No. 3 Guard/Forward
Starter: Ty Rodgers (JR)
For the 2023-24 campaign, Ty Rodgers is going to be starting at the No. 1 guard spot. He is going to be our point guard, at least to start the season. Rodgers is a lot leaner than last season, and he is quicker too. While he is going to suit up in the traditional point guard role for this upcoming campaign, I think he will move over to the No. 3 spot in 2024-25.
I have Rodgers starting at the No. 3 spot. With the departures from the program and Niccolo Moretti ready to take the reins at point guard, Rodgers would fit seamlessly back into the wing. He is a slasher to the basket by nature, so this role would be perfect for him. Rodgers has all of the athletic ability in the world, and he can be a shutdown defender. He is going to be a huge piece of this program during the 2024-25 campaign.
Backup: Sencire Harris (JR)
Illinois has multiple slashers on the team. I have Rodgers getting the starting nod at the No. 3 spot but backing him up should be someone like Sencire Harris. I have the junior as the primary backup to Rodgers in 2024-25.
Harris is a talented player who can do a little bit of everything on the court. His best attribute is his defense, but I also believe he is a capable shooter when given the chance. Illinois didn’t need him to shoot as a freshman, so it will be interesting to see how he develops this season. If Harris turns into more of a shooter this year, then this projected lineup could be adjusted to reflect him as a starter in 2024-25. For now, though, I have Harris as the primary backup to Rodgers.
I mentioned this earlier, but my biggest worry about the 2024-25 squad is in the scoring department. Luke Goode is the only player I trust to hit a shot from the outside. That is why snagging another wing in the transfer portal would be a great idea. This player ideally would be able to shoot from outside. We don’t need someone extremely talented in other areas, but shooting is a must. That is how we should use the second transfer spot.