Skyy Clark, No. 25 prospect in ESPN 100, to join Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

Top-25 senior Skyy Clark, who decommitted from Kentucky last month, announced Thursday he is heading to Illinois.

Clark chose the Fighting Illini over a final six that also included Louisville, Tennessee, USC, Maryland and Washington. Illinois head coach Brad Underwood played a key role in landing Clark.

"Super fiery coach," Clark told ESPN. "He makes you uncomfortable in practice so you will be comfortable on the road in Big Ten games. He lets his guards play and he is a proven winner who I believe will help get me prepared for the next level."

Two other staff members were also factors in Clark's opting for Champaign.

"Adam Fletcher, the strength and conditioning coach. He was a big reason why I chose Illinois," he said. "I believe he will help me get my body right and help me become the best version of myself athletically. He not only gives you a plan, he goes through the process with you. Also, assistant coach Tim Anderson. He is like an uncle to me. He recruited me in the eighth grade when I committed to DePaul."

Clark was ranked as a five-star prospect early in his high school career. However, he partially tore his ACL last summer and missed the July evaluation period, leading to some lost momentum in the rankings. A 6-foot-2 guard who attends Montverde Academy (Florida), Clark is ranked No. 25 in the ESPN 100 -- slotting in as the No. 5 shooting guard in the class.

Clark is a strong-bodied guard and a high-level competitor. Before his injury, he was impacting games as someone who could create his own shot and find others. Clark plays as a downhill shot-making point guard who is excellent at reading ball-screen coverages and making the right play. He is difficult to defend in ball-screen actions because of his deep range, his decision-making and his vision.

Clark is effective making the lift pass to the opposite wing and can also pick defenses apart with pocket passes and lob passes to the roller. His ballhandling is secure and he does not get bumped off the ball because of his low center of gravity.

Clark is the third ESPN 100 pledge for Underwood in the 2022 class, following forward Ty Rodgers and guard Jayden Epps. Four-star point guard Sencire Harris is also part of the Fighting Illini's group.

Illinois was ranked No. 18 in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25 on Monday night, but Clark now gives the Illini a playmaker in the backcourt -- something they were lacking on next season's roster. If Kofi Cockburn returns to Champaign, they will rise in the rankings.