WCIA — Illinois basketball has come a long way in the recruiting game, from the 111th class in the country in 2016, to signing five different Top 50 prospects under head coach Brad Underwood, according to 247Sports.

Plenty have those guys have gone on to play pro ball, most notable of course is Ayo Dosunmu with the Chicago Bulls. Getting to this point starts with winning, but that is easier said than done.

“Winning’s hard and when you’re on national television, when you’re playing in championship games, when you’re having guys that go on and have success and become All-Americans, all of that stuff permeates into something that’s pretty positive,” said Underwood. “Really good players who are really good people have been what we’ve been about. Winning is a really big part of that, we don’t recruit anything but guys who have won and had success and I think that’s a trait that’s really important.”

The Illini already have a boost in its 2023 class, getting a verbal commitment from Top 100 prospect Amani Hansberry last week.