Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your day by day dose of faculty basketball information from Illini beat author and AP Prime 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll provide up insights each morning on Brad Underwood’s staff:
The state of the Jimmy V Traditional is peak faculty basketball scheduling in 2020.
A part of the sector has already modified. Gonzaga continues to be set to play Tennessee, however Baylor will reportedly face Illinois as a substitute of Rutgers. The placement of the video games has additionally modified. First was New York Metropolis. Then within the Orlando bubble. And now, per CBS Sports activities’ Jon Rothstein, on Dec. 2 in Indianpolis.
Ought to the Jimmy V Traditional go off as now scheduled, that may imply two excessive profile video games for Illinois in lower than per week. Two video games in opposition to possible prime 10 groups within the nation — Baylor on Dec. 2 and at Duke on Dec. 8 within the Huge Ten/ACC Problem.
A number of ideas on Illinois-Baylor:
— Not solely are each groups prone to be ranked within the prime 10 after they play, however additionally they characteristic an All-American guard on the prime. Jared Butler is Baylor’s reply to the Illini’s Ayo Dosunmu. Each, perhaps considerably surprisingly, opted out of the NBA draft and for an additional yr of faculty basketball.
— Odds are Butler will not be guarding Dosunmu. It is not going to be stunning to see Baylor throw redshirt senior guard Mark Very important — arguably one of many prime defenders within the nation — at Dosunmu.
— The Bears have some acquainted names on their roster in former Illinois targets Flo Thamba and Dain Dainja. Each may issue into Baylor’s frontcourt, which is actually the one a part of the lineup coach Scott Drew has to rebuild.
— It will likely be extra a sport of dueling backcourts, although. Baylor will pair Very important, Davion Mitchell, MaCio Teague and now-eligible Presbyterian switch Adam Flagler with Butler, whereas Dosunmu is joined by an equally as deep group together with Trent Frazier, Adam Miller and Andre Curbelo (to not point out Da’Monte Williams and Austin Hutcherson).
— The X-factor for Baylor could be 6-foot-10, 235-pound senior middle Tristan Clark. Final season he was nonetheless coping with his restoration from a knee harm that price him half his sophomore yr. Wholesome, he is a double-double risk.
— Brad Underwood ought to like this Baylor roster only for the variety of gamers with ridiculous wingspans, which the Bears truly checklist. Shoutout to them. Baylor has six gamers with a 7-foot wingspan or higher, together with Dainja (7-7 wingspan at 6-9), Thamba (7-5 at 6-10) and now-eligible UNLV switch Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (7-3 at 6-8).