Illinois basketball receives Crystal Ball Prediction for 5-star forward

There is a huge fish out there for the Illinois basketball team to catch, and it feels like we are inching closer to reeling him in
Illinois v Wisconsin
Illinois v Wisconsin / John Fisher/GettyImages

Momentum seems to be in favor of the Illinois basketball team landing a five-star recruit.

The offseason for the Illini has been a bit crazy. Thankfully, Brad Underwood has been at the helm leading the way and navigating this program through the mass exodus and the transfer portal.

There are numerous players I am excited to watch over the next year. Landing a great guard like Kylan Boswell out of the transfer portal is going to help greatly. I think big man Morez Johnson Jr.’s impact on the Illini frontcourt as a freshman should be fun to watch as well.

Illinois might not be done adding to this unit, though. There is a chance we bring another player into the mix.

Over the past few weeks, the Illinois basketball team has started to make headway with forward Will Riley. The 6-foot-8, 180-pound small forward didn’t have the Orange and Blue on his radar, but we received an official visit this past week and he added us to his top five just a day ago.

I believe momentum is definitely starting to build in favor of the Illini. On Tuesday, another morsel of momentum dropped, as Alec Busse of 247Sports submitted a Crystal Ball Prediction. He put in a prediction for Illinois to land Riley with a confidence of six out of 10.

Illinois basketball would possibly be loaded in the frontcourt in 2024-25 if Will Riley picks Champaign as his landing spot

I say possibly loaded because as of right now, Riley is a member of the class of 2025. He wouldn’t be coming in until next season. However, the talented forward has discussed the possibility of reclassifying and moving up to the class of 2024.

As it stands right now, Riley is a five-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 15 player in the class of 2025 and the No. 3 small forward in the country. He is also the No. 2 player coming out of Pennsylvania.

The scenario of Riley committing to Illinois and then reclassifying is something that is a legitimate possibility. If this goes down, the Illini frontcourt would be absolutely stacked.

I haven’t laid this out fully, but just looking at who we have on the roster, I think you have a frontcourt that consists of Riley at the No. 4 spot and Johnson at the No. 5 spot. Riley is a five-star recruit and Johnson just won gold for Team USA and is a consensus top-35 player in the class of 2024.

Depth off the bench is going to be insane. Incoming transfer portal players Ben Humrichous and Carey Booth will be options at the No. 3 or No. 4 spot. And then you have Tomislav Ivisic coming in at the No. 5 spot for the Illini.

I am drooling over this possibility. Riley would start from day one without a doubt, and I think Illinois would enter the 2024-25 season with one of the best rosters in all of college basketball.

Next. Projected Illinois basketball lineup with the addition of Kasparas Jakucionis. Projected Illinois basketball lineup with the addition of Kasparas Jakucionis. dark