Chicago Tribune

St. Joe's PG Marquise Walker visiting Illinois on Saturday

St. Joe's sophomore point guard Marquise Walker will visit Illinois on Saturday.

Top in-state 2019 point guard Marquise Walker will take an unofficial visit to Illinois on Saturday, per Michael O'Brien of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Walker opened eyes last season as a freshman at St. Joe's, especially during the state tournament. He had a team-high 18 points in a close loss against Belleville Althoff in the 3A semifinals.

Last weekend, Walker took the court with the Chargers during the Riverside Brookfield Shootout. He showed his ability as a playmaker who can score, and he feels good about what lies ahead for his team.

"I feel good. I feel like we're going to take over this season," Walker said. "We're going to be a good team. There's nothing that can stop us."

St. Joe's will be without Nick Rakocevic, who was a first-team All-State selection last season. Rakocevic will play at USC this fall. His absence will carve out an even bigger role for Walker.

"Of course, I'm going to miss Nick. That's my guy. He was an All-State player," he said. "Now, I've got to step up and be the leader. Just try to do what I can to make us win games."

The Illini have been tracking Walker closely since last season, and John Groce and Paris Parham sat courtside in Peoria during the state tournament games.

"They've said Coach Groce likes me," Walker said. "They've said some good words about me."

An Illinois offer is likely in the cards sometime, and that's an opportunity that Walker would greatly welcome.

"If they offer me at some point, it will be a great experience," he said. "You never know what will happen -- that's three years from now. You never know if I might end up committing. It would all be good to get an offer."

Walker added that he has the same style as a former Illini star at the point guard position.

"I'd describe my style like a Deron Williams type," he said.

The 2019 class is a ways away, but Walker already looks the part of a can't-miss talent. Getting him down in Champaign is big for establishing that relationship and building his familiarity with the program.

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