5. A fresh Kendall Bostic is the best Kendall Bostic
There is a lot of focus on the guard position for the Illinois basketball program. Having Makira Cook back gives Illinois two dynamic guards when she pairs up with Genesis Bryant.
Illinois also has a dominating center in Kendall Bostic. She is a double-double machine and has been for most of her career. But, especially last season, I really noticed that Bostic can get bogged down and worn out when she has to handle the paint by herself.
Thankfully, this season, Illinois has some help behind Bostic. She hasn’t had to play a massive amount of minutes because of this help. That keeps Bostic fresh, and this is when she is at her best.
Bostic is currently playing the least amount of minutes per game that she has played her entire Illinois career. She is logging just 26.3 minutes per game, but her offensive numbers have increased. Bostic is averaging 12.5 points while shooting 71.8% from the field and 81.8% from the free throw line, all of which are career highs.
On Wednesday night, Bostic continued with her great efficiency. She dominated Central Connecticut with 18 points, eight rebounds, one assist, and one steal while hitting 6-of-10 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that once Illinois got some depth behind Bostic and she didn’t have to play extended minutes, she is performing at a higher level. I love what Camille Hobby has brought to Illinois in the paint. She is a perfect backup for Bostic. Hobby can rebound well, and she can hold her own in the paint. Illinois can also bring a player like Shay Bollin off the bench. She is more of a No. 4, but at 6-foot-3, she can also bang around in the paint.
Bostic is having one of the most efficient offensive seasons of her career. She isn’t getting burnt to early in the season, and I believe this will help Illinois tremendously once the Big Ten schedule comes around.