In the final edition of our Week of Recruits series, Writing Illini looks at the lone upperclassmen who is new to the Illinois basketball team. Sam Maniscalco is a senior transfer from Bradley who looks to lead the team from the point guard position next year.
Name: Sam Maniscalco
Position: Point Guard
Weight: 176 lbs
Former School: Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois
Strengths: Maniscalco’s biggest strength is his experience. He has three years of college play under his belt and has been through several late game pressure situations. He has shown poise under pressure and can be a reliable guard that the Illini can turn to late in games.
Areas for Improvement: Maniscalco needs to bulk up and try to improve his speed to become a true competitor in Big Ten play. Fortunatly, the half court offense that Illinois runs does not require as much speed as a full court offense does.
Early Thoughts: Maniscalco was brought to the team to try and instal some leadership in a squad that otherwise has no seniors. While juniors D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul should also step into a leadership role as they enter their third years on the team, neither is a true point guard and the addition of Maniscalco gives the team a veteran ball handler who can handle pressure situations while allowing Paul and Richardson to play positions more comfortable to them.