The women’s Illinois basketball program has a five-star for the class of 2024.
Shauna Green has built the Illini much quicker than anyone would have imagined. I don’t want to sugarcoat things. This program was a dumpster fire. I figured it would take at least three or four years for Illinois to become competitive in the Big Ten.
That wasn’t the case at all, though. Illinois would go on to win 21 regular season games, which is the most in a single season in the past couple of decades. The Illini would also win a game in the Big Ten Tournament, and we would advance to the NCAA tournament.
With success on the basketball court comes success off of the court. Illinois added two freshmen for the class of 2023, one of whom averaged an insane 38.4 points per game her senior year. The 2024 class looks to be even better than the 2023 class.
In the updated Premier Basketball rankings, published by ESPN, Illinois’ lone commit for the class of 2024 moved up. Just a month ago, Berry Wallace was a four-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 33 player in the country. Now the future Illinois star has moved into five-star status and is the No. 20 player in the class of 2024.
Illinois basketball could be at the top of the Big Ten for years to come
Green was hired to be the next leader of the Illinois basketball team in March 2022. That means there was a very short time for her to actually recruit the class of 2023, and she was able to bring in a couple of solid players.
The 2024 class is Green’s first real recruiting class. She has had a chance to build strong relationships and, with that, a five-star committed to the program. If Green can do this type of work in about a year and a half, just imagine what this program is going to be in five years.
Landing a talented class of 2024 will also be important for the future. Green is losing a ton of talent after this upcoming season. Six crucial players are departing, led by Makira Cook, Genesis Bryant, and Kendall Bostic.
Snagging a big-time wing like Wallace will do wonders for the team. She will be able to start from day one, especially since Illinois is losing so many players. I see her starting at the No. 3 or No. 4 spot in 2024 and being in that role as long as she is in Champaign. The future is bright for this program.