Illinois basketball makes top 12 for 2025 3-star recruit

Frontcourt depth could be an issue for the Illinois basketball team in the future, but landing this three-star recruit would help fix that issue.
Illinois v Michigan
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Illinois basketball is looking to add some size for the future, and we are one step closer to achieving that goal.

So far, the Illini coaching staff has done a great job landing talent. Morez Johnson Jr. leads a top 20 class of 2024 for the Orange and Blue. He is a top 30 recruit and is joined by two top 120 players in Jase Butler and Jason Jakstys.

Illinois has already landed a player for the class of 2025 as well. Jeremiah Fears committed to the Illini back in January, and he is a top-50 recruit and one of the best point guards in the country. Illinois needs some frontcourt help to go along with a budding backcourt, so that is why we are targeting EJ Walker.

Walker is a 6-foot-8, 230-pound power forward from Lloyd High School in Kentucky. He is rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 156 player in the class of 2025. He is also the No. 30 power forward in the country and the No. 2 player coming out of Kentucky.

A ton of teams are after Walker. He has roughly 28 scholarship offers on the table right now, and most are from big-time programs like Illinois, South Carolina, Purdue, etc. On Friday, Walker decided to narrow down the scope of his recruitment, though.

Walker took to social media to announce that he has decided to cut his list down to just 12 programs. The 12 teams to make his initial cut include Purdue, South Carolina, Dayton, Iowa, Minnesota, Xavier, West Virginia, Louisville, Cal, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Frontcourt depth should be a recruiting priority for the Illinois basketball program

Walker has a familiar game. He reminds me of a slightly smaller Coleman Hawkins. He can do it all. Walker has a great feel with his shot from anywhere on the court. He has the ability to distribute the basketball as well. He will be tough to guard at the next level.

After this season, Illinois is going to need more depth too. Adding players like Walker is important for the program as we move into a new roster in 2024-25. The Illini are set to lose six players after this season with four of those players measuring at least 6-foot-6.

Illinois is going to lose 6-foot-9 Dain Dainja and 6-foot-7 Luke Goode after the following season. Walker would join the Illini in 2025, and the only player on the roster right now who would measure over 6-foot-6 is Amani Hansberry at 6-foot-8. Of course, we have Johnson and Jakstys coming in, and they are both over 6-foot-8.

So, in 2025, Illinois’ frontcourt will consist of Hansberry, Johnson, and Jakstys. More depth is definitely needed, and that is where Walker comes into play. We need someone who can help spell minutes in year one, and that is what I see this kid being for the Illini. By year two, he should be a starter. I like what Walker brings to the table.

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