Just when you thought the Illinois basketball team wasn’t going to land a top recruit for 2023, a new player emerged as a target.
In the college game today, there are players committing to programs and backing away from their pledge on what seems like a daily basis. It is just part of recruiting, and if you don’t adapt, then you will get left behind. The Illini coaching staff has done a great job adapting.
While the class of 2023 hasn’t gotten off the ground just yet, the potential for Illinois to put together a solid group in 2023 is still there. Amani Hansberry is the biggest target right now, but Illinois seems to be becoming a bigger player in the Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn sweepstakes as well.
Gibbs-Lawhorn is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound combo guard from Montverde Academy and resides in Montverde, Florida. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 47 player in the class of 2023. He is also the No. 11 combo guard in the nation and the No. 5 player coming out of Florida.
On Wednesday, Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers reported that Gibbs-Lawhorn is taking an official visit to Memphis on September 23. He also mentioned in the tweet that a handful of programs were in the hunt for the talented top 50 recruit. One of the teams Weingarten mentioned was Illinois.
Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn would be a great starting piece for the Illinois basketball class of 2023.
It is great that Illinois is already considered one of the teams that are in the hunt for Gibbs-Lawhorn. This kid has been out of the recruiting game for quite some time. He had committed to Purdue back in December 2021. Since then, his commitment seemed strong. But just a few weeks ago, Gibbs-Lawhorn decided to back away from that commitment.
If Gibbs-Lawhorn comes out of the Memphis official visit without a commitment, then I think Illinois has a legit shot to land this kid. It would be an insane addition to a 2023 class that needs a boost.
Gibbs-Lawhorn would be joining an Illinois team that is poised for a national title run. In year one, he would play multiple positions on the court for the Orange and Blue. I could see him spelling minutes for Skyy Clark at the point guard spot. He could also get minutes at the No. 2 or No. 3 spots on the floor. Illinois wants more guard talent, and Gibbs-Lawhorn fits that bill.
There is also a chance that Clark isn’t with the Illini next season due to him being a one-and-done. That means Illinois would need a point guard for the 2023-24 campaign and beyond. So, there is a legit shot Gibbs-Lawhorn could come in and get the starting job at the No. 1 guard spot.
Illinois needs a few players for the class of 2023. Gibbs-Lawhorn would be a huge first commitment. I would love nothing more than to steal a great player from another Big Ten program.