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Illinois Basketball To Rely Heavily on These Two Players

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Illinois Basketball To Rely Heavily on These Two Players
Nov 10, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Quincy Guerrier (13) grabs a rebound during the second half against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball To Rely Heavily on These Two Players

2023 was quite the year for Illinois Basketball. Though there were some great highs and signs that Brad Underwood has this program back where it belongs, there were some incredible lows. Most recently, Illinois Basketball seems to have hit a low. With the status of Terrence Shannon Jr looming over this University, Brad Underwood faces a unique challenge. Luckily, he has a veteran group that showed on Friday night that they have no intention of going away. Whether the All-American wing in Shannon Jr returns or not, Illinois Basketball has to turn towards two players in particular for them to have the season they are hoping to have.

Quincy Guerrier

Quincy Guerrier looks the part of that “next-level” guy. Guerrier is 6 foot 8, 220 pounds, and is in his fifth year of college basketball. He’s a grown man who has all the tools of a professional basketball player. Coleman Hawkins obviously will have to take a step forward, however, I do not think that Hawkins prefers to be the lead dog on the offensive side of the ball. That is no shot at Coleman Hawkins, however, this team is at its best when Hawkins can keep the game simple. Guerrier has the ability to take Shannon Jr’s spot on the wing and allow Coleman to continue what he has been doing in December.

Guerrier has averaged  19.8ppg, and 7.8 rebounds on 52.3% from 3 in the past four games.

Ty Rodgers

Ty Rodgers has had an interesting year. He has been thrust into the point guard role and has done an admirable job trying to figure the position out on the fly. Rodgers is supremely talented and athletic. He has found a way to be effective on the offensive side without a perimeter jumper. He has improved his free throw shooting to 11/15 since the Marquette game. Against Farleigh Dickinson, we saw Ty use his long, athletic frame to get to the rim and it paid off. The challenge for him will be to do this against Big Ten guards with confidence. With Terrence Shannon Jr out, Rodgers needs to up the ante on the offensive side and use his physical tools to get to the cup and free-throw line in the half-court.

Rodgers has averaged 6 ppg, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in the last three games for Illinois Basketball.

 



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