Illinois basketball needs a big man for the future, and they have started targeting a recruit who could fill that void.
Heading into the upcoming 2022-23 campaign, I would say the Illini weakness is probably at the No. 5 spot. We aren’t quite sure what the best lineup will be for Illinois, but there are a few options. My personal favorite is having Coleman Hawkins start at the No. 5. There is also the possibility of having Dain Dainja start in this spot.
But, as of right now, we don’t have a solid answer on the best solution for the No. 5 spot. Illinois is now eyeing a potential option for the center role, and he is one of the best players left in the class of 2023.
On Tuesday, Andrew Slater of Pro Insight announced that Illinois had come in with an offer to Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso. This is a huge offer from the Orange and Blue and one that could pay serious dividends.
Onyenso is a 6-foot-11, 195-pound center from Putnam Science Academy and resides in Putnam, Connecticut. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 22 player in the class of 2023. He is also the No. 4 center in the nation and the best player coming out of Connecticut.
Illinois basketball would be getting a great shot blocker in Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso.
Onyenso continues to rack up the offers. In addition to Illinois coming in with an offer on Tuesday, he also has roughly 14 other scholarships on the table right now. There is no doubt a ton of teams see the potential with this kid.
I love watching Onyenso play the game of basketball. He is a defensive stopper much like Nnanna Egwu was for Illinois nearly a decade ago. That is who Onyenso reminds me of right now.
The shooting ability of Onyenso is nice to see. He has decent touch in and around the paint, and this makes him a huge threat offensively.
Onyenso is a great on-ball defender as well. He can shut down his man with his tremendous length. I do think there is some work to be done with his off-ball defending, but Illinois’ coaching staff would be able to help Onyenso with that from day one.
I think the sky is the limit with Onyenso. I see him developing into a player like Bam Adebayo for the Miami Heat. That is how good this kid could end up being. There is so much talent there.