Lieb commits to Illinois for this season

Sports

Deerfield native's recruitment exploded last two weeks with five high major offers

WCIA — Brandon Lieb’s recruitment sped up in a hurry and didn’t take long to end.

The 7-foot center from Deerfield got an offer from Illinois earlier this week and verbally committed to play for the Illini on Thursday morning. The Class of 2020 prospect received five high major offers in the last two weeks, starting with Oklahoma, and ending with Illinois on Tuesday. Lieb acted on the final one, pledging to play for Brad Underwood this upcoming season.

“It’s been crazy, I’m just so grateful for all the opportunities I’m getting,” Lieb said on a FaceTime call. “I just felt at home, just spending such short amount of time with Illinois. I got on a Zoom with them and was able to get a feel and they’re actually, of all campuses, I couldn’t really take a visit, I’ve actually been out there for a couple weekends so I’m a little familiar with the scene over there.”

Lieb averaged 13.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season at Deerfield High School. With only mid-major offers to choose from, he was planning to attend prep school next year. Then June came and his offer sheet exploded. Offers from Oklahoma State, DePaul, Utah opened up new opportunities and the reality set in that he wouldn’t have to start college.

“It’s just been huge for my confidence, just staying patient and staying with it and I knew my time would come,” Lieb said.

Illinois is now full on scholarships for the upcoming 2020-21 season but that could change if Ayo Dosunmu or Kofi Cockburn decide to remain in the NBA Draft and turn pro, leaving one or two more open spots.

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