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Illinois product Francis Okoro commits to Oregon, per Scott Burgess

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The Normal Community West big man commits to the Ducks over Illinois and Purdue.

OregonLive.com

It was supposed to happen at 9 p.m., but the tweet was not sent until about 10:18.

Nonetheless, Francis Okoro committed to Dana Altman’s Oregon program on Monday night.

He chose the Ducks over Illinois and Purdue.

Okoro is a 6-foot-9, 225-pound prospect from Normal, Illinois, who was ranked among the top 50 prospects in the class of 2019.

Underwood and his staff pushed hard for the talented in-state big man in hopes of having him reclassify to the class of 2018 and join next year’s Fighting Illini squad. Okoro would have been a great addition to the decimated and undersized frontcourt from a year ago. He has great strength and athleticism and should be able to contribute right away for a Power Five program with his rebounding and defense.

Illinois never held an official visit with Okoro, while Oregon and Purdue did.

Underwood and the Illini still have two open scholarships to fill and will now turn elsewhere to fill their frontcourt needs for next season.

Illini Inquirer’s Derek Piper has reported that the Illini will host 6-foot-9 Kansas City forward Parker Braun for a visit this week.

Illinois already has Ayo Dosunmu, Alan Griffin, Tevian Jones, Samba Kane, Andres Feliz and Giorgi Bezhanishvili signed in the 2018 class.