Basketball

Sturdyfor30 - France and Phoenix

Sturdyfor30 - France and Phoenix

Mike Cagley, Kedric Prince and Sturdy discuss the Zacharie […]

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Nick Hardy Sees Summer Run of Success as “an investment” in His PGA TOUR Future

Nick Hardy Sees Summer Run of Success as “an investment” in His PGA TOUR Future

Former Illinois star and two-time Big Ten Conference Champion Nick Hardy is playing his best career golf following a major wrist injury. 

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer

June 28, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Golf Digest)

Nick Hardy proved last week he’s not interested in having the 2022 U.S. Open be his career-defining moment but yet an introduction to what he hopes is a long professional golf career. 

One week after being in contention to win throughout all four days of a major championship and finished tied for 14th place in front of a worldwide audience at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, Hardy didn’t have time to let any memories sink in. 

The goal for the 26-year-old, who is playing his best golf coming off a major wrist injury, was to show the trait Illinois head coach Mike Small preaches to each and every one of his players during their time in Champaign: consistency. Hardy did just that at TPC River Highlands, just outside of Hartford, Conn., as he posted his first ever Top 10 finish on the PGA Tour (tied for eighth) and now sees his world golf ranking at its highest point (235th) in nearly calendar year.  

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Recruiting: Illini Land 2022 French Big Man

Recruiting: Illini Land 2022 French Big Man

June 27, 2022

By Brad Sturdy - IlliniGuys Insider/Analyst

(Cover photo courtesy Envergure)

On Monday, the Illini added French big man Zacharie Perrin to their class of 2022. The 6 10 Center joins an already top 10 class and provides a much-needed frontcourt boost to a team that lost All-American Kofi Cockburn.

Perrin committed on Friday to Illini head coach Brad Underwood and lead recruiter Geoff Alexander and ESPN NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony announced the commitment on Monday. Perrin chose the Illini over offers from Texas and UCLA. 

The 6-foot-10 Perrin will be on the Illinois campus in August after playing in the European Championships July 30 to Aug 4. Perrin will turn 18 on August 30th after his arrival.

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Recruiting: Like Father, Like Son- 2025 prospect Phoenix Gill Is Heating Up

Recruiting: Like Father, Like Son- 2025 prospect Phoenix Gill Is Heating Up

By Kedric Prince - IlliniGuys.com Director of Recruiting 

June 27, 2022

(Photos courtesy IlliniGuys)

Back in the late 80s, Kendall Gill played on the Illinois team known as the Flyin’ Illini. Gill was a second team All-American and is arguably one of the best Illini of all time.

After a great 13-year career in the NBA, Kendall now works for NBC Sports in Chicago as an analyst for the Chicago Bulls.

Illini great Kendall Gill (front row, second from right) watches his son Phoenix play in the Riverside Brookfield Shootout earlier this month. (Courtesy IlliniGuys)

When Kendall arrived at Illinois as a long 6-foot-5 freshman; very athletic but struggled like most freshmen. But - even though the thought crossed his mind several times - he never quit.

Now Kendall is the proud father of a rising high school sophomore.   Phoenix Gill from Chicago Saint Ignatius High School is looking to carve out his own niche in the basketball world. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound combo guard starts on a team with another potential DI prospect is 6-foot-7, 215-pound power forward Richard Barron. 

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Recruiting: Top 2023 Basketball Prospect to Visit Illinois This Week

Recruiting: Top 2023 Basketball Prospect to Visit Illinois This Week

By Kedric Prince - IlliniGuys.com Director of Recruiting

June 26, 2022

Illinois assistant basketball coach Chester Fraizier is very selective when it comes to recruiting. He’s not a star guy - not a guy who gets caught up in where a player is ranked, but more of a fit and talent. The former Illini point-guard trusts his own judgment when it comes to finding the “right” guy.

When Frazier first got the job at Illinois, he challenged me with a player who was a former five-star recruit coming out of high school versus a three star candidate. Frazier took the freshman stats over both players who started for their teams, but deleted the picture.  Frazier then said, “KP, tell me if you were coaching Illinois which player would you take?” I struck out, because I took the player with the better stats.  Turns out he was the three-star prospect. 

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Recruiting: Star Guard Will Officially Visit Illinois This Weekend 

Recruiting: Star Guard Will Officially Visit Illinois This Weekend 

By Kedric Prince - IlliniGuys.com Director of Recruiting

June 24, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Prep Girls Hoops)

Makaela Quimby, a 5-foot-9 2023 combo guard out of McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland. She will make an official visit this weekend to Illinois.

IlliniGuys caught up with the dynamic guard before arriving in Champaign to update her recruitment and where Illinois stands in the big picture.

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Illini to Host Syracuse in 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Illini to Host Syracuse in 2022 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

For the first time in school history, Illinois men’s […]

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Illini Center Kofi Cockburn Headed To Utah Jazz After Not Being Selected in 2022 NBA Draft

Illini Center Kofi Cockburn Headed To Utah Jazz After Not Being Selected in 2022 NBA Draft

Illinois All-American center Kofi Cockburn was not one of […]

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Recruiting: 2023's Andrew Scharnowski Woke Up Several High Majors

Recruiting: 2023's Andrew Scharnowski Woke Up Several High Majors

By Kedric Prince – IlliniGuys.com Director of Recruiting

June 23, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Chicago Sun-Times)

Andrew Scharnowski is a 6-foot-9, 195 pound wing who had scouts looking through their program book last weekend at the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout in Chicago.

Class: 2023

Why Illinois:  Illinois was looking at another prospect when they came across the Burlington Central standout. The class of 2023 is not very strong in the state nor the country. When the Illinois staff - especially Coach Underwood - along with other coaches saw his skills, they started to ask questions; where he plays AAU basketball, who has offered, etc. Illinois is looking to add to the class of 2023 and he fits the build of what their new style of play will look like.

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Recruiting: 2024's Nojus Indrusaitis' Play has Illinois' Attention

Recruiting: 2024's Nojus Indrusaitis' Play has Illinois' Attention

By Kedric Prince – IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting June […]

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Recruiting: 2024 Wing Caden Wilkins still on Illinois radar

Recruiting: 2024 Wing Caden Wilkins still on Illinois radar

By Kedric Prince - IlliniGuys.com Director of Recruiting 

June 18, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Rock Island Dispatch-Argus)

Back in early March, Illinois was all alone in second place in the Big Ten.  It was a day in which eight potential recruits were on campus to see them face their bitter rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The stars aligned for the Illini, as the last place team in the conference (Nebraska) went into Madison and knocked off the front-running Badgers, giving Illinois a chance to play for a Big Ten title later that night.

I remember like it was yesterday--all the recruits were fired up and rightly so! They were on a visit and would have a front row as Illinois played for a title.

Bettendorf, Iowa's Caden Wilkins, a 6-foot-6, 202-pound forward, considered by Prep Hoops to be the top junior in the state, was one of those recruits.

This past week, DI coaches were allowed to contact juniors and Wilkins got a call.

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Recruiting: Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso Officially Has An Illinois Offer

Recruiting: Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso Officially Has An Illinois Offer

By Kedric Prince - IlliniGuys.com Director of Recruiting

June 20, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy The Hoop Hustle)

The class of 2023 has a big man that you can expect the full-court press in coming weeks. Ugonna Kingsley Onyenso is a 6-foot-11, 195-pound center from Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.

Because of Onyenso’s size and skill, he is becoming one of the top players being pursued in his class.

Onyenso was offered a scholarship by the Fighting Illini staff last Tuesday. But Illinois coaches will have their work cut out for them.

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2023 Recruiting Class - Big Men

2023 Recruiting Class - Big Men

Connor Cagley, IlliniGuys Basketball Writer June 19, 2022 This […]

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Riverside-Brookfield Shootout Notes - Part II

Riverside-Brookfield Shootout Notes - Part II

By Brad Sturdy - IlliniGuys Insider/Analyst

June 18, 2022

(Cover file photo courtesy Richard Barron's Twitter page)

(EDITOR'S NOTE: IlliniGuys Insider/Analyst Brad Sturdy and Director of Recruiting Kedric Prince were both in attendance at RBS on Friday.  Brad offers his day one thoughts below and will post updates all day during day twoj on the IlliniGuys message forum.

-Brad Underwood and Tim Anderson were in attendance at this event, while Chester Frazier (DMV) and Geoff Alexander (AZ) were elsewhere.

-James Brown and Morez Johnson will head to Colorado for USA Basketball Saturday morning and did not play on Saturday. Brown talked Illinois to Kedric Prince and was very complimentary of the program. Illinois is really in deep with Brown.

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Riverside-Brookfield Shootout Notes

Riverside-Brookfield Shootout Notes

By Kedric Prince - IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

June 18, 2022

(Cover file photo courtesy Journal & Topics)

(EDITOR'S NOTE:  IlliniGuys Insider/Analyst Brad Sturdy and Director of Recruiting Kedric Prince were both in attendance on Friday.  Brad posted updates throughout the day on the IlliniGuys message forums on Friday and Kedric's notes are posted below.)

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood and assistant Tim Anderson were in Riverside, Illinois on Friday watching several potential athletes. Underwood was able to see some really good players. Some already have offers and Terrance Smith from West Aurora was extended a visit to the Illinois campus.

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