Projected Illinois basketball lineup with five-star Jeremiah Fears

Dec 1, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Compass Prep  guard Jeremiah Fears (2) drives to the
Dec 1, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Compass Prep guard Jeremiah Fears (2) drives to the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

No. 2 Guard

  • Starter: Jeremiah Fears (FR)

It is early in the projected Illinois basketball lineup, but we are already getting to the man of the hour. Jeremiah Fears committed to the Illini for the class of 2025, and when he gets to Champaign, he is going to start right away.

Fears continues to ascend in the national recruiting rankings. In the most updated recruiting rankings, ESPN has moved Fears up to five-star status and the No. 16 player in the class of 2025. A five-star doesn’t come off the bench. Fears is great with the ball in his hands, but he can work well off-ball too. He is great at moving around the court and can get whatever shot he wants. This kid has a special talent, and that is why he is such a big-time commitment for Illinois. I have Fears starting at the No. 2 guard spot.

  • Backup: Jase Butler (SO)

Another player who is coming into the Illinois basketball program in the near future is Jase Butler. He is from the class of 2024 and is joining the team next season. Butler isn’t highly rated, but he is having a great senior season with The Branson School in California.

Bulter is currently rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 95 player in the class of 2024. This recruiting ranking continues to climb too. Butler has impressed a lot of people with his ability to create off the dribble. He is someone to keep an eye on, and in 2025, I believe he is going to play key minutes off the bench for Illinois. I have Butler as the primary backup at the No. 2 guard spot, but he is likely to get minutes at the No. 2 or No. 3 spots for the Illini.