Milik Yarbrough is a 6'-5" small forward from Zion-Benton. He is a starter despite being a freshman.
"We just lost to the #18 team in the state Warren by three. I did real good, I came up with a double-double. I'm the leading scorer and second in rebounds."
The slender Yarbrough admits to some acclimation problems moving into the high school ranks.
"It's really exciting. My two guards are like my brothers. They always help me and let me know what I'm doing wrong. It's a real hard adjustment because I'm kind of smaller than them. I have to adjust to what they're doing."
He must be doing well to be offered so early by the Illini. His high school class is loaded with top performers. When did he receive the scholarship offer?
"Last time I came up here. A couple months ago. I was pretty excited because you know I am only a freshman and they offered me.
"I wasn't expecting it. I went to their office. We sat there talking for a little while. They told me, ‘I want to offer you, but I don't want you to take it right now.'"
Is he hoping to make an early commitment to a school?
"I don't even have an idea yet."
He admits that Syracuse is his dream school, but so far Illinois is his only offer. He is hearing from Purdue, DePaul and a few other schools, but he did provide a top three wish list.
"My favorite schools are Syracuse and North Carolina. And this school right here. This is my third time visiting Illinois. They're gonna be on my list. I like the school a lot. They run, they like to shoot and get it inside. I like that. I especially like Jereme Richmond. I know him very well."
Yarbrough had a quick response when asked his best attributes as a player.
"I do everything that has a lot of hard work to it. I rebound, get to the hole and shoot. I need to get better on my defense."
He has a few other things he wishes to improve as well.
"Ball handling, conditioning and my shooting. I can shoot very well, but I want to get better at it off the dribble."
Jerrance Howard is his lead recruiter for the Illini. It sounds like the two have developed a good relationship already.
"He's real cool, I like him a lot."
Yarbrough is still figuring out with whom he will play AAU ball this year.
"I don't know yet. Maybe either Mac Irvin Fire or Ferrari 15U. I played with the Mac Irvin Fire last year."
There is plenty of time for Yarbrough to decide upon a college. But there is no doubt the Illini made a favorable impression on him Saturday.
"I like the atmosphere here. It's really exciting. All the fans are excited and always in the game."