2. The offense looks better with Niccolo Moretti
This isn’t an indictment on Ty Rodgers. I believe Rodgers is a great player who is not playing the right position. He should be playing the No. 3 or No. 4 spot on the court.
With that being said, I love what Niccolo Moretti brings to the table at the point guard position. He plays a much more traditional point guard role, and he thrives with the ball in his hands.
Illinois’ offense gets stagnant at times. We have trouble creating our own shots, and this is why we struggle to put points on the board sometimes. With Moretti leading the point, I think the Illinois offense flows better and is more productive.
Moretti creates offense. His passes are on point, and he looks to make his teammates better. Some of the passes he made against Southern were spectacular. He also finished the game with four points, three rebounds, and three assists while shooting 2-of-2 from the field in 13 minutes of action.
I loved how Moretti is already comfortable in a leadership role too. That comes naturally to him. There was one time during the game when Southern trapped Moretti in the backcourt, and it caused a turnover. Moretti then talked to his teammates to direct them to come back to him when there is a trap instead of standing around. That enables Moretti to get them the ball.
Moretti is a valuable piece to the Illinois basketball program. I am not sure Brad Underwood would do it this season, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to see what Moretti can do in the starting lineup.