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Illinois Basketball Signs Best Player in Illinois



Illinois Basketball Signs Best Player in Illinois
Nov 6, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts off the bench during the second half against the Eastern Illinois Panthers at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Signs Best Player in Illinois

Morez Johnson Jr committed to Illinois Basketball almost two years ago. As a sophomore, Johnson Jr had no hesitation in committing to the Illini and has stayed loyal. Morez’s game has developed strongly since then and he has developed into a top 35 recruit. Johnson has returned to campus many times and has always tried to boost the Illini’s recruiting efforts. Today, he officially signed his letter of intent to join the Illinois Basketball family.

Johnson joins Jase Butler and Jason Jakstys in the class of 2024. Butler also chose to sign his letter of intent today.

The projected fit in Champaign.

Illinois Basketball will not have Coleman Hawkins and Terrence Shannon to start the 2024 season. Without a doubt, Morez Johnson will be one of the focal points on the team that starts the 2024 season. In the first year of what will be a newer era for Illinois Basketball, Johnson projects as one of the most talented prospects on the team. If Ty Rodgers, Sencire Harris and Luke Goode all chose to return, Johnson will be a strong compliment to those veteran players.

Morez had an outstanding EYBL session in the summer, including a Johnson Jr put up 25 points and 22 rebound performance.

Player Comparison

Player comparisons are always difficult, particularly in the prep prospects. We always want to pick a name that is recognizable and one that fans are aware with.

Ant Wright used the name Harry Giles in his prospect breakdown. Giles is an above average athlete who excelled in high school because of his motor and vertical explosion. I think a name like Bobby Portis is an adept comparison for Johnson Jr. Both have solid athleticism, however have a strong motor that benefits them on the glass. Adebayo is a little more skilled and defensively versatile, while Portis is more of a paint presence. Hence, my amateur opinion leads me to a name like Bobby Portis.

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