Could the Illinois basketball team be one step closer to landing their first commitment for 2023?
The Illini class of 2023 has been an enigma. Zero commitments thus far, but the 2023 group is surrounded by a top 10 class in 2022 and the best class in the nation in 2024. Brad Underwood is doing a great job recruiting, but the 2023 class still has yet to get off of the ground.
That could all be changing sometime in the near future, though. On Monday, 247Spots’ Maryland contributor Colby Giacubeno submitted a Crystal Ball Prediction in favor of the Illini landing power forward, Amani Hansberry.
Hansberry is a 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward from Mount Saint Joseph High School and resides in Washington D.C. He is rated as a
and ranked as the No. 128 player in the class of 2023. He is also the No. 26 power forward in the nation and the No. 4 player coming out of Washington D.C.
It is great to see Illinois getting some momentum for Hansberry. There was another prediction submitted for Hansberry back in March in favor of Penn State. This prediction was by the publisher of the Maryland 247Sports site, Jeff Ermann.
Amani Hansberry would help bolster depth in the Illinois basketball frontcourt.
Hansberry has already been on his five official visits, the last one coming on July 31 to Miami (FL). The other four teams to get an official visit were Penn State, Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Illinois.
The Illini have ties to the east coast as far as recruiting goes. Assistant coach Chester Frazier is from Maryland and has been able to recruit that area pretty well. He is the lead recruiter in the Hansberry sweepstakes.
I also believe there could be decent playing time in Hansberry’s future if he comes to Illinois. We only had four players return from last season’s team, and I think that could be a pattern moving forward.
Illinois’ frontcourt could see turnover after the 2022-23 campaign. Coleman Hawkins is currently listed as a second-round NBA Draft pick. Dain Dainja is more suited for the No. 5 spot. Brandon Lieb hasn’t played much and probably won’t play much moving forward. They would be the three scholarship players who are taller than Hansberry.
That Illinois frontcourt has a big question mark right now. There is plenty of opportunities to play small-ball, but if we want to trot out a bigger lineup, the capabilities just aren’t there. But Hansberry would help tremendously. He will probably be somewhere around 6-foot-9 when entering the college ranks.
Let’s snag Hansberry and continue building the frontcourt. Illinois needs to make sure we have some type of size moving forward. Hansberry fits that bill.