Illini in final six for Theo John

Illini in the final group for Minneapolis-area big man Theo John.

Four-star 2017 big man Theo John announced his final six on Twitter on Tuesday, as Illinois joined Cal, Marquette, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Purdue.

John took an official visit to Purdue last month, which came a week after the Boilers extended an offer his way. Oklahoma hosted John in April after offering him in March.

John told on Tuesday that he is planning to take an official visit to Champaign, but he is unsure of the date at this point in time.

"Still trying to figure out when works," he said. The Illini offered the 6-foot-9 center last summer, and he has been a significant target on the radar since then. Illini head coach John Groce and assistant Paris Parham visited John and his parents during the April contact period. Both coaches have watched him during the evaluation periods as well. 

John averaged 5.8 points and five rebounds per game on the EYBL circuit this spring and summer. He is a physical presence in the paint with broad shoulders, a strong lower body and a high motor. John makes big contributions at the defensive end and on the glass. He is good in the pick 'n roll game as well.

Illinois was pushing to get John on campus for an official visit in June, as he originally planned to make his decision before July. But new offers pushed back his timeline. The Illini want him to visit Champaign in August, and John's comments have been positive on that front, despite already having a commitment from five-star center Jeremiah Tilmon.

"I just want to go to a place with good people, good coaches, safe environment, people who are going to push me and give me the opportunity to play," John said. "A program that runs up and down, and just a place with great atmosphere."

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