Another former Illinois signee is set to play basketball for Cuonzo Martin and the Missouri Tigers. According to Prep Hoops Illinois’ Scott Burgess, three-star wing Javon Pickett will reclassify to 2018 and join four-star big man Jeremiah Tilmon in Columbia next Summer.
Pickett just completed his fourth year at Belleville West, so this likely means he’ll be attending a prep school this Fall.
Pickett, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, is currently rated as the No. 288 player in the nation by 247Sports. He was originally the first member of John Groce’s 2017 recruiting class, however he requested a release from his National Letter of Intent in April following Illinois’ coaching change.
.@JavonPickett: "I believe in what they’re going to do. It’s close to home. I just really like what they’re going to do with the program."— Danny Jones (@daniel_m_jones) June 3, 2017
Frankly, this is pretty surprising news. Pickett wasn’t on the high-major radar after his decommitment, and the two rumored leaders had been Drake and UW-Milwaukee. In fact, an anonymous Division-I head coach said the following to the Chicago Tribune when asked about Illinois’ offseason departures.
[Javon Pickett] was not good enough (to be in the Big Ten); he's more of a Missouri Valley guy. (The scholarship release) was probably more Illinois getting out of it.
To be fair, though, a reclassification wasn’t even discussed at Illinois. Pickett seems like a player who could really benefit from an extra year of development before college, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of impact he’ll make upon his arrival at Missouri.
If nothing else, this will add a bit more fuel to the growing Braggin’ Rights fire.