Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation”, your daily dose of college basketball news from writer Illini beat and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He will offer ideas every morning about Brad Underwood’s team:
Illinois went so far as to complete its 2022 recruiting class on Wednesday, with the commitment of three-star guard AJ Storr. More work, of course, still needs to be done to fill the 2021-22 list, and the Illini are looking for more help on the front lines, even after landing Florida transferee Omar Payne.
The last target of the portal? The great Fordham man, Joel Soriano.
Oklahoma St., Johns, Oklahoma, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Creighton, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Penn State and VCU contacted Fordham’s transfer to Joel Soriano, a source said @ 247Sports. Average of 10.4 points and 9.2 rebounds this season. pic.twitter.com/jSQvLFR9GO
– Dushawn London (@ DushawnLondon1) April 7, 2021
Soriano averaged 10.4 points and 9.2 rebounds and pitched 54.5 percent of the field in 2020-21 to the Rams. Those were all career highlights for the 1.80m, 250-pound striker, who spent a year at St. Thomas More Prep (Connecticut) after graduating from Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) in 2018.
Soriano teamed up with former Illinois playmaker Alan Griffin to win a state championship at Stepinac in the main season. The Yonkers native, N.Y., was a three-star recruit after his preparatory year and chose Fordham over other offerings from Stony Brook, Iona, Old Dominion, La Salle, Manhattan and Florida International.
Soriano also has international experience. He played for the Dominican Republic at the Fiba Americas U-18 Americas Championship in 2018 in Canada and averaged 8.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in six games.