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Illinois leads for 2019 point guard Marquise Walker after campus visit, scholarship offer

Good morning. Welcome to the Orange Minute for Sunday, June 12.

Illinois is the leader for one of the top in-state prospects from the class-of-2019. After concluding an unofficial visit to Champaign on Saturday, St. Joseph (Chicago) guard Marquise Walker told Scout.com's Derek Piper that Illinois is the current "No. 1" in his recruitment. The rising sophomore was also extended a scholarship offer while in town.

Walker spoke to Illini Inquirer after his visit ($$$), and he seems completely enamored with everything that Illinois has to offer at this point. As Piper briefly mentioned on Twitter, Dee Brown's potential influence on Walker's future development appears to be a big part of the program's early pitch. The former Illini star was brought on as the new Director of Player Development last month, which allows him to help with on-campus recruiting efforts.

Highlights

I watched Walker play Belleville Althoff in the IHSA 3A semifinal game, and he was fantastic. The 5-foot-10 guard ended up with 18 points and, though it was ultimately a losing effort, he was far and away the second best player on the court behind class-of-2016 standout Jordan Goodwin.

It'd be huge if John Groce could secure a commitment from Walker before other programs start calling. According to the Chicago Sun-Times' Michael O'Brien, though, there's a chance that may actually happen sooner rather than later.

Illinois Fighting Illini News

Three-star RB Maleek Williams commits to Arkansas over Illinois (TCR)

Bizarre development for Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini on Saturday. Just four days after naming Illinois his leader, the Florida native gave a verbal commitment to the Razorbacks on Twitter.

Jason Goldstein drafted by Seattle Mariners (TCR)

The Fighting Illini catcher was ninth round selection (No. 267 overall) in the 2016 MLB Draft. He finished his Illinois career with a .289 batting average, 16 home runs, and 115 RBI.

Still some uncertainty for Illinois Basketball (The News-Gazette)

As Illinois moves forward for 2016-17, there are lingering question marks — namely the more than a quarter of the team needing a checkup with the team doctor to determine exactly how much they can participate right away this summer.

Bloch-Jones, Seymour finish NCAA's as All-Americans (Illinois Athletics)

Fighting Illini high jumper Kandie Bloch-Jones and 100m hurdler Pedrya Seymour both earned their first outdoor All-American honors as NCAA Outdoor Championships concluded at historic Hayward Field