Illinois added to its 2020 class Thursday morning, picking up a commitment from in-state 7-footer Brandon Lieb.
He announced his decision via Twitter.
Lieb officially signed with the Illini on Friday.
The Deerfield, Illinois, native was a late pickup for the Illini, but began to get some offers late from big-name schools like Utah, as well as DePaul and Boston, among others.
Lieb really is late-bloomer here in 2020, not even ranked on 247, and with as few as three stars by other recruiting sites. Not that it’s a bad thing, though: Illinois head coach Brad Underwood has made his career off guys at Stephen F. Austin and now at Illinois that had few stars to their name (Giorgi Bezhanishvili, comes to mind).
Speaking of guys like Giorgi and Kofi Cockburn, that’s where Lieb likely fills a need. We didn't see much from Jermaine Hamlin last year, and we don’t know still if Kofi is coming back. So while Lieb may be a project, he should be able to take some minutes away from Giorgi and Hamlin early on in his career.
247 said Lieb checks out at 6-foot-11 and 205 pounds — a string bean. Other sites said 7 feet, so we’ll go with that, but still needs to get in the weight room soon once he can get on campus.
Here’s a look at Illinois’ latest scholarship chart. For our record-keeping purposes, we will be keeping Ayo and Kofi on the chart until they officially stay in the NBA Draft, which they still have some time to make that decision.
Hence, Lieb’s commitment means Illinois is out of scholarships for 2020-21, assuming Ayo and Kofi return.