Basketball in Illinois reloaded this season due to the fact that we lost a lot of talent from the NCAA tournament last year.
Over the past few years, Eleni It was a relevant program again. I have felt since the 2005-06 season that Orange and Blue are an elite team. That feeling finally returned after the program qualified for three consecutive NCAA Championships.
But the team succeeds only as much as the players. When players see success, they have a chance to move on to bigger and better things. Most Illinois fans aren’t used to leaving players early for the NBA.
Back in the 2000s, this happened a lot. Frank Williams left a year ago. Deron Williams left a year ago. I think De Browne would have left a year ago if it hadn’t been for an injury he sustained while training for an NBA draft.
Illinois is dealing with early departures again, and that’s a sign of an outstanding program. Ayo Dosunmo was the first player to head into the NBA early on since, I think, Myers Leonard. Kofi Cockburn followed suit and left a year later. These departures, as well as graduates and transfers, have been dealt with Brad Underwood Interesting hand.
Reloaded basketball in Illinois for the 2022-23 season.
With so many players leaving the program for one reason or another, Underwood had to react quickly. He wasn’t content to just sit back and hope the players would stick or move on to him. He’s had to hit the ground running over the past year to make sure Illinois remains an outstanding team.
Underwood had to get all this work done because Illinois’ turnover as a program was the most I’ve ever seen, possibly of any team in college basketball history. Illini lost all but four of their players from the team we saw just four months ago.
The four returning players are Coleman Hawkins, RJ Melendez, Luke Judd, and Brandon Lieb. Hawkins was the largest contributor of the four, giving Illinois 627 minutes per year. But it’s amazing how A little production belongs to me For the 2022-23 campaign.
– Illinois Basketball (IlliniMBB) July 22 2022
When divided, the four returning players played 1,087 minutes of the 6,650 total minutes played by Illinois last season. This means that only 16.3% of the minutes played during the 2021-22 season went back for another year. Think about that for a second. 83.7% of the minutes played are gone.
This isn’t even the lowest percentage either. Illinois only gets 14.6% of its points back from last season. To round out the bounce numbers, Illini returns 19.5% of rebounds, 17% of assists, 26.9% of blocks, and 20.6% of steals.
There is some good with these numbers. The return of 26.9% of blocks from the previous year is solid. This comes on the heels of Kofi’s loss to the NBA. Hawkins is very good at blocking, having 17 out of 93 blocks in Illinois last season. It was also a heist machine with 26 of the 160 heists for Illini, which is why 20.6% of thefts return.
The other good number is shifts that come back. Illinois returns only 17.2% of sales volume from last season. If that number was going to be north of 20%, that would have worried me. But getting it under 20% is great for the software.
The percentages for what goes back to the Illinois basketball program are clearly complemented by the fact that Underwood brought in Top 10 Recruitment Class From 2022, he’s made some of the biggest transfers in the gate.
Some of the extras include Terrence Shannon Jr. and Ty Rodgers, Matthew Mayer, and Skyy Clark, to name a few. All of these players, and other additions, will be critical to Illinois’ basketball success in 2022-23.
There’s a strong chance that four out of five Illini starters this season will be newcomers to the program. But that doesn’t mean Illinois will fall behind in results. The list we have now is one of the best in the last decade. I have complete confidence that not only can this team return to the NCAA Championship, but I think they can at least make it to the Sweet 16 this time.