Fighting Illini basketball’s search for front court depth has hit a road block. With a Sunday night announcement on Twitter, three-star forward Francesco Badocchi gave a verbal commitment to Virginia, picking the Cavaliers over Illinois.
According to 247Sports, Badocchi is rated at the nation’s No. 276 overall prospect.
Blessed to say that I have committed to virginia to further my academic and athletic carrier...⚔️⚔️ pic.twitter.com/UFuF9TwJ1p— FrancescoBadocchi23 (@frankiejones23) May 1, 2017
BREAKING: #UVA Basketball lands 2017 power forward Francesco Badocchi!! #newHoos https://t.co/nF80hyo9UX— Streaking The Lawn (@TheUVAFool) May 1, 2017
The 6-foot-8 Italian was also hearing from Wichita State and Boise State, however Illinois was rumored to be the frontrunner after a recent official visit to Champaign.
Illinois still has three available scholarships to fill, yet at this point, it appears likely that at least one of those openings will be rolled over the 2018 class. The lack of big men on the roster is a rather concerning — especially for a Big Ten team — but the squad has the personnel for an effective four-guard lineup.
Brad Underwood will have his work cut out for him this Winter, but he’s proven in the past that he’s able and willing to alter his traditional formula should the roster necessitate it.