The Illini need to recruit a lead guard for when Makira is gone after next year. She is such a dominant part of the team that someone needs to be ready to take her place. I'm not sure whether the portal or the high school ranks are the better source (maybe both?)
Speaking of the portal, Did the ladies' team lose anyone to the portal this year?
We lost to the portal: guard Jayla Oden and center Liisa Taponen
A 2024 recruit who could fit the lead guard role is target Shay Ijiwoye, who visited us at the same time as commit Berry Wallace. Some other ranked uncommitted lead guards from that class are Zamareya Jones--whose game resembles Cook's IMO--Delaney Gibb, and Britt Prince; however, I haven't seen anything that indicates the staff has offered any of these three.
Or, perhaps the lead guard to take up the mantle after Cook is already on the 2023-24 roster. Rising junior Adalia McKenzie has already put her game on display. What happens when she emerges fully from the shadow of Cook and Bryant? Maybe 2023s Allen and Dolan have "it", and opportunity is ripe next year for holdovers Jackson and Rhodes to compete for the role of impact ballhandler off the bench.
Or, as you suggest, the portal will be there next spring as well!