Good Morning, Illini Nation: Illinois offers 2025 center Malachi Moreno

Apr. 28—The transfer portal has every college basketball fan base's attention. Why wouldn't it? Plucking players from the portal is how rosters are built these days. High school recruits? They've become secondary. But not entirely obsolete.

Especially if you've just hired (again) one of the top recruiters in the country. And Orlando Antigua is already adding to Illinois' recruiting board. The latest target? That would be consensus four-star forward/center Malachi Moreno, who Antigua was also recruiting at Kentucky.

Moreno is the top-ranked prospect in the state of Kentucky. The 7-foot-1, 220-pound forward/center is ranked as high as No. 1 in the Class of 2025 by On3 and is a consensus top 60 recruit. Also in the mix for the Georgetown, Ky., native is Louisville, Clemson, Baylor, Syracuse, Providence, LSU, USC, Alabama, Auburn, Penn State, Florida, Creighton, N.C. State, Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Xavier, Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Purdue and Missouri.

Moreno helped Great Crossing (Ky.) go 36-2 last season and reach the quarterfinals of the KHSAA state tournament. He averaged 16 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2.2 assists on the season while shooting 66 percent from the field. Moreno also put up 14.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.8 blocks per game as a sophomore for the Warhawks.