A new-look Illinois basketball team is what we saw on Friday night against Fairleigh Dickinson.
With a key player off the team, the Illini are now looking to fill production voids. Against the Knights, Illinois did a good job navigating the unexpected departure. But how should the starting lineup look moving forward?
Here is how the Illinois basketball starting lineup should look against Northwestern
No. 1 Guard - Ty Rodgers
Illinois has been rolling with Ty Rodgers at the point guard position for the entire 2023-24 season, so there is no reason to change anything at this point. In fact, I believe Rodgers is starting to come into his own at the No. 1 guard role.
Rodgers is coming off his best game as a member of the Illini, finishing the Fairleigh Dickinson win with 10 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and one steal. He did all of that with just two turnovers in 29 minutes of action.
The development of Rodgers has been quite impressive. His numbers have now been bumped up to 5.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game for the season.
With the lack of a true point guard, Illinois basketball has found the next best thing in Rodgers. The icing on the cake is the fact Rodgers is, arguably, the best rebounder on the team. This kid has it all, and that is why he will continue to start throughout the season.