5. Will the Illini finish out the non-conference strong without a point guard?
Coming into the season, Illinois basketball had some great PR when it came to the point guard position. We were all told that Ty Rodgers was going to be the point guard in 2023-24.
Illinois fans got to see what the point guard situation would look like over in Spain, and that play continued on through the exhibition games. But, through nine games, I have quickly realized that Illinois doesn’t have a point guard playing right now.
That leaves me to question, will Illinois finish the non-conference strong without a point guard on the court?
I say the non-conference because I believe Niccolo Moretti will soon return. He has been out with an ankle injury since late November, and when I read into the words of Brad Underwood, it seems that Moretti isn’t too far off from returning.
Honestly, Moretti is the only point guard on the Illinois roster. It is a committee of who brings the ball up the court right now. There isn’t one singular player that gets Illinois into the offense either.
There isn’t a single Illinois player averaging three assists per game, and four players are averaging at least two assists. Moretti has only played in three games this season, and he is still fifth on the team in assists. That is how bad the point guard situation is for Illinois right now.
When I look at the Illinois schedule, I see three winnable games to finish out the non-conference. Colgate on Sunday, Missouri on Friday, and Fairleigh Dickinson the following Friday. I believe Illinois can out-talent these three programs. Hopefully, Moretti will be ready to reenter the Illinois rotation by the Northwestern game on January 2. That is when I am eyeing his return.