Illini Sign 4 Chicagoans, Net 3rd Straight top 15 Recruiting Class.

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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 Rivals.com, No. 11 nationally by Scout.com 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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