Underwood and the Illinois basketball coaching staff have been doing a great job recruiting.
I honestly haven’t seen a level of recruiting for the Illini like what Underwood has been doing since Bill Self was in Champaign in the early 2000s. This is truly something special to watch.
While some of Underwood’s great recruiting ability has already shown through the past couple of years and will continue to show through this upcoming season, he has already secured two players for the class of 2024.
Yes, the class of 2024 won’t join the Illinois program for two more full seasons, but the fact Underwood has been able to land two players for a class that far in the distance is impressive. ZZ Clark, the brother of Skyy Clark, is one of those players. He is going to be a great point guard for the Illini. The other player committed is Morez Johnson. He is the No. 44 player in the class of 2024, and that number could actually improve over time.
With the way Johnson has been playing lately, it wouldn’t shock me to see him rise into the top 25 nationally and, potentially, move to a five-star rating.
Illinois basketball commit Morez Johnson is going to be a double-double machine in college.
It is the summer and that means two things. The first thing is no school. The second thing is that AAU basketball is going to be heating up. Right now, there are tournaments going on all across the country. Johnson is participating in AAU ball with the Meanstreets AAU program, which is located out of Illinois.
Since Johnson is so young, he is suiting up for the Meanstreet’s 16U team. This weekend, the Meanstreets headed down to Louisville for Sessions 3 of the Nike EYBL. It was a fairly successful run for the Meanstreets, as the team went 3-1, only losing the final game to Team Griffin.
Illinois fans are used to a player who can put up 10 points and 10 rebounds in a game. We got to watch that from Kofi Cockburn on a nightly basis in the three years he was in Champaign. Something similar to that is what we could be getting with Johnson as well.
In the four games Johnson played this weekend, he averaged 9.5 points, 10 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and shot 17-of-31 from the field, which is 54.8%. Those are numbers that I would love to see with Illinois. He is a long player who can play great defense, pull down rebounds, and make buckets. That is the type of players Underwood drools over.
There is a consistency with Johnson’s game that I like as well. He doesn’t have a big game and then lay a stinker the next time out. His best game out of the four was 15 points, 14 rebounds, and six blocks on 7-of-9 shooting. His worst game was eight points and eight rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting. The peaks can be high, and the valleys aren’t low. That is the sign of a great player.