The past few hours have been amazing for the Illinois basketball program, as two players decided to come to Champaign.
One player was Trent Frazier. He decided to come back to Illinois for one more year. This was an expected announcement but one that is still extremely exciting. Having Frazier back is huge for the program.
The other addition is Alfonso Plummer. He is transferring from Utah where he had a solid senior season. Plummer has one more year in college, and Illinois won out for the talented sharpshooter.
With these two additions to the program, the Illinois lineup is going to get a shakeup. These are two big pieces to add to a lineup that really needed them.
Here is the projected Illinois basketball lineup with Trent Frazier and Alfonso Plummer.
No. 1 Guard
Starter: Andre Curbelo
The additions of Trent Frazier and Alfonso Plummer won’t affect the starting job of the No. 1 guard spot. This still goes to Andre Curbelo, who will help lead this Illini program back to the NCAA tournament in 2022.
Curbelo’s freshman season was one of the ages. He would have his rough moments but would eventually settle into his role on the team. The ability to drive the lane and improvise was spectacular. He could find the open man or, somehow, get the easiest looking layup in the world. The Magician continues to impress with his moves and brain, and I expect him to be the leader on this team moving forward.
Backup: Austin Hutcherson
This is where things start to get a little different. Frazier and Plummer joining the lineup gives me comfort that someone besides Curbelo can bring the ball up the court. So, Curbelo’s backup is actually one of the former starters in a projected lineup. I have Austin Hutcherson backing up Curbelo.
Hutcherson is coming off a season that he missed due to injury. To get him up to speed, it might be best to have him come off the bench. Hutcherson also averaged 3.2 assists per game with Wesleyan, so he knows how to dish the ball.