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Future Illinois Basketball Stars Show Glimpse of the Future

Jeremiah Fears and Morez Johnson Jr put on strong performances in Team USA’s win over Belize in what was a glimpse of the future for Illini fans.



Future Illinois Basketball Stars Show Glimpse of the Future
Mar 21, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood directs his team during the first half against the Morehead State Eagles in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Future Illinois Basketball Stars Show Glimpse of the Future

Future Illinois Basketball stars, Morez Johnson Jr and Jeremiah Fears, showed a glimpse of the future during Team USA’s win over Belize. The United States absolutely pummelled Belize 150-54 in their second game. This scoreline suggests that Belize was probably not the strongest competition, however, both Fears and Johnson Jr put up impressive stat lines. Fears put up 17 points on 8-16 from the field, while also contributing 6 assists and 7 steals. Johnson Jr put up a very robust 15 points and 15 rebounds, with 3 blocks on the side. He also shot 5 for 8 from the free-throw line.

Early Chemistry

The tandem of Jeremiah Fears and Morez Johnson Jr is the future for Illinois Basketball. The pair are two of the highest-ranked prep recruits ever to commit to the Illini and are currently teammates on the U18 team for the United States. Fears and Johnson Jr are surrounded by a slew of other talented players, however, it is cool the observe the two share the court. The duo will not be wearing an Illinois basketball uniform together until 2025, however, the early showings have been impressive.

After the 2024 offseason additions, it seems that Brad Underwood is priming this program for a major run in the 2025 season. He has put together a talented, but young, roster that has a very high ceiling. If Underwood can keep the core together after the 2024 season, the Illini will be national title contenders. When the time comes, Fears and Johnson Jr should be major components of a very talented squad.

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