Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your day by day dose of faculty basketball information from Illini beat author and AP High 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll provide up insights each morning on Brad Underwood’s group:
The state of the Jimmy V Basic is peak school basketball scheduling in 2020.
A part of the sector has already modified. Gonzaga continues to be set to play Tennessee, however Baylor will reportedly face Illinois as an alternative of Rutgers. The placement of the video games has additionally modified. First was New York Metropolis. Then within the Orlando bubble. And now, per CBS Sports activities’ Jon Rothstein, on Dec. 2 in Indianpolis.
Ought to the Jimmy V Basic go off as now scheduled, that might imply two excessive profile video games for Illinois in lower than per week. Two video games towards seemingly high 10 groups within the nation — Baylor on Dec. 2 and at Duke on Dec. 8 within the Huge Ten/ACC Problem.
A number of ideas on Illinois-Baylor:
— Not solely are each groups prone to be ranked within the high 10 once they play, however additionally they function an All-American guard on the high. Jared Butler is Baylor’s reply to the Illini’s Ayo Dosunmu. Each, possibly considerably surprisingly, opted out of the NBA draft and for one more yr of school basketball.
— Odds are Butler will not be guarding Dosunmu. It won’t be shocking to see Baylor throw redshirt senior guard Mark Very important — arguably one of many high defenders within the nation — at Dosunmu.
— The Bears have some acquainted names on their roster in former Illinois targets Flo Thamba and Dain Dainja. Each may issue into Baylor’s frontcourt, which is basically the one a part of the lineup coach Scott Drew has to rebuild.
— It will likely be extra a recreation of dueling backcourts, although. Baylor will pair Very important, Davion Mitchell, MaCio Teague and now-eligible Presbyterian switch Adam Flagler with Butler, whereas Dosunmu is joined by an equally as deep group together with Trent Frazier, Adam Miller and Andre Curbelo (to not point out Da’Monte Williams and Austin Hutcherson).
— The X-factor for Baylor is likely to be 6-foot-10, 235-pound senior middle Tristan Clark. Final season he was nonetheless coping with his restoration from a knee harm that price him half his sophomore yr. Wholesome, he is a double-double risk.
— Brad Underwood ought to like this Baylor roster only for the variety of gamers with ridiculous wingspans, which the Bears really record. Shoutout to them. Baylor has six gamers with a 7-foot wingspan or higher, together with Dainja (7-7 wingspan at 6-9), Thamba (7-5 at 6-10) and now-eligible UNLV switch Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (7-3 at 6-8).