No. 4 Forward
- Starter: Morez Johnson Jr. (FR)
This is where things get a little sticky for the Illinois basketball program. Jase Butler is joining some serious talent in the class of 2024. Morez Johnson Jr. is one of the top recruits in the country, and you don’t have this type of talent ride the pine in year one. I have Johnson coming in and starting at the No. 4 spot for the Illini.
Johnson is a four-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 35 player in the class of 2024. He dominated during all of the summer tournaments in AAU ball, and his final season in high school should be something special. I imagine when Johnson is done in high school, he is going to be a top 20 recruit, a McDonald’s All-American, and a five-star.
- Backup: Amani Hansberry (SO)
It is tough putting Amani Hansberry as a primary backup at the No. 4 spot, but until Dani Dainja leaves the program, this is where I think Hasberry finds himself. Hansberry is a great player in his own right. He is coming in from the class of 2023 as a four-star recruit.
Hansberry looked good on the Spain trip during the summer. I think he is going to be a monster in the paint for the Illini. By the 2024 season, he should be seeing minutes at both the No. 4 and No. 5 spots on the floor. For now, I have him as the primary backup at the No. 4 spot, though.