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REPORT: Illinois reaches out to Oregon transfer Francis Okoro

The Illini look poised to try again.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

If you fail once, try again.

That seems to be Illinois’ strategy right now with Oregon transfer Francis Okoro, who the Illini reportedly reached out to, according to multiple reports.

Okoro reportedly has told sources he plans to sit out the upcoming season even if transfer rules change due to injuries, but it’s worth it for Illinois to consider Okoro as an option for the future.

The big man would have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2021.

The Normal Community West prospect, once of the state’s top prospects, chose Oregon over Illinois back in 2018.

Here’s a taste of what we thought about Okoro back then.

For those that don’t follow recruiting as closely and haven’t watched Okoro highlights for the last two seasons: Do you remember how whenever opposing players dribbled into the lane they were able to finish layups or dunks? Yeah, that won’t happen as much. Okoro is a full-grown man, and he is the answer punctuated with an exclamation point to that recurring layup-line nightmare.

With Kofi Cockburn potentially leaving for the NBA this summer — and even more likely next summer — Okoro could still be a great fit for the Illini’s roster. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-9 Okoro scored 3.3. points per and grabbed 4.2 rebounds per game, starting 18 games.

Not eye-popping numbers, but it’s still a project that the Illini’s staff could do more than enough with to put the team over the top come 2021.