Last season, Illinois was a good team, but it was in no way extraordinary. The club’s top stat was their 7.5 rebound margin, which topped the Big Ten and placed 11th nationally. Here’s the way the Illini stacked up last season. Their 72.2 PPG scoring offense ranked 136th nationally and fifth in the Big Ten while their scoring defense, which was sound, held opponents to 65.3 PPG (64th Nationally, 7th Big Ten). The Fighting Illini field goal percentage of 44.3% and field-goal defense of 41.5 PPG ranked then 145th and 94th respectively. Other essential stats include this team’s three-point success rate, which was 30.9% (294th Nationally, 14th Big Ten). Illinois’ 12.1 turnovers per game ranked them 85th overall and ninth in the Big Ten.
Illinois Basketball Preview 2020 – 2021 – Players
Our Illinois basketball preview 2020 – 2021 observes that Dosunmu’s decision to come back for a third season with Illinois is huge in terms of this team’s potency. Last season, he became a premium perimeter man as he honed his decision-making and leadership skills. With the game on the line, he became the go-to guy. He used his speed and quickness to go to the rim more often than he did in his freshman season, making him more effective in terms of point production. Also, he led the team in scoring and assists.
Senior Trent Frazier, who averaged 9.1 PPG, is the number two guard. He’s a solid player. The third spot will likely be filled by one of the freshmen. Miller is a natural shooting guard, while Curbelo is more of a point guard. Both have excellent shooting skills. We expect to see a rotation that includes these two and Frazier. The freshmen would work nicely into Illinois’ style of play, which utilizes screens, passing, and slashing to create premium shooting scenarios.
Fighting Illini – Make or Break for 2020-2021
Our Illinois basketball preview 2020 – 2021 observes that with the team coach Underwood has put together, this team has a premium chance to go all the way. However, in order to do so, he is going to have to rely on some very talented but inexperienced freshman. A lot of this team’s success will be determined by how fast Miller and Curbelo can mature and work into the mix. Of course, having both Cockburn and Dosumnu return gives the Illini a huge advantage. But that doesn’t negate the fact that there’s still a lot of work to be done. Plus, never underestimate the level of competition in the Big Ten. It is brutal, intense, and exhausting. Still, this team has a lot going for it, and with the lessons they’ve garnered from last season, we expect that Illinois will perform better than they did in 2019 – 2020.
Illinois Basketball Preview 2020 – 2021- Final Word
This is a basketball team that has one of the best backcourt players and one of the best front men in the NCAA. Our Illinois basketball preview 2020 – 2021 finds that one of the reasons for this team’s success last season, was Underwood’s ability to adapt his schemes to the strengths of his players. At the same time, as the season progressed, this team matured. With a very strong recruiting class, solid role players, and two veteran stars, we expect this team to go deep into the tournament. They’re hungry and ready for it.
Illinois Fighting Illini – 2020-2021 NCAA Projection
Big Ten Finish – 1st
NCAA Tournament Result – Elite Eight