Illinois is adding one of the country’s top prep scorers to its 2021-22 roster. Four-star Wisconsin guard Brandin Podziemski, who averaged 35.1 points per game and shot 43.4 percent from three as a senior, announced his commitment to the Illini on Tuesday. He plans to sign his national letter of intent on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period.
According to 247Sports, Podziemski is a four-star prospect and the No. 72 overall prospect in the Class of 2021. The 6-foot-6, 195-pound Delafield (Wisc.) St. John’s Northwestern Academies shooting guard chose the Illini over scholarship offers from Kentucky, Kansas, Miami, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Arizona State, DePaul, Marquette, Kansas State and Nebraska, among others.
Podziemski is the Illini’s third commitment in the Class of 2021, joining Indiana guard Luke Goode and Florida wing RJ Melendez, who are both top-100 prospects in the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Goode signed with Illinois in November, and Melendez committed to Illinois in February and is expected to sign his national letter of intent on Wednesday.
Podziemski became the 44th boy in Wisconsin history to score 2,000 points and did so despite not playing varsity as a freshman. According to MaxPreps, he was a career 40.0 percent three-point shooter, averaging 3.7 made three-pointers per game during his high school career. As a senior, Podziemski also averaged 10 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 4.0 steals and 1.4 blockers per game and was named the Associated Press boys basketball state player of the year in Wisconsin and also was named the state’s Mr. Basketball.
Quote: “I’m going to the University of Illinois,” Podziemski told 247Sports’ Eric Bossi. “Most importantly it is the fit within the program. Also the relationships that I’ve been able to build with not only the coaches but all of the players that are already there and those who are coming in with my class. The fit and opportunity to play right away is a big key.”
What it means: Illinois continues to load up with future talent on the wings to help eventually replace the loss of consensus First-Team All-American guard Ayo Dosunmu and potentially the losses of freshman starter Adam Miller, who entered the transfer portal, and senior stalwart Da’Monte Williams, who has yet to announce whether he will return for an extra year of eligibility. Podziemski continues to improve the Illini’s long-term length and shooting on the perimeter around dynamic point guard Andre Curbelo, who will be the reigning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year entering his sophomore season. Podziemski is a dynamic scorer who could crack the rotation as a freshman and has the potential to be one of the team’s best scorers later in his career. He models his game after Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro. This is a really good late addition to an Illini team in need of a new wave of talent on the wing.