Illinois' class-of-2017 recruiting efforts may be in full swing ahead of official visit season in August, but it's never too early to start paying attention to the following year's crop of high school players. Luckily, 247Sports updated their 2018 rankings on Wednesday, and a small handful of the program's current targets made their new Top 100. Headlined by three in-state targets, there are eight players that have been given four-star ratings or better.
Nine 5-stars move up in updated 2018 Top247 rankings https://t.co/oE3zOZBDBt via @jerrymeyer247 pic.twitter.com/o5UpFkNZB9— Hoops Recruiting (@BBRecruiting247) July 19, 2016
Note: these rankings are separate from the 247Sports' composite, which compiles data from all the major scouting sites.
Darius Garland (TN; PG) - No. 8
Simi Shittu (CAN; PF) - No. 11
Carte'Are Gordon (MO; C) - No. 30
Ayo Dosunmu (IL; PG) - No. 41
Courtney Ramey (MO; PG) - No. 57
Kezo Brown (IL; PG) - No. 74
Torrence Watson (MO; SG) - No. 83
Tim Finke (IL; SF) - No. 99
All-in-all, I think the only surprising entry here is Tim Finke. Scout's newest rankings have the Illini legacy recruit at No. 51 in the country, which obviously makes for a huge difference. It can't be due to a lack of exposure, either, as Finke has been playing for a loaded St. Louis Eagles roster on the Nike EYBL circuit. Assuming Finke continues to play well this Summer, I suspect it won't be too long until 247Sports gives him a nice bump
One other, smaller discrepancy is on the book for Ayo Dosunmu; Scout recently pegged the 6-foot-3 guard as a five-star prospect, whereas above he's well within four-star territory.
Keep in mind, though, there's still well over a year until these players can sign Letters of Intent. There will likely be a ton of movement in the rankings between now and the early signing period.