3. Will Brad Underwood get the bench more experience?
I fully expect the Illinois basketball team to come out and put a hurting on Fairleigh Dickinson. This is a massive mismatch that should get out of hand in the first 10 minutes.
There are a couple of implications for the Illini getting out to a huge lead early on. One is that the main starters can finally get some rest and they don’t have to worry about winning or losing in this game. The second is the minutes that the deep bench guys can get.
So, I want to see if Brad Underwood gets the bench more experience. Can we see some of the younger guys on the court longer against the Knights?
I am mainly thinking about the freshman on the Illinois basketball team. I am not sure if Underwood wants to redshirt them, but I believe that time has probably passed at this point. So, let’s start getting some of the young guys involved.
There is a solid chance Amani Hansberry is starting at the No. 5 spot for the Illini in 2024-25. Getting him as many minutes as possible this season is ideal. We need him to develop his skills and knowledge so he can be a big-time player next season.
I also want to see Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn get more playing time in this game. This kid has a ton of energy and is ready to burst onto the scene. I saw great things out of him during the Spain trip, and I would like to see him develop more and control that energy on the court.
Friday night should be a development night for the Illinois youngsters. I still think we can get to 127 points with the freshmen playing more too. This Illinois team is stacked with talent.