Illinois Basketball: Point Guard is Set for the Next Four Years

The Illinois basketball team has had a bad run over the last five years.

This run by the Illini has failed to see the NCAA Tournament four straight seasons and a lot of the lack of production has to do with lack of point guard play.

Point guard is a crucial position for the success of any program. Leadership is one of the keys for a point guard and without that the team could go off the rails.

Illinois found their future point guard this season, though. The only problem is that their current head coach John Groce found him a little too late.

Te’Jon Lucas barely played in the non-conference this season and only saw ten minutes in his first two Big Ten games as well.

But, there was a point three games into the Big Ten season that Groce finally realized Lucas needed to be the starting point guard of this team.

While the decision came a little too late and the season had already started to slip, we finally got a chance to see what Lucas could do and he hasn’t disappointed.

Just in the 12 Big Ten games that Lucas has played in, he has averaged 22.8 minutes, 5.75 points, 2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.

These are solid stats for a true freshman against cupcake competition during the non-conference let alone against Big Ten competition.

Lucas’s production on the basketball court during Big Ten play has been impressive. You have to go back to the Bruce Weber era to find a point guard who has put up these types of numbers.

The last time an Illinois point guard has averaged over 3.9 APG was back during the 2010-11 season when Demetri McCamey put up 6.1 APG.

I have no doubt in my mind that with time Lucas can hit that number. McCamey put up 6.1 APG during his senior campaign. I think Lucas could do that next year.

In addition to Lucas likely putting up big-time point guard numbers next season, Illinois also has Trent Frazier coming in as well.

Frazier is a dynamic ball handler, distributor, and scorer. Illinois will need him to spell minutes for Lucas and potentially see a time share with him as well.

Playing time and development of these two great point guards will be the job of the next head coach, whoever that may be.

But, rest assured Illini fans, the Illinois basketball point guard situation is set for the next four years. This program will rebound from the postseason drought and We Will Win.

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