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Illinois Assistant Coach Preview: Orlando Antigua

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The ex-Kentucky assistant will provide a proven ability to recruit to Brad Underwood’s staff.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Antigua was named as one of Brad Underwood’s assistant coaches back in April of this year. He was brought on with Chin Coleman. Underwood also retained Jamall Walker.

Antigua has been around the game of basketball his whole life, going way back to his playing days in the Bronx. Most recently, Antigua served as the head coach at South Florida where he spent two and a half seasons and left with a 23-55 record.

Before South Florida, Antigua was one of John Calipari’s assistants at both Memphis and then Kentucky. During his time at Kentucky, Antigua helped land eventual superstars Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony-Towns, Demarcus Cousins, and John Wall. These players helped make up five consecutive top-ranked recruiting classes for the Wildcats.

During his last season at South Florida, Antigua was surrounded with a recruiting scandal involving his brother, Oliver. Orlando claimed to have no knowledge of the fact that his brother gave improper benefits to two recruits. These benefits included multiple nights at a hotel, multiple nights at Oliver’s home, and meal and transportation paid for. These benefits only added up to about $400-$500, but NCAA rules are NCAA rules.

Illinois stated a few times that they did investigations of Orlando Antigua’s involvement at the University of South Florida, and the information that they gathered did not differ from any findings.

Antigua is a great addition to the Illinois staff as he has proved that he can recruit top-tier talent and help develop and refine these players into the stellar athletes they have become in the NBA. Underwood has surrounded himself with staff that have great connections already, and Orlando Antigua can prove to be a rather helpful guy to have in his corner.