As it stands today, the Illinois basketball program has the best recruiting class in 2024.
The Illini rank as the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for the class of 2024. Morez Johnson leads the class as a four-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 44 player in the nation. Illinois also has ZZ Clark coming in. He isn’t rated or ranked by 247Sports, but Clark should check in around the top 100 when the full rankings are released.
While this is a great start to the class of 2024, Brad Underwood and his coaching staff know they need more talent to pledge. That is why they are continuously on the recruiting trail.
On Thursday, Evan Flood of 247Sports reported that there were numerous coaches out to see 2024 point guard, Daniel Freitag. Among the group of coaches mentioned by Flood was Underwood. This is a pretty big recruit for Underwood to be watching, and it looks like Freitag put on a show for the coaches. Flood reported he put up 30 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in the game for his Howard Pulley AAU program.
As mentioned earlier, the full rankings aren’t out for the 2024 class. Freitag isn’t in the small group who have been ranked, but the 6-foot-3, 175-pound point guard out of Minneapolis, Minnesota already has a ton of programs eyeing him.
In the tweet by Flood, he mentions North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Minnesota, and Wake Forest all watched Freitag on the court. Wisconsin, Iowa State, and Minnesota have already offered him a scholarship, and Baylor, Iowa, and Nebraska have joined that group with an offer as well.
Illinois basketball is starting to recruit the point guard position well.
Throughout much of the John Groce era of Illinois basketball, we struggled to bring in a high-level point guard. I believe this was one of the major downfalls of that regime. Having that lack of leadership is why we were always on the bubble, at best.
Underwood bucked that nasty trend quickly, though. He landed players like Trent Fraizer and Ayo Dosunmu who could play multiple roles on the court. Underwood then brought in Andre Curbelo who could handle the ball. He was a top 50 recruit for 2020.
Skyy Clark is going to be the best player with point guard abilities Underwood has snagged thus far, though. He is coming in from the 2022 class and is ranked as the No. 32 player in the nation. Clark has a chance to be up there with the likes of Dee Brown and Deron Williams when his time in Champaign is finished.
And then you get to the 2024 class. ZZ Clark is coming in and is more of a true point guard. If Illinois can land Freitag, he would give the program another player who can handle the ball and also play other guard roles. He could be slotted in the No. 1 through No. 3 guard spots. That is the type of talent he brings to the table.
I love Freitag’s aggression with the basketball. He can get to the hoop and draw contact but still finish at the rim. The energy he brings to the court is exciting too. Freitag is someone who can rally the troops and be the spark we need.
Look for a scholarship offer to come from Illinois fairly soon. Freitag is way too good of a player for the Illini not to be involved. We are one of the best programs in the country. Let’s wield that prestige into being a player for every big-time recruit.