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Good Morning, Illini Nation: Updated recruiting rankings | Sports

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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:

Class of 2023 recruiting rankings were updated by 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN last week. It was good news for future Illinois forward Amani Hansberry. His stock is on the rise. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward rose seven spots in the latest 247Sports update to No. 43 nationally and jumped 41 spots to No. 77 in Rivals’ newest ranking. He also checked in at No. 52 per ESPN. A consensus four-star recruit.

The news for incoming Illinois guard Drayvn Gibbs-Lawhorn wasn’t quite as good. It’s probably not all that unexpected given the 6-1, 165-pound guard played sparingly as a reserve at Montverde Academy (Fla.) before a midseason transfer to Word of God Christian Academy (N.C.). Gibbs-Lawhorn wasn’t in ESPN’s new top 100, slipped 24 spots to No. 100 overall via Rivals and dropped 42 spots to No. 121 in the latest from 247Sports.

ESPN also updated its 2024 and 2025 rankings, while Rivals expanded its 2025 offering to a top 80. Here’s where Illinois’ recruiting targets fell in those rankings:

ESPN 2024

1. Tre Johnson, 6-5, 180, SG, Lake Highlands (Texas)

5. Bryson Tucker, 6-5, 180, SF, IMG Academy (Fla.)

6. Karter Knox, 6-5, 180, SG, Tampa Catholic (Fla.)

8. Johnuel Fland, 6-2, 175, PG, Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.)

10. Liam McNeeley, 6-6, 190, SF, Montverde Academy (Fla.)

11. Isaiah Elohim, 6-4, 185, SF, Sierra Canyon (Calif.)

12. David Castillo, 6-1, 175, PG, Bartlesville (Okla.)

17. Paul McNeil, 6-5, 180, SG, Richmond Senior (N.C.)

18. Asa Newell, 6-9, 195, PF, Montverde Academy (Fla.)

25. John Bol, 7-0, 210, C, Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.)

34. Carter Bryant, 6-7, 190, PF, Sage Hill (Calif.)

40. Isaiah Evans, 6-7, 180, PF, North Mecklenburg (N.C.)

46. Ryan Jones, 6-7, 205, PF, The Rock School (Fla.)

47. Morez Johnson Jr., 6-10, 210, PF, St. Rita

50. Kon Knuppel, 6-4, 200, SG, Milwaukee Lutheran (Wis.)

54. Jahki Howard, 6-6, 175, SF, Overtime Elite (Ga.)

58. Curtis Givens, 6-2, 170, PG, Montverde Academy (Fla.)

60. Jaeden Mustaf, 6-4, 205, SG, Carmel Christian School (Md.)

ESPN 2025

3. Koa Peat, 6-8, 215, PF, Perry (Ariz.)

5. Darryn Peterson, 6-4, 185, SG, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (Ohio)

9. Tyler Jackson, 6-0, 160, PG, St. Frances (Md.)

18. Trey McKenney, 6-3, 220, SF, St. Mary’s (Mich.)

19. B.J. Davis-Ray, 6-5, 180, SF, Link Year Prep (Mo.)

Rivals 2025

3. Koa Peat, 6-8, 215, SF, Perry (Ariz.)

4. Darryn Peterson, 6-5, 190, SG, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (Ohio)

18. Tyler Jackson, 6-2, 155, PG, St. Frances (Md.)

29. B.J. Davis-Ray, 6-5, 170, SG, Link Year Prep (Mo.)

30. Bryce Heard, 6-5, 170, SG, Montverde Academy (Fla.)

33. Jerry Easter II, 6-5, 190, PG, Emmanuel Christian Academy (Ohio)

44. Trey McKenney, 6-5, 205, SG, St. Mary’s (Mich.)

71. Colt Langdon, 6-8, 205, SF, Millbrook (N.C.)




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