Illinois basketball looking to round out 2024 roster with huge guard addition

The Illinois basketball team isn't done adding players for 2024, as the coaching staff is eyeing a talented European guard
Illinois v Wisconsin
Illinois v Wisconsin / John Fisher/GettyImages

The Illinois basketball team is looking to round out the roster before the 2024-25 season, and there is one big target in mind.

Brad Underwood and the Illini coaching staff have done a great job putting a talented team together. We only have two holdovers from the Elite 8 team just months ago, and we lost one of our top assistant coaches this offseason.

Despite all of that chaos, there has been a full-steam-ahead mentality. Illinois brought in some crucial transfer portal talent to mix in with one of the best freshmen in the country coming into the program.

Underwood isn’t done adding, though. Over the past few days, the rumblings about potentially landing guard Kasparas Jakucionis have gotten louder. He is a 6-foot-5, 200-pound true combo guard from Lithuania.

According to 247Sports, Illinois is currently pursuing the talented guard. This would be a huge addition to the program, and one that would help the starting lineup from day one.

Kasparas Jakucionis would fit seamlessly into the Illinois basketball starting lineup

One of the many great things about targeting Jakucionis is that he is an instant-impact player. We don’t have to develop him in hopes of making an impact down the road. I think this kid can come into the program and hit the ground running.

Jakucionis is everything you want in a guard. He is listed as a shooting guard, but he is way more talented than just a shooting guard. Jakucionis has great handles and can wiggle through the lane to the hoop. He is a specialist at the pick-and-roll. I love the fact he can step out and shoot from three-point range as well.

Another underrated aspect of Jakucionis’ game is his size. He isn’t a thin player who needs a bunch of training. Jakucionis is built well and can take hits. He is college ready and a very exciting prospect.

Jakucionis just got done with the Addidas Next Generation Tournament. He suited up for the U18 FC Barcelona club and did pretty well. In seven games, Jakucionis averaged 17.9 points, 9.0 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game. While he didn’t shoot well from three-point range, just 27.3%, he is a knockdown free throw shooter, hitting 94.2% from the charity stripe.

I love the idea of having a backcourt of Kylan Boswell and Jakucionis. I think these two would work well together. Honestly, either player could play the No. 1 or No. 2 spot. They both have great point guard and shooting guard ability.

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