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Illinois Basketball: Is the Final Piece From Overseas?

Illinois Basketball is trying to add an intriguing prospect from overseas.



Illinois Basketball: Is the Final Piece From Overseas?
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood gestures after the game against the Duquesne Dukes in the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball: Is the Final Piece From Overseas?

Illinois Basketball is looking to add one final piece to its roster. After a string of intriguing additions through the transfer portal, Brad Underwood also added Orlando Antigua back to his staff. Antigua has been known as one of the best recruiters in the country and was the primary recruiter for a slew of players who have helped Illinois Basketball return to relevance. Coach Antigua acted quickly when he returned to Champaign by helping the Illini add big man, Tomislav Ivišić.

Per the IlliniInquirer Podcast, there may be one more overseas prospect that Illinois is trying to land. Previously, they attempted to land Egor Demin, a stud wing with Real Madrid. The NIL price became increasingly high for the possible lottery pick, however, it seems that the Illini have a pivot.

Enter Kasparas Jakucionis.

Kasparas Jakucionis is a 17-year-old wing standing at 6 foot 5 inches, 200 pounds. He has played with FC Barcelona this past season alongside former NBA professionals such as Ricky Rubio, Jabari Parker, and Tomas Satoransky. Recently, he has been playing in the ANGT Finals and has been showing his smooth offensive playmaking skills. In a game against former Illini target, Egor Demin, Jakucionis put up 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Illinois Basketball has been looking for a secondary playmaker to slot on the perimeter alongside Kylan Boswell. Boswell is a true lead guard, however, he has shown ability as a spot-up shooter. If Brad Underwood can land Kasparas Jakucionis, Illinois will have plenty of playmaking options on this intriguing roster. The NIL price will be high for a player that is signed to a top European ball club. Derek Piper additionally states that Illinois will have to fend off tough schools such as Wake Forest and Florida.

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