No. 4 Forward
Starter: Matthew Mayer
Illinois’ offseason additions will help this program tremendously. Terrence Shannon Jr. is bringing the team a ton of talent and experience. But he isn’t the only one joining the Illini who has made a postseason run or two. Matthew Mayer also transferred in. He averaged 9.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game with Baylor this past season.
Baylor saw great success when Mayer was with the program. They qualified for the NCAA tournament all four years, and they won the national title just two years ago. Illinois is now getting a player who knows what it takes to win it all. That is something we have been missing. I expect Mayer to be an invaluable asset to this program. He should be starting at the No. 4 spot.
Backup: Zacharie Perrin
We finally get to the man of the hour. Illinois was able to land one more piece for the class of 2022 on Monday. Zacharie Perrin decided to end his recruitment and pick the Illini as his landing spot. This was a great addition for the Orange and Blue and one that will pay dividends down the road.
I have Perrin slotted as a backup at the No. 4 spot heading into the upcoming campaign. This will give him solid experience as he learns behind some great players. When those players leave after the season, then Perrin will have a chance to take over the starting job. I can’t wait to see how Perrin develops this season.