New Illini hoops offers: Jericho Sims & Jarrett Culver

Lead basketball reporter Derek Piper breaks down new Illini hoops offers after the first evaluation period.

http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/player/207892-jarrett-culver

Scouting report

Jarrett Culver is a natural-born scorer with length, athleticism and a good stroke. The 6-foot-5 guard can handle it, drive to the hoop and finish above the rim. He can also pull up with a jumper, or spot up from deep.

Why Illinois offered

Culver had multiple 30-point games during the high school season down in Lubbock, Tex. But his name hadn't reached outside of the local radar - until this past weekend on the EYBL circuit. That was Culver's chance to put his game on display, and he didn't disappoint. Culver averaged 18.3 points and five rebounds per game, while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from deep. He also opened up one game with 18 straight points for his team.

The Illini got a look at him out in New York, and they extended an offer on Tuesday morning. John Groce and his staff have other wings on the 2017 radar like Jordan GoodwinNojel Eastern and Terrence Lewis. They also have a pair of wings committed already in Da'Monte Williams and Javon Pickett. Illinois can afford to take one more in this class, and it makes sense for them open up multiple avenues to get it done.

How he'd fit at Illinois

Culver would be another wing in the rotation, but there's nothing wrong with having a deep backcourt filled with athleticism and the ability to score. 

Sizing up the competition

Culver's recruitment has taken some big strides since the end of the weekend. He has picked up offers from Arkansas-Little Rock, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Rice, TCU and Texas Tech. The hometown product has been waiting on an offer from the Red Raiders, and he got one from new head coach Chris Beard. Culver took an unofficial visit to Texas Tech during Tubby Smith's tenure.

If Culver is impressed by the new staff, it could be tough to pull him away from home.

http://www.scout.com/college/illinois/player/203581-jericho-sims

Scouting report

Jericho Sims is an intriguing prospect with his versatile, 6-foot-9 frame. The Cristo Rey Jesuit (Minn.) power forward is skilled with the ball in his hands on the perimeter, and he can also take it inside. Sims has good touch around the basket, and with his lefty stroke. He is athletic as well, which allows him to run the floor, sky for a rebound and finish around the hoop.

Why Illinois offered

One of the main missions for Groce's staff during the evaluation period was to track frontcourt talent. The Illini need to have more options down low in the 2017 class, and they found one worthy of an offer. Illinois assistant Dustin Ford got a look at Sims down in Dallas at the adidas Gauntlet. Sims averaged 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 55.9 percent from the field.

The Illini have some high-profile bigs on their wish list like Jeremiah Tilmon and Derek Culver. They also have Christian Negron and Theo John slotted as high priorities as well. But Illinois' needs in the frontcourt are too big to settle on just a handful of targets.

How he'd fit at Illinois

Sims could fit in at the four-spot, while adding athleticism, skill and depth to the position.

Sizing up the competition

Like Culver, Sims received a wave of offers after the games concluded this past weekend. DePaul, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas State, Minnesota and Xavier have all jumped on board with offers. Sims' father played football at Minnesota in the '70s, and his brother played football there as well.

That legacy pull could be a strong one, but he figures to have many options to go elsewhere.


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