The 2013-2014 Illinois squad will be unique
After the graduation of Bill Cole, Mike Davis, Demetri McCamey, and Mike Tisdale, Illini fans had a good idea of what to expect within the next season with the return of familiar faces D.J. Richardson, Brandon Paul, and Tyler Griffey, as well as a young, soon to be familiar face, Meyers Leonard.
However, now that Richardson, Paul, and Griffey are graduating, this Illini squad will be unique. Sure, familiarity will be present with the likes of Tracy Abrams, Nnanna Egwu, and presumably Joseph Bertrand returning, but beyond those three players, not much is known about next year's Fighting Illini squad.
As far as transactions go, this is where Illinois stands:
Transfer Student(s) leaving: Sam McLaurin (PF)
Graduating Players: Brandon Paul (SG), D.J. Richardson (SG), and Tyler Griffey (PF)
Transferring Players: Devin Langford (G/F), Mike Shaw (F), and Ibby Djimde (F/C)
Transfer Students Incoming: Rayvonte Rice (SG)
Incoming Freshmen: Kendrick Nunn (SG), Malcolm Hill (SG), Austin Colbert (PF), Maverick Morgan (C), and Jaylon Tate (PG)
With all of this madness, this is what I project the Illinois depth chart and rotation to look like:
PG: Tracy Abrams (Jr.), Kevin Berardini (RS SR.), Mike LaTulip (SO.), Jaylon Tate (FR.)
SG: Kendrick Nunn (FR.), Malcolm Hill (FR.), Rayvonte White (JR.)
SF: Joseph Bertrand (RS SR.), Myke Henry (JR.)
PF: Austin Colbert (FR.)
C: Nnanna Egwu (JR.), Maverick Morgan (FR.)
PG: Tracy Abrams
SG: Kendrick Nunn
SF: Joseph Bertrand
PF: Austin Colbert
C: Nnanna Egwu
6th: Malcolm Hill
7th: Myke Henry
8th: Maverick Morgan
As you may be able to tell, Illinois does not have much depth in their front court at all, as Egwu is still very frail, and Colbert will be very raw. Front court depth is a top priority to compete in the Big Ten, and even though the 12-13 Illini team wasn't very big, Griffey and McLaurin did what they were asked to and rose up to the occasion.
The 2013-2014 Illinois Fighting Illini team will be a very unique squad, and I definitely look forward to watching them play next season.
I am a big fan of Nunn. I watched Simeon play a few times for Parker & every time Nunn stood out.
Very active & explosive. He will fit right in the BIG10 & give Abrams a very solid running mate in the back court.
remember when I suggested to you illinois should've pursued fred van vleet harder and i showed u that video of him? i'm sure you got a good look at him now....
That sounds like a rebuilding year to me.
Pretty much, but there is some talent there.
As for the OP, I think Rayvonte Rice will be higher up in the depth chart because of his toughness, experience and position versatility. He's multi-skilled as well.
I also see them going small with a front court of Bertrand, Rice and Egwu or maybe even Henry, Bertrand and Egwu. Coach Groce also plays 4 out 1 in. Their frontcourt lacks beef and toughness. Colbert won't be able to help in either of those areas. Rice might be undersized (in terms of height, not strength), but he'd help out in that regard, same with Henry.
Rice will be getting way more playing time than you are projecting. I truly expect him to start or at the least be their 6th man. He wouldn't have left a situation where he was the best player and all-conference type of player to be a bench warmer for the Illini durring a rebuilding year. Ravonte really reminds me of Lenzelle Smith Jr from Ohio State.
i really wish i could see brandon paul and dj richardson play with nunn. that would be an amazing trio. if only those 2 guys had another year left
F***! I just now from you saw about Shaw and Langford. F***. I was really hoping they could make some strides this summer and be key players in the front court. Well, good luck to them. I agree, Rice can ball. It will be nice to have a real back up with Tate. I'm not sure that Colbert will be ready to start and bang down low in the Big Ten from the jump. I wouldn't be surprised to see Groce start Henry and try to space the floor and create match up problems.
Too cool! Bookmarking your blog and am going to start working through the archives as soon as I get time. Glad there's someone out there writing about this with your attitude and honesty.
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