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Illinois Basketball Should Target Former Four Star Kansas Signee



Illinois Basketball Should Target Former Four Star Kansas Signee
Twitter: @Luhchriis

Illinois Basketball Should Target Former Four Star Kansas Signee

Illinois Basketball had a bitter sweet start to June. They received good news from their two best players, Terrence Shannon Jr and Coleman Hawkins. However, they unfortunately struck out on their top point guard target. Illinois invested a lot of time into the recruitment of RayJ Dennis, and the loss left them empty handed at the lead guard spot just a few months out from Fall camp. They did act quickly on landing Jeremiah Williams, a transfer they once recruited.

Theoretically, Williams can act as a ball-handler that can facilitate. He may not have the creativity and firepower RayJ Dennis had, however he can adeptly run the pick and roll and be a defensive pest. This is all contingent on his health and waiver. The Chicago native is coming off two significant injuries and has not played since the 2021-22 season. Additionally, since this is his second transfer, he will need waiver to play this season.

Though fans may not want to hear this, but there is a prep prospect in the class of 2023 that will be available. Illinois Basketball should target former Kansas signee, Chris Johnson.

In the right place, at the right time.

Chris Johnson is a 6 foot 4, top 75 point guard who will soon be asking for his NLI release from the University of Kansas. Kansas Insider with close ties to the program, Mike Vernon, and the Athletic’s Tobias Bass have reported that the Texas native will be decommitting from the Jayhawks.

Kansas has reloaded through the transfer portal, and Johnson has recently decided to take his talents elsewhere. I think Johnson would be the perfect add given the Illini’s need and lack of options. Johnson played his last year at Monteverde Academy and chose the Jayhawks over offers from Alabama, Arkansas and UConn. He played around 17 minutes per game and averaged 5.9 points and 3.8 assists. 247’s Adam Finkelstein’s evaluation is posted below.

The fit with Illinois.

Johnson can come to Illinois and have an impact right away. Johnson played at Monteverde Academy and should be ready to play with division one talent. Even if he takes his bumps, Chris Johnson will hopefully have Jeremiah Williams and/or Justin Harmon to take over the lead guard duties. Though Shannon Jr and Hawkins are talented ball-handlers and are capable of distributing, they need a lead guard to come in set them up for their possessions as well. Johnson can easily step in while being backed up by some other options on this Illinois Roster.

Though Illinois currently does not have a scholarship open, I would assume that Illinois will have the mindset to acquire talent and figure out the logistics later. The Illini have to have a win-now mentality given the return of their two stars. Johnson would fit their needs without much risk.

Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.