Illinois basketball getting official visit from elite 5-star recruit

It is important to build out talent for the future, and the Illinois basketball team now has a five-star taking an official visit
IUPUI v Illinois
IUPUI v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Illinois basketball has a huge recruit coming to Champaign this week for an official visit.

The Illini have built some great momentum with the class of 2025 thus far. While it is just one commitment, Brad Underwood was able to secure a pledge from talented point guard, Jeremiah Fears.

Fears is a member of the U18 US National Team, and he hasn’t even started his senior year. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 32 player in the class of 2025.

While it looks like Underwood has secured a major piece for the future of the Illinois backcourt, we are now trying to work our way into the recruitment of a big-time frontcourt player.

On Sunday night, it was reported by Travis Branham of 247Sports that Will Riley is set to take three official visits this week. One of those visits is to Illinois.

Riley is a 6-foot-8, 180-pound small forward from The Phelps School in Pennsylvania. He is rated as a five-star recruit and ranked as the No. 9 player in the class of 2025. He is also the No. 2 small forward in the country and the No. 2 player coming out of Pennsylvania.

Honestly, this official visit is a bit of a shock. Illinois offered the forward back in December. He cut his list down to 10 teams in March, and the Illini didn’t make the cut. He cut his list down again to five teams, and the Illini weren’t listed. Now, we are getting an official visit.

Illinois basketball would be adding a big-time frontcourt scorer if we landed Will Riley from the class of 2025

At this point, I love the position Illinois is in for the recruitment of Riley. We weren’t even in the mix less than a month ago, and now we are getting an official visit. That means there was a big shift somewhere.

I imagine there are a couple of things at play when it comes to Riley’s recruitment. Money is obviously going to be a factor in everyone’s recruitment. The second thing is probably the hiring of Orlando Antigua. I know he isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it is no shock that we are now contenders for a great frontcourt talent after he is hired.

When I say great frontcourt talent, I mean great. Riley is incredible. He has put up some big numbers in the Nike EYBL AAU circuit this summer. Riley suits up for Uplay Canada, and he has averaged 21.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. His shooting metrics aren’t terrible either, as Riley is shooting 49.6% from the field, 31.7% from three-point range, and 79.0% from the free throw line.

Illinois getting in the mix for Riley is great to hear. We need more frontcourt help for 2025 and moving forward.

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