Good Morning, Illini Nation: Two new offers in 2022 class | Sports | #sports | #elderly | #seniors
Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:
The shakeup of the Illinois coaching staff and the fact Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman’s departure took so long to complete after first being reported as likely apparently meant the Illini hit the pause button on recruiting. Or at least extending new offers.
The staff is not yet complete — there’s still one current opening — but Illinois is back to adding to its recruiting board in the Class of 2022. As a reminder, the Illini already have commitments from 2022 guards Reggie Bass and AJ Storr. Two new offers, though, went out this week to Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. and Texas center Cameron Corhen.
Smith is a consensus four-star recruit and ranks as high as No. 23 in the Class of 2022 by 247Sports. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard released a top 10 in October of Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Oral Roberts and Texas Tech. But Smith picked up a Crystal Ball pick to Kentucky in February and also added an Oregon offer earlier this month. His recruitment seems open.
Smith has been one of the top players in Arkansas the past two seasons. The Sylvan Hills High School product averaged 25 points, five rebounds and four assists as a junior this past season after putting up 21.3 points, three rebounds and three steals per game as a sophomore.
Corhen is currently an unranked three-star recruit — at least on a national basis. The 6-9, 210-pound prospect is ranked as the No. 37 center in the country by 247Sports. Corhen has picked up 11 offers since March 1, with Texas A&M, Florida, SMU, Oklahoma (old staff), LSU, Arizona (old staff), Georgia, Houston, UNLV and Texas Tech the latest to get involved in his recruitment along with the Illini.
Corhen averaged 14.7 points for John Paul II (Texas) in 2020-21 and earned all-state honors after a 25-2 season, but the Cardinals were unable to defend their TAPPS 6A state title after falling in the semifinals. Corhen played alongside former Illinois target turned future Texas A&M guard Manny Obaseki at John Paul II.