Xavier Rathan-Mayes models his game after former Illinois guard Deron Williams.

"D-Will and Kobe are my favorite players. I pattern my game after D-Will a lot — big, scoring guard, physical," said Rathan-Mayes, a 2013 prospect. "A lot of people say I play like him. Being compared to him is pretty special. That's just an honor for me. I have a long way to go. It's a lot of work left to do. But it's somebody I look up to."

Illinois has pitched Rathan-Mayes, considered a true combo guard, on the idea of being the next Deron Williams and helping rebuild the program into a Big Ten contender.

Rathan-Mayes has Illinois ranked among his three finalists.