The 2018 priority list is taking shape for the Illini staff after the spring evaluation periods, and four-star Florida forward Darius Days is a target Illinois is very high on.
Assistant coach Orlando Antigua was the first coach to offer Days a scholarship during his tenure at South Florida. The Illini are looking to tap into Antigua's connections in The Sunshine State, and Days is a big part of that early effort.
The 6-foot-7 prospect held an offer from the previous Illinois staff. That offer was reaffirmed last week by Brad Underwood's staff, who watched Days and teammate Silvio De Sousa at the Under Armour events in Brooklyn and Indianapolis.
"Coach Antigua recruited me at USF and now he's recruiting me at Illinois," Days said. "We started talking again."
Days mentioned that he wants to play in an uptempo style at the next level, and his versatile game is an ideal fit in Underwood's system that is geared towards the idea of positionless basketball.
As an inside-out presence with a high motor, Days said he seems himself as a Draymond Green-type. He can play physical on the inside. He runs the floor. And he can stretch the defense with his outside jumper.
Days hit four threes in a 20-point outing on Friday night in Indy. He said that has been the area where his game has taken the most strides.
"My shot is coming along from last year. It's way better. I was more of a post presence instead of being a guy who could step out and shoot the three," Days said. "Now, my game is expanding."
In addition to his offensive skill set, Days is a very impactful defender. He can guard multiple positions. And he uses his seven-foot wingspan and quick hands to pickpocket opponents regularly.
On Friday, Days had four steals to go along with his 20 points, six rebounds and two assists. He's had multiple steals in all but one game on the circuit thus far. He's also averaging 14.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
This recruiting battle appears to be one that will be highly-contested. Along with Illinois, Days has offers from Cincinnati, Missouri, Oklahoma, Providence, Texas A&M, VCU, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He mentioned Texas A&M, Virginia and Virginia Tech as programs who have worked the hardest at this juncture.
Days is also receiving interest from Alabama, Duke and Kansas. He said that Duke assistant Jon Scheyer has contacted him about the Blue Devils liking his game.
While some of the 'big boys' will sniff around, Illinois' goal is to prioritize Days like a top target. He doesn't have visits scheduled at this time, but he said Champaign might be a place he'd like to visit in the future.