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SEC Powerhouses Targeting Illinois Basketball Priority



Armchair Film Room: Marcus Domask vs Ottawa

SEC Powerhouses Targeting Illinois Basketball Priority

Illinois Basketball is battling against the big boys. That is to be expected anytime you recruit top-shelf talent. Illinois has had their share of wins, however. Big time recruits like Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn and Andre Curbelo were huge recruiting wins. Most recently, Illinois landed Amani Hansberry over some quality power-five programs. They also have some losses. Players like Kylan Boswell, Cam Whitmore and Cam Corhen took their talents to different programs.

Currently, Illinois Basketball is hot on the trail for Mikey Lewis and Jase Butler in the class of 2024. However, they also have their sites on 2025 combo guard, Jeremiah Fears. Fears is one of the top prospects in the entire country and continues to raise his stock. With this rise, other programs have been hot on his trail. Fears is fresh off an official visit to Tennessee and is now receiving blue blood interest.


Jeremiah visited the University of Tennessee this past weekend. Obviously, all visits go pretty well, however there is quite a sell for Fears and the Vols. Rick Barnes has turned Tennessee into a consistent top quarter of the SEC team that continuously earns a 3 or 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. Despite a lack of postseason success, Barnes has turned Tennessee into a consistent winner and has also put a decent amount of players into the NBA. Grant Williams, Kennedy Chandler, Julian Phillips and more are all evidence of that. Jeremiah Fears also has been rumored to be a 2024 reclass candidate.

With Tennessee seemingly more open to that possibility, the marriage here makes sense.

Blue Blood Interest

Most recently, there was a report that John Calipari and his assistant would be in to meet with Fears and his camp. Obviously it is early, however, anytime a blue blood comes knocking on the door, it is hard to imagine Illinois winning the recruitment. Though an argument could be made that unless you are a true one-and-done prospect, Kentucky probably is not the best scenario. Just look at players like Bryce Hopkins, Johnny Juzang and Charles Matthews. All three barely found the floor in Lexington, then made a transfer and became one of the better players in all of College Basketball.

Regardless, Jeremiah Fears is a top shelf prospect that will accrue a lot of big time attention. Illinois Basketball would truly welcome him into the class of 2025, however if he decides to reclass, I am not sure how open Illinois would be to that. It will be very interesting to see how this recruitment plays out.

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.