Illinois Basketball: Projected Illini dream team lineup for 2021-22

COLUMBUS, OHIO - MARCH 05: Head coach Brad Underwood of the Illinois Fighting Illini watches his team in the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena on March 05, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - MARCH 05: Head coach Brad Underwood of the Illinois Fighting Illini watches his team in the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena on March 05, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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CHAMPAIGN, IL – JANUARY 11: Illinois Fighting Illini forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) reacts after a play during the Big Ten Conference college basketball game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Illinois Fighting Illini on January 11, 2020, at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHAMPAIGN, IL – JANUARY 11: Illinois Fighting Illini forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) reacts after a play during the Big Ten Conference college basketball game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Illinois Fighting Illini on January 11, 2020, at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

No. 4 Guard/Forward

Starter: Giorgi Bezhanishvili (Senior – 3* – #373 overall)

The No. 4 and No. 5 spots are a little stickier when it comes to the Illinois dream team lineup in 2021-22. With the current roster for that season, I would have Giorgi Bezhanishvili starting at the No. 5 spot. But this is the dream team lineup, so I have Giorgi moving over to the No. 4 spot as the starter.

Giorgi’s career at Illinois has been interesting. He is a fan favorite to many despite his down numbers this past season. But, as a senior in 2021-22, I expect Giorgi to come out and start for the Illini. He isn’t a bad player, as he put up 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season. I see him getting the bulk of the minutes at the No. 4 spot. This would be best for the team.

Backup: David Jones (Freshman – 4* – #94 overall)

Another one of the incoming freshmen from the class of 2021 will hopefully be David Jones. He is someone I want Illinois to land because I think he could come in and be a primary backup at the No. 4 spot.

Jones is a 6-foot-6, 195-pound wing who is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 94 player in the class of 2021. I think he is probably better suited for the No. 3 spot, but Brad Underwood likes to go small at times, so having him as Giorgi’s backup will enable the talented wing to get playing time. I believe Illinois will land Jones because 247Sports’ Derek Piper has placed a Crystal Ball on him coming to the Illini. This would be a huge pickup.

Backup: Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (Sophomore – NR – NR)

I keep hearing people say that Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk is going to be a really good player. Despite those rumblings, I have him as the second backup at the No. 4 spot.

I have no doubt there will be minutes for Bosmans-Verdonk in 2021-22 as a sophomore, but I am not sure how good he will end up being. If he was going to a huge impact player, then I am shocked he didn’t see more time this past season. I believe he will be a solid player but won’t see a lot of time early on.