Huge news for Illinois basketball on Saturday night. Just hours after losing a disappointing game to Nebraska, the Fighting Illini have picked up a commitment from 2017 guard Javon Pickett (Belleville, IL). The six-foot-three prospect plays for the same AAU team and high school as Malcolm Hill did.
Pickett has exploded onto the scene this season. He didn't have any Division-1 offer as of July, but he's now averaging nearly 24 points per game for Belleville East while reeling in offers from UIC and Illinois State. Pickett is rated as a three star prospect according by 247Sports, which makes him the No. 9 player from the state of Illinois for the class of 2017. Look for both of those rankings to rise.
With Pickett, John Groce has gotten the ball rolling for an extremely important 2017 recruiting class. Pickett may very well lead to another potentially huge addition in four-star combo guard Jordan Goodwin (Belleville, IL). According to Derek Piper, Pickett has already stated that he'll be in touch with Goodwin and five-star big man Jeremiah Tilmon very soon.
It's been a little while since Illinois last picked up a commitment from a high school player (Te'Jon Lucas back in September). Pickett seems to be a late bloomer, and his current star rating might not necessarily be an indication of how good he'll end up being down the road. So, overall, this is a really good pickup for the Illini.