The Fighting Illini basketball staff is on the road this weekend to scout players during the first evaluation period of the offseason. Head coach Brad Underwood and assistant Chin Coleman are currently in Virginia taking in some action on the Nike EYBL circuit, and they’ve already dished out a pair of important scholarship offers.
According to the Mac Irvin Fire’s Twitter account, Illinois has offered class-of-2018 standouts Ayo Dosunmu (Morgan Park) and Talen Horton-Tucker (Simeon).
Coach Brad Underwood and Illinois just offered 6'5 PG Ayo Dosunmu #BigTen #Illini #MacIrvinFire— Mac Irvin Fire (@TheMacIrvinFire) April 22, 2017
Coach Brad Underwood and Illinois just offered 6'5 G Talen Horton Tucker (Simeon) #BigTen #Illini #MacIrvinFire— Mac Irvin Fire (@TheMacIrvinFire) April 22, 2017
Dosunmu, a four-star point guard, is ranked as the No. 27 overall prospect by 247Sports. The 6-foot-5 prospect technically had a scholarship offer in hand from John Groce, so it was only a matter of time until the new regime made the no-brainer decision to reaffirm that interest.
With the Illinois contingent on hand, Dosunmu exploded for 32 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists against Playground Elite while shooting an impressive 9-14 from the field.
Horton-Tucker, meanwhile, logged a triple-double in the same game with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. The four-star wing is rated as the No. 113 overall prospect by 247Sports, and he has other high major scholarship offers from Northwestern, Missouri, and Iowa State.
These two recruitments will be an early litmus test for Brad Underwood’s ability to recruit Chicago. Dosunmu is a fringe five-star prospect that will surely attract blue blood interest in the coming months, and Horton-Tucker is the best player from the state’s top program. Illinois simply must start winning these battles if they hope to compete for Big Ten titles in the future.