Talen Horton-Tucker had a good morning on Saturday.
The Chicago Simeon guard recorded a triple-double for the Mac Irvin Fire AAU team in a 73-66 win over Playground Elite in the EYBL opener in Hampton, Virginia.
Soon after, he received a scholarship offer from first-year Illinois coach Brad Underwood, who watched Horton-Tucker this morning along with Illini assistant Chin Coleman.
"I just feel really good about it because it's the hometown school and I feel like you should get recognized by your home state before anywhere first," Horton-Tucker told Illini Inquirer's Derek Piper.
The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a junior for Simeon, which finished runner-up in Class 4A last month. He is one of the state's top in-state prospects behind Mac Irvin Fire teammate and Morgan Park five-star point guard Ayo Dosunmu, who scored 32 points on Saturday morning.
Horton-Tucker also has high-major offers from Northwestern, Missouri, Iowa State and DePaul.
Illinois has a long history with Simeon. Recently dismissed coach John Groce signed Simeon players Kendrick Nunn, Jaylon Tate and D.J. Williams.
But Groce didn't push for Horton-Tucker. The new Illini staff showed Saturday that he is a priority.
"The last staff didn't talk to me as much and Coach Chin and Underwood are talking to me now," Horton-Tucker said.
Underwood extends 2019 offers
Later in the day, Underwood handed out his first few offers for the Class of 2019. The Illini coach extended offers to Roselle (N.J.) Catholic four-star wing Kahlil Whitney and three-star Aurora (Ill.) Metea Valley wing Malik Hall.
Whitney is a Chicago native who played at Solorio Academy during his freshman season but transferred to east coast powerhouse Roselle for his sophomore season. Whitney continues to play for the Chicago-based Mac Irvin Fire AAU program, though.
Scout ranks Whitney the No. 34 overall prospect in the Class of 2019. He currently holds offers from Illinois, Rutgers, St. John's and Syracuse.
Hall now has offers from Illinois, Texas A&M, SMU and SLU.