2. How will Illinois adjust to Coleman Hawkins, potentially, being back in the lineup?
Just days ago, Brad Underwood announced that Coleman Hawkins would be a game-time decision for Illinois against Rutgers. I would assume the head ball coach knows what the decision is going to be, though.
My assumption is that Hawkins is going to play. Illinois is heading into a tough stretch and needs the talented 6-foot-10 do-it-all forward on the court.
Hawkins has missed the last three games due to injury. In this stretch, Illinois has played some weak competition, but we have looked pretty good. The closest game was against Valparaiso, and we beat them by 23 points.
With the Illini gelling, will it be an easy transition for Hawkins back into the starting lineup? That is a question I have for the game on Saturday. How will Illinois adjust to this big roster change?
Hawkins is a talented player, don’t get me wrong. But there is a chance Illinois looks bad in the first half against the Scarlet Knights. We have been a slow team to start games this season regardless, but now that a player is coming back into the fold, there will likely be an adjustment period.
There is also a chance, maybe, that Hawkins doesn’t start. Brad Underwood is pretty smart about these things, so there might be a chance Hawkins is eased back into playing time so it isn’t as much of an adjustment.
Let’s see how Underwood handles the roster on Saturday. My guess is that Hawkins plays against Rutgers but how will the team adjust? That is the big question.