Projected Illinois basketball lineup with the addition of Kylan Boswell

It has been a great offseason for the Illinois basketball team, as we have now plucked Kylan Boswell out of the transfer portal.
Duquesne v Illinois
Duquesne v Illinois / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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No. 5 Forward/Center

Starter: Morez Johnson Jr. (FR)

I have said this a million times, and I will continue to say it. Brad Underwood doesn’t bring in top-50 recruits and has them ride the pine. He has always started this caliber of player, and that will continue with Morez Johnson Jr.

Morez was an incredible player at the high school level. He averaged 17.2 points, 14.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.4 blocks, and 2.5 steals per game. There is a reason this kid was the Illinois Mr. Basketball and the Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year. He is extremely talented. I have Morez starting the No. 5 spot for the Illini as a freshman.

Backup: Jason Jakstys (FR)

As of right now, I have incoming freshman Jason Jakstys as the primary backup at the No. 5 spot. I don’t think Jakstys is ready for this role, so I imagine someone like Amani Hansberry would be in the rotation for the No. 4 and No. 5 spots.

Jakstys is a player who will help the Illini in future seasons. He has nice height at 6-foot-10, but he is someone who needs more development. It wouldn’t shock me to see him take a redshirt next season.

Backup: Transfer Portal

Illinois needs to go into the transfer portal and use the second scholarship on another big man. This player doesn’t have to be a traditional big man, but he needs to have some size and athletic ability. There are plenty of options out there, but this is arguably the top priority right now.

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