There’s big offseason news for Fighting Illini fans. Top 2018 target George Conditt has set his official visit to Champaign for September 15-17. Conditt recently released his incomplete visit schedule that includes three official visits. So far the schedule includes visits with Iowa State on September 2, Illinois on September 15 and New Mexico on September 29.
The possibility of adding Conditt is intriguing for a program that is in rebuild under new head coach Brad Underwood. Conditt will be crucial for a quick turnaround after the Fighting Illini have struggled the past few years under former head coach John Groce. Although Underwood did just fine on the recruiting in his first offseason, the landing of Conditt would help continue momentum.
Recruiting momentum is something this Illinois roster desperately needs. When taking a look at this season’s upcoming roster it lack depths at the center position. The current roster includes junior stretch forwards LeRon Black and Michael Finke as well as unproven incoming freshmen Matic Vesel.
Also, don’t forget about Greg Eboigbodin, who has made his commitment to the program, but has not signed his letter of intent yet. That slim group of Black, Finke, Vesel and Eboigbodin are the only players that bring height to Underwood’s roster this season.
Another reason why getting Conditt is crucial for Underwood is because the recruiting location of Conditt. Conditt is from Corliss High School in Chicago. Illinois wants to be a prominent recruiting presence in the Chicago area. Getting a player like Conditt would establish a better connection for future Chicago high school prospects.
If Underwood is able to land the prized Chicago high school stand out, he will need to give thanks to assistant coach Orlando Antigua. Antigua has been a key contributor in Conditt’s recruitment. The Illini assistant coach is no stranger to success on the recruiting trail, Antigua was a former assistant of John Calipari’s at Kentucky.
And Antigua knows a thing or two about developing big men, having coached Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel and others during his time at Kentucky. According to Scout, here’s what Conditt had to say about Antigua’s recruitment of him:
"Talks have been going really good, especially with Coach Orlando. He just motivates me all the time," Conditt said. "They want me to be great. That's the main thing. Be great. Be in your state. And have fun."