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A bit of a writer Scott Richie examines five postal players and five security guards who might make sense at CU next winter:


Efe Abaghidi, Washington

Knee injury in the off-season has limited Abaghidi at the start of the 2021-2022 season and may cause further concern given that he tore his left PKS, MCL and meniscus in 2017 and it took him three surgeries to fix it. But the 6-foot-10 forward and 225-pound striker still played in all 37 games for the Cougar and averaged 8.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in just 20.9 minutes per game. The wingspan of Abaghidi 7-4 and a career of 80 percent free throws open up potential.

Kenneth Lofton Jr., Louisiana Tech

Loftan may not pass the eye test at first lookbut a large man weighing 6-7, 275 pounds determines productive. Last season, he averaged 16.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists and shot 54 percent off the field. Lofton also showed he can hold on among his more esteemed peers when he led a U.S. team that won gold medals by scoring a goal at the 2021 World Cup. I play with guys like Chet Holmgren, Kennedy Chandler, Jaden Ivy and Johnny Davis.

Pete Nance, Northwest

Why not just completely lean towards the idea of ​​modern greats?Playing Nance alongside Coleman Hawkins, Illinois will give a pair of 6-10 forwards who can stretch the floor. Illini’s defense may be hit, but Nance’s addition will help Underwood develop offensive action in pace and space. Last season, Nance averaged 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists and shot a career of 45 percent from a distance of three points.

Osun Osunniyi, St. Banaventura

Osunniyi will give an immediate defensive blunder to a team that has already become the best in defense on the flank, adding Shannon. Last season the striker weighing 6-10 weighing 220 pounds also scored an average of 11.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks and even made his career first three-pointer.

Jamarion Sharpe, Western Kentucky

Illinois was interested enough in Sharpe to invite him to graduate from John A. Logan College. Not so much for his skills – it still continues at the end of the offensive – but for being 7-5 with a wingspan of 7-7. Sharpe made good use of this length last winter in his only season in Western Kentucky.The Hopkinsville, Kentucky native averaged 8.2 points and 7.6 rebounds, but his 4.6 blocks per game stood out. most.


Kyle Lofton, St. Bonaventure

There is a feeling that Loftan may be a package deal with Osunniyi, given that they have spent the last four seasons together at St. Bonaventure and the year before at the Putnam Academy of Sciences in Connecticut. Lofton’s score dropped slightly in the season 2021-22but he still averaged 12.8 points, 5.9 assists, 3.6 rebounds and two steals for Bonnie as an All-Atlantic 10 choice. Knock it 6-3185 pounds the guard is his 30 percent three-point shooting in his career.

Jarod Lucas, Oregon

Lucas could be a transition for Illinois if the coaching staff is really as high on Skye Clark and Jaden Epps, who run the crime as it seems. Lucas could be an experienced presence in the back zone (he is 22 years old, and in 2021 he became the elite eight) and a shooter (he made 38 percent of threes in his career). Also, perhaps he shares a kind word with 7-foot Jazz Gardner 2023, who is visiting his alma mater, Los Altas, in Hacienda Heights, California.

Courtney Remy, Texas

Illini had chased Rami from Webster Groves (Missouri) before former class of 2019 four-star playmaker of St. Louis and the top 45 recruit chose Texas. Rami burst in Longhorns’ initial composition as a freshman in the 2018-19 season and remained there even after Chris Byrd replaced Shaku Smart. However, last season Beard took the ball from Rami’s hands more often and give it to Marcus Carr, and Remy’s production has mostly fallen below career averages.

Grant Sherfield, Nevada

Sherfield also had an offer from Illinois from Sunrise Christian Academy (Can.), So there is some acquaintance with the guard weighing 6-2, 189 pounds who spent one season in Wichita and the last two seasons in Nevada. Sherfield’s production went to another level with the Wolf Pack, and he averaged 18.8 points, 6.2 assists and four rebounds. during the seasons 2020-21 and 2021-22 with shooting 43 percent overall, 35 percent from a distance of three points and 86 percent on the free throw line.

Malachi Smith, Chattanooga

Illinois defensive lineman Keith Randolph Jr. would have had to issue the title of “Belleville’s Best Basketball Player on the Illinois Campus” if “Underwood and Co.” managed to get Smith. Elijah’s staff, of course, are familiar with what a security guard weighing 6-4, 205 pounds can do on the court. They watched as Smith, who had two seasons eligible to score, scored 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals and nearly upset Ilyina in the first round of the NCAA tournament in mid-March.

Scott Richie is a reporter for The News-Gazette, which covers basketball in college. His email srichey@news-gazette.comand you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).


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