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Illinois Basketball will receive a visit from four-star center Carte'Are Gordon

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Good morning. Welcome to the Orange Minute for Thursday, July 14.

Photo via FIBA

With Jeremiah Tilmon's commitment, John Groce and the Fighting Illini are on the verge of a monster 2017 recruiting class. But how are things shaping up for 2018? Although two Illinois natives -- Ayo Dosunmu and Tim Finke -- have received a bulk of the attention, the Illini have put in early work for several Top-50 players.

One name to keep an eye on is four-star center Carte'Are Gordon, who recently told Rivals' Eric Bossi that he's planning to take an unofficial trip to Champaign. Gordon also mentioned he'll be taking additional visits to Missouri and a handful of more unspecified schools. According to Scout, Gordon is the No. 47 player in the class-of-2018, and he holds other scholarship offers from Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Purdue, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State.

It's also worth mentioning that Gordon was a member of USA Basketball's U-17 squad at the 2016 World Championships; he averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds during a gold medal effort this Spring.

Today's poll question: Which class-of-2018 recruiting target are you most excited about? Home states and player rankings will be denoted in parentheses next to each option. Make sure to cast your vote, and let us know what you think down in the comments.

Illinois Fighting Illini Links

It's Lovie Smith's turn to attempt stability at Illinois (SB Nation)

Illinois is given between a 34 and 66 percent chance of winning in six games; that means that if the Illini come in a little bit below their No. 76 S&P+ projection, they could end up in the 2-10 range. And if they rise into the 50s or so, an eight-win total isn't that far away.

Joe Spencer named to Wuerffel Trophy Watch List (Fighting Ilini Athletics)

Illinois senior center Joe Spencer was named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list for the second straight year, it was announced Wednesday. It is Spencer's second watch list of the season after earning a spot on the Rimington Trophy list (best center).

State Farm Center renovations on schedule, budget (TCR)

Whitman stated that everything is, "on time, schedule, and budget" while reiterating that the completed version of the venue will be, "one of the best in college basketball." The last phase of the three-year project encompasses audio and visual overhauls, as well as other aspects of the in-game experience.