Well...anyone else ready for basketball season? The football program has given us little to be excited about, but hoops recruiting is heating up once again, and decision time is looming for a lot of student-athletes.
Head coach Brad Underwood has made it abundantly clear that he wants to restore the glory of Illinois basketball. How do you do that? By going after the top prospects in the country.
6-foot-10 forward Coleman Hawkins has verbally committed to the Illini, per his Instagram.
Hawkins, a top-200 player in the 2020 class, plays for a loaded Prolific Prep squad in Napa, California, along with previous Illini target Nimari Burnett. Other former teammates at Prolific include Cincinnati pledge Zach Harvey and Ohio State signee Ibrahima Diallo.
You can check out some highlights of Hawkins below:
It’s easy to see why he has generated so much interest from power programs. Hawkins is long, lean, and can run the floor like a guard while attacking the rim like a big. His body resembles that of Kevin Durant — while he doesn’t have the same offensive profile, he can spread the floor and create chaos for opposing defenses.
Hawkins’ combination of length, versatility, and ballhandling skills make him a natural fit for Brad Underwood’s desired style of play. The Illini will need another impact player next season with the likely departure of Ayo Dosunmu and the possible departure of center Kofi Cockburn.
Hawkins had more than a dozen offers, including Rutgers, Arizona, Southern Cal, New Mexico, and San Diego State — his father Rodney’s alma mater. Kudos to assistant Chin Coleman for locking in this exciting prospect. Hawkins can’t officially sign his NLI until November 13th, but at this moment, it’s a great pickup for the Illini. Hawkins is the third commitment for 2020, joining transfer wings Austin Hutcherson and Jacob Grandison.