Roster revamp: Three ways Brad Underwood can fill out his roster

Roster revamp: Three ways Brad Underwood can fill out his roster

The transfer of D.J. Williams now gives Illinois coach Brad Underwood four open scholarships. Beat writer SCOTT RICHEY breaks down three potential avenues the Illini might take with that scholarship flexibility:

Fill primary need

Use all four scholarships likely isn’t on the table, but Illinois has some roster needs — namely a big man to add to the post rotation. Kipper Nichols is looking at major minutes at the 4, but it would behoove the Illini to have some Michael Finke/Leron Black insurance. Finding said player is the more difficult task, with Big Ten-caliber big men a scarcity on the available player market. Per, 6-foot-8 Georgetown grad transfer Akoy Agau is visiting Illinois on Thursday.

Address secondary need, too

Filling two scholarships for the 2017-18 season — or three if at least one, if not two, of them were grad transfers — is probably the most likely path. A big man is still a necessity for precautionary depth if nothing else, but more scoring on the wing wouldn’t hurt. That could possibly be Wright State grad transfer Mark Alstork, who also has a visit planned to Illinois for Thursday. Or Canadian wing Ignas Brazdeikis, who’s lighting up the EYBL circuit this spring and has thought about reclassifying to 2017.

Save up for 2018

Holding three open scholarships for the Class of 2018 is ideal situation for Brad Underwood and would make sense considering the type of players the Illini are targeting. Three key areas appear to be the focus: A point guard (Morgan Park’s Ayo Dosunmu the clear priority), an athletic wing (the bulk of offers Underwood has given) and a big man (from a top-15 recruit like Silvio De Sousa to a more under-the-radar target like Morris Udeze).

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Moonpie wrote on May 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

How about telling us why Williams had to leave? You know -- open up the vault of secrets just a smidegon.

rocko wrote on May 10, 2017 at 9:05 am

None of your business.