Illinois conducted a zoom meeting with Texas Tech 5-star transfer Nimari Barnett and his family yesterday afternoon. After speaking with nimari and sources in the program. Staff before the visit felt good about its situation with nimari from past convos.
Nimari told me Wednesday that he had legit serious interest in Illinois and Friday morning before the zoom he told me this was the only one he has setup. Chin Coleman has led the charge but Illinois and brad underwood have made nimari a priority again. Before I get to the zoom, a source close to situation not involved in program told me Nimari wants to “be the man and have the ball in his hands, even if he has to go to a mid major. That’s where he will go.”
With Ayo almost guaranteed to head to the draft this summer, that spot is open for Nimari to fill his shoes and take over and play alongside Andre Curbelo.
In regards to the zoom, I was told it went really really well. Staff assured and made it clear Nimari Will had the ball and answered any issues that were addressed. He knows he is too good to not play and the staff does too. No timeline was given but belief a decision could be soon. But illini fans should feel good about where they bare and majority of folks around the staff and people who know Burnett believe it’s trending well. Something that shouldn’t be lost in this, Coleman Hawkins and Nimari playing together and the comfort they have and that’s a big plus Illinois has and the familiarity of Illinois and being closer to home.