5 huge observations from the Illinois basketball win over Iowa

Illinois basketball needed some momentum entering the Big Ten Tournament, and a quick start against Iowa did the trick, as this led to a big road Big Ten win.

Mar 10, 2024; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts with
Mar 10, 2024; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts with / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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3. You can tell Niccolo Moretti has a bright future

I always enjoy it when the young guys get a chance to shine. The freshmen are so fun to watch because they haven’t been through the grind, and they come out with incredible energy and pep.

Niccolo Moretti is quickly turning into one of my favorite players on the Illinois basketball team. We haven’t seen much of him this season, but the freshman has the potential to be a star for this program in the near future.

Brad Underwood has started to trust Moretti more and more this season, and the talented point guard is starting to play some meaningful minutes for the Illini. On Sunday night, he checked in early in the game against Iowa and played pretty well.

Moretti finished with three points and two rebounds in seven minutes of action. He was 1-of-1 from the field and made 1-of-2 from the free throw line.

There are a couple of things that really impress me about Moretti’s game. The first is that he is always bringing the energy off the bench. He is someone who can spark Illinois into a little run with the energy and ability to find the open man.

The second and most important thing to me is Moretti’s defense. This kid is smart. When he gets back on defense, he communicates with his teammates about who has who in transition. Moretti is also great at switching and doesn’t get lazy. He is someone who knows defense, and that is what Illinois needs moving forward.

I believe Moretti is the future at point guard for the Illini. When all of the upperclassmen depart after this season, Moretti is going to have a chance to put his stamp on this team. I am excited about the future.