Fresh off a visit to Missouri, E.J. Liddell, the Tigers’ top basketball recruit for the 2019 class, has narrowed his list to three schools.
Liddell announced on Wednesday night that Missouri, Ohio State and Illinois remain in contention for his services.
The 6-foot-7 shot-blocking forward from Belleville West (Ill.) took an official visit to official visit to Ohio State on Aug. 30 and was at Missouri this past weekend. He visited with his longtime friend and fellow 2019 target Mario McKinney. Sources told The Star that Missouri felt both visits went very well.
Liddell was originally going to visit Illinois towards the end of October but moved up the visit to Sept. 21.
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Kansas State and Wisconsin were the other two schools in Liddell’s top five that didn’t make the cut.
Of his remaining schools, it is believed that Missouri and Ohio State remain in contention for Liddell more than Illinois, which appears to have dropped off after being the four-star prospect’s first offer in high school.
Ohio State currently has a pair of top-40 prospects committed in point D.J. Carton and power forward Alonzo Gaffney. Gaffney is a very similar player to Liddell but a little taller at 6-9. While some have wondered if Liddell and Gaffney could co-exist given their playing styles, Liddell previously told The Star that it wouldn’t be an issue if he went there.
Missouri currently has no pledges for its 2019 class and just lost its No. 2 target in Tray Jackson, who committed to Minnesota on Monday. Should Liddell commit, he’d be the focal point of Cuonzo Martin’s most talented team in 2019-20. The Tigers add transfers Mark Smith and Dru Smith and likely return Torrence Watson, K.J. Santos and Jeremiah Tilmon.
Illinois doesn’t have any recruits for its 2019 class and suffered attrition after coach Brad Underwood’s first season. The program did sign five-star point guard Ayo Dosunmo, who is a player Underwood could rebuild around.
Liddell’s decision to move up his Illinois visit indicates he’s trying to commit sooner rather than later. He did not immediately respond to a text from The Star.