Illinois Basketball: Illini in top 7 for Tafara Gapare; sets commitment date

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - JANUARY 21: The Illinois Fighting Illini logo on a pair of shorts during a college basketball game against the Maryland Terrapins at the XFinity Center on January 21, 2022 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - JANUARY 21: The Illinois Fighting Illini logo on a pair of shorts during a college basketball game against the Maryland Terrapins at the XFinity Center on January 21, 2022 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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It would be nice to add more length to the paint for the Illinois basketball program, and we may be one step closer to accomplishing this goal.

Despite having a great class of 2022 and starting hot for 2024, the Illini have yet to pick up a commitment for the class of 2023. This drought is a bit surprising, but I expect there will be a player or two pledge to the Orange and Blue over the next few months.

One option could be big man, Tafara Gapare. He is a 6-foot-10, 185-pound power forward from South Kent High School and resides in Kent, Connecticut. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 46 player in the class of 2023. Gapare is also the No. 11 power forward in the nation and the No. 2 player coming out of Connecticut.

On Friday, Gapare decided to narrow the scope of his recruitment. He cut his list down to just seven teams and kept DePaul, Virginia Tech, UConn, Maryland, Overtime Elite, NBL, and Illinois alive for his commitment.


Gapare also decided to nail down a decision date. It looks like he will be committing to a program on Monday, June 6 at 5:00 p.m. CT.

What are the chances Illinois basketball lands Tafara Gapare for 2023?

As of right now, the chances aren’t looking great. While the Illini are in the top seven for Gapare, it looks like the analysts think he is heading elsewhere.

There are two Crystal Ball Predictions in for Gapare, and both predictions have him heading to DePaul. One of the predictions is a nine out of 10 and the other one is an eight out of 10. That usually means they are certain he is heading where they say he is heading.

But Illinois is technically still alive for Gapare’s commitment. They are in his top seven, so you never know if we can sneak in there and steal a big-time big man. Brad Underwood and his coaching staff have some great pull, so it wouldn’t shock me by any means.

Gapare would be the future in the paint for the Illini, if he does choose Champaign as his destination. I could see him playing the No. 4 spot. When I watch him on the court, he screams true power forward with physical gifts most dream of having.

I would love a player like Gapare on the Illinois basketball team. It does seem like we are going to have to pull off a Hail Mary, though. Hopefully, he sees that Illinois is the place to be, and we can have our first 2023 commitment.

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