Four-star center Malik Williams narrowed his recruitment to eight schools on Monday night, and Fighting Illini basketball failed to make the cut. The 6-foot-11 big man informed Twitter that his finalists going forward are, in no order, Louisville, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa, UCLA, Georgetown, and N.C. State.
#Elite8 pic.twitter.com/tGadqsISMq— Malik Williams (@leek_willi34) July 25, 2016
This can't be terribly surprising for John Groce and the Illini considering they recently landed a five-star prospect at the same position. But Illinois is still on the lookout for more front court players, and Williams would've made for an absolute home run. Still, his eventual decision could have some pretty noticeable ramifications on Illinois' future roster and/or schedule.
So where should Illinois fans root for Williams to end up? Well anywhere not in the Big Ten would be nice because he's one of the top big men in the country (No. 32 overall). Out of those other four options, though, Louisville is the only school recruiting another of Illinois' interior targets.
I briefly mentioned three-star forward Mayan Kiir in this post on Groce's other recruiting efforts, and a Williams-to-Louisville decision could stand to benefit the Illini. According to Kiir's 247Sports profile, the only two schools involved for the Florida native are -- you guessed it -- Illinois and Louisville; so if Rick Pitino lands his top target, that may sway Kiir towards the Orange and Blue. But right now that seems like a big 'if', especially since Williams hasn't taken any official visits.
Mayan Kiir Highlights