3. I can see promise in Ty Rodgers
I would argue that Ty Rodgers is one of the most unique players to ever come through the Illinois basketball program. I am not sure I have ever seen anyone like him.
Rodgers continued to bring the ball up the court against Fairleigh Dickinson, and this worked out for the most part. There are still some issues with Rodgers and the fullcourt press, but he will work through that with time and practice.
But, overall, Rodgers had his best game as a member of the Illini. At 6-foot-6, and technically our point guard, Rodgers led Illinois with 15 rebounds. His aggression and rebounding prowess is fun to watch. Rodgers times his rebounds well, and he can use his athletic ability to go after a rebound. This is probably his best attribute.
Rodgers was more aggressive on the offensive end of the court on Friday night too. He finished with 10 points, eight coming in the second half. He got to the free throw line and converted 4-of-5, which makes me optimistic he can now hit free throws.
Let’s also not discount the five assists Rodgers had in the game. These five assists came in the first half. He did a good job getting the ball moving. I liked when he penetrated the defense and was able to kick the ball out for an open shot.
I can see promise with Rodgers at the No. 1 guard spot. He has the ability to be a double-double machine and can sprinkle in a triple-double every once in a while. This kid is very unique.