WCIA — Illinois basketball coach Brad Underwood’s staff didn’t wait long to pivot. Just a few hours after top transfer target RayJ Dennis committed to Baylor over Illinois, among others, the Illini got a verbal pledge from Iowa State transfer Jeremiah Williams. The 6-foot-4 Chicago native was with the Cyclones last season but didn’t play in a game after hurting his left Achilles tendon in early October. He spent the first two years of college at Temple, after graduating from Simeon High School.

Williams will need a waiver to be eligible to play with the Illini in 2023-24, after transferring for a second time. He entered the portal in early May. At Temple, Williams started 21 games as a sophomore, averaging 9.5 points (third on the team) and 4.3 assists per game (team high).

Williams is the final piece of the scholarship puzzle for Illinois for this upcoming season and the fourth transfer, joining Marcus Domask (SIU), Quincy Guerrier (Oregon) and Justin Harmon (Utah Valley). The Illini also return Coleman Hawkins and Terrence Shannon Jr., who announced late Wednesday they were withdrawing their names from the NBA Draft.