5. Asa Thomas (4-star – #127 in 2023)
The final player I want to mention is another talented in-state recruit. Asa Thomas is someone who could be a great asset to a championship-caliber Illini program.
Thomas is a 6-foot-7, 185-pound small forward from Lake Forest High School and resides in Lake Forest, Illinois. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 127 player in the class of 2023. He is also the No. 27 small forward in the nation and the No. 3 player coming out of the state of Illinois.
As of right now, Thomas has roughly nine scholarship offers, all of which are from power-five programs. I think this race will come down to the wire between a few teams.
The first big competition to Illinois is Minnesota. It seems that Thomas likes the Gophers and visited the program last year. I think Wisconsin is a scary team here too. There isn’t much on the Badgers, but they always seem to pluck kids like Thomas away from the state of Illinois.
In the end, Illinois should be right in the mix. Thomas could end up being a big piece to the puzzle. I love his shooting ability and all-around ball skills. Hopefully, the Illini can close the deal.