Illinois basketball is looking to dip back into the state of Indiana when it comes to recruiting.
The Illini never used to have a presence in the state of Indiana. Before Brad Underwood, you could count on one hand the number of players from the Hoosier State. I think Jalen Coleman-Lands is the only one I remember.
Underwood has put more of a focus on recruiting Indiana kids. While his first few recruiting classes didn’t land Indiana players, he was able to snag his first when Luke Goode, out of Fort Wayne, pledged in 2021.
Illinois then parlayed that commitment into a big get of Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn from the 2023 class. He is out of Lafayette, Indiana.
Now Illinois is pursuing another state of Indiana kid. On Saturday night, Recruits Zone posted on social media that Steven Reynolds III was taking an unofficial visit to Champaign. He will also be in attendance for the Nebraska contest, according to the post.
Reynolds is a 6-foot-5, 170-pound shooting guard from Washington High School in South Bend, Indiana. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 38 player in the class of 2026. He is also the No. 11 shooting guard in the country and the best player coming out of Indiana.
The backcourt seems to be a focus in future recruiting classes for the Illinois basketball team
Landing Reynolds would be huge for the Illini. A top-40 recruit out of a state that has a big history of basketball would be impressive.
Illinois adding someone like Reynolds would also be big because of who he could pair with in the Illinois backcourt.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Illini were already able to land 2025 point guard Jeremiah Fears. He is a four-star point guard who ranks inside the top 50 in his class. Fears would be a sophomore when the 2026 season rolls around, and a one-two punch of him and Reynolds would do wonders for the Orange and Blue.
Illinois definitely seems to be focusing on the backcourt in the future. This isn’t a terrible idea considering how Underwood wants to play. You have seen it a lot this season with Illinois going more perimeter play and less of the traditional big man.
Let’s see how this recruitment plays out. The fact Reynolds wants to take unofficial visits to Champaign is a good sign.