Illini Sign Four Chicagoans, Net Big Ten's Top Recruiting Class


National signing day in college basketball
is always very anti-climactic, because all it does is make official
what we've already known for some time. But it's still a great chance to
summate another year of recruiting, and another class. And it's very
promising to see the Illini locking down their borders by continuing to recruit the Chicagoland area so well. It yielded them the top rated class in the Big Ten.

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber announced today the signing of four
student-athletes to national letters of intent in Tracy Abrams, Nnanna
Egwu, Mycheal Henry and Mike Shaw.

All four players hail from Chicago and are ranked in the Top 100 by
various recruiting services, giving the Fighting Illini the No. 9 class
in the nation by, No. 11 nationally by and No. 14
nationally by ESPNU. The class also ranks first in the Big Ten by both
Rivals and Scout. This marks the third consecutive year that Illinois
has signed a Top-15 recruiting class.

"It's an exciting day for us as we officially welcome Tracy, Nnanna,
Mycheal and Mike to our program," Weber said in a statement.

"We always place a high priority on recruiting in-state talent,
starting with Chicago, which produces some of the most talented players
in the country each year. Our staff has worked hard at developing
relationships throughout the Chicagoland area, and we're thrilled to
have this year's entire recruiting class representing the Windy City."

Abrams is a 6-1 point guard from Mount Carmel High School who
committed to the Illini as a sophomore. He is a consensus top-75 recruit
who averaged 18 points, five rebounds and three assists as a junior.
Abrams was a first-team All-State selection by the Champaign-Urbana
News-Gazette and earned second-team All-State accolades by the
Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times and Illinois Basketball Coaches
Association (IBCA).

Egwu is a 6-10 center from Saint Ignatius College Prep who committed
to the UI prior to his junior season. He is a top-100 recruit who
averaged 13 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots last year. Egwu
led the Catholic League in blocks each of the last two seasons and is on
pace to become one of the state's all-time leaders in that category.
Egwu was a special mention All-State honoree by The News-Gazette.

Henry is a 6-6 wing from Orr Academy who chose the Illini following
his junior campaign. A pure scorer and consensus top-75 recruit, Henry
averaged 29 points and nine rebounds as a junior. He earned first-team
All-State honors by the Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times and
News-Gazette and was a second-team All-State pick by the IBCA.

Shaw is a 6-8 forward from De La Salle Institute. The most recent
player in the class to commit to the Illini, Shaw is a consensus top-50
recruit who averaged 14 points and nine rebounds as a junior. Shaw was a
first-team All-State selection by the IBCA and second-team All-State
choice by the Chicago Sun-Times and News-Gazette.

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