Projected Illinois basketball lineup after Niccolo Moretti enters the transfer portal

The transfer portal struck again with Niccolo Moretti departing. This departure now changes the Illinois basketball lineup.
Illinois v Wisconsin
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No. 2 Guard

Starter: Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn (SO)

With the way the roster is set up right now, I think Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn is the best option at the No. 2 spot on the floor. Illinois doesn’t have a ton of guard play right now, as Niccolo Moretti, Luke Goode, and Sencire Harris all transferred, and we lost Terrence Shannon Jr., Marcus Domask, and Justin Harmon to graduation.

Gibbs-Lawhorn showed sparks of greatness as a freshman last season. He is one of the two holdovers from the Elite 8 team, and I think he can build on his 2.4 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game from the 2023-24 campaign. Gibbs-Lawhorn has shown an energy on the court that is infectious. I imagine one of the reasons he is staying at Illinois is that he was maybe promised big playing time next season. I expect Gibbs-Lawhorn to get over 20 minutes per game as a sophomore.

Backup: Transfer Portal

Another scholarship should be used for a primary backup at the No. 2 guard spot. This might not end up being a primary backup depending on how talented of a player is landed, but Illinois needs more depth at this position.

Backup: Transfer Portal

Illinois could use a couple of transfer portal additions at the No. 2 spot. Building up depth in the backcourt is important. There could be a player or two who comes into the program in the frontcourt to help push Ty Rodgers back to the backcourt, but for now, there isn’t. So, we need some players to help at the No. 2 guard role.