Brad Underwood and Fighting Illini basketball have received some great news. According to Illini Inquirer’s Derek Piper, Jamall Walker will return to Illinois as an assistant after reaching a new agreement on Thursday.
Terms of the contract have not been released, but a source has informed us that the deal is somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000 per year.
BREAKING: Jamall Walker has reached an agreement to stay on as an #Illini assistant. HUGE news for Underwood & Co. https://t.co/nYgNBK56xU— Derek Piper (@DPiperScout) March 23, 2017
Walker acted as assistant under John Groce for the past five years, and he led the Fighting Illini to a 2-1 record while acting as the interim head coach this postseason.
Following Illinois’ coaching change, Walker entertained job offers from a few other Division-I programs, including one from Cuonzo Martin and the Missouri Tigers.
This is a huge development for Illinois because Walker was the lead recruiter for five-star big man Jeremiah Tilmon (IL). With that prior relationship now intact, it essentially guarantees that the East St. Louis star will make it to campus this Summer.
Furthermore, Walker has been Illinois’ primary influence throughout the pursuit of four-star guard and 2017 Illinois ‘Mr. Basketball’ Mark Smith.
With Walker in the fold, Underwood has two more openings to fill on his staff. Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans is one of the names that’s been popping up more frequently, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him follow along to Champaign.