I would agree 100% . What is lacking are a couple of 6-7" to 6'9" quality bigs who can run, handle, shoot, rebound, and defend. If I were Higgs, I would double and triple my determination to learn all of those things as a plus contributor and then I would expect huge minutes and great times next year. January will likely be a step up from Oscar after a few games next season, and the rest of these kids will all be ready for the big time. Griffin needs to grow and learn what he can do, but he seems more than anything to be looking at a Jordan type career....good shooter but a half step slow....but that can change...who knows? What was really impressive was the depth of guys who are basketball players...quick and athletic guys who bring a lot of speed with some control.Lack of athleticism? Yeah, maybe we were watching different games.
And in spite of losing this game and playing a ton of guys who looked capable (no projects), none of the contributors was named Trent Frazier. The plus side of that is they played well without their star who will be back in the lineup soon.
Best of all, for me, if Giorgi is truly a three start type player from all the "experts", then there is tremendous opportunity for me as a high school basketball scout. A will take AYO, Trent, Damonte, Andres, Tevian, Alex, and 7 Giorgis and play anyone. If Higgs and January can become comfortable with the speed of the game pretty quickly, this team is headed to the top 6 of the B1G next year. But the learning curve will take some time to climb while giving us one of the most exciting Illini teams to watch that did not make the FF. Gonna be a fun year with no titles and less than a 50-50 chance of making the NCAA tourney, but Rome was not built in a day. Not saying it won't happen, but it will be like a birthday present you never imagined if it does. Regardless, loved the way these guys bring it....and now let's see it every night.
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