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Rogers is perfect for Irina | Sports

Champaign — Brad Underwood is all right when it comes to recruiting and building a roster of Illinois men’s basketball. That applies to both the courtroom and the entire program.

Thai Rogers? He fits. And that’s almost not enough to say that the 6’7,210-pound wings are what Illinois coaches want. Rogers basically checks all potential boxes.

Win the pedigree? check.

Do you have the ability to play multiple positions? check.

Legitimate ball handling and pass skills? check.

Reputation as a blockade defender? check.

Underwood is high enough in Rogers, so he facilitated the hiring process. Illinois took him to campus for an official visit in mid-September to Grand Blanc, Michigan, born in early August, and welcomed him again last Friday for a victory over Arkansas. rice field.

The culmination of more than three months with Rogers as a clear priority was rewarded when he signed his national intention to join fellow four-star rookie Jayden Epps and Sensile Harris in a 2022 recruitment class in Illinois. I did.

“He’s been our priority for a while and the young guy we feel fits everything we think,” Underwood said late Wednesday afternoon.

Rogers’ diversity matches the type of player Illinois is trying to hire. He also has a skill set and playing style that is quite different from the current freshmen Luke Goode and RJ Melendez, so he can easily play together from the 2022-23 season.

“Thailand is one of the most versatile players in its class,” said Underwood, comparing skill sets, abilities and sizes to Draymond Green. Michigan State University’s 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year was named the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and has won three NBA titles in the Golden State Warriors.

“I think he can be the best two-way player in his class,” Underwood continued with Rogers. “It was great when we talked to young people in the hiring process. It was Ty Rodgers who always found it most difficult to score. Ty is very diverse and in any position on the court. You can play. What I mean is. “

As important as Rogers’ diversity is his basketball background. Especially the amount of victory he has achieved. Like Epps and Harris, Rogers has a high school state championship in his resume after leading Grand Blanc (Michigan) to the Division I Championship last season. Bobcats finished Season 15-2, with Rogers, the nephew of former Michigan State University and NBA star Jason Richardson, averaging 17.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals.

“You know that you are building and now maintaining a culture. The piece of victory is very important,” Underwood said. “All three of these young people won the state championship. All three had very successful stints in the summer. All three of these young people brought about that victorious culture, which was called Champaign. Bringing it to the University of Illinois. “

Rogers’ successful summer begins at the Nike EYBL circuit with Mean Street, transfers to Thornton and then plays again on Thai Street as a senior in high school. Rogers scored 8.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game this summer, and Mean Street advanced to the Peach Jam semi-finals 11-3.

It was the Meanstreets connection that benefited Illinois. First-year assistant coach Tim Anderson, formerly Program Director of Mean Street, was already intimate with Rogers when he officially launched in Illinois in late July.

“It’s very important for building relationships and bonds, and building trust in the process,” Underwood said. “In many of these, I’m the last piece to join and join …. (Rogers) and Tim have a great relationship. The guy I loved when he saw him on the circuit. Entering and hiring in Michigan speaks to Tim’s family ties and young men’s ties. This staff did Yoman’s job of fighting and assembling the pieces that suit us. . I’m really excited. “

Rogers chose Illinois before Michigan State University, Alabama State University, and the University of Memphis. Ranked as a four-star recruit in the consensus, Rogers significantly boosted the 2022 recruit class in Illinois when it signed Wednesday. Adding Rogers to Epps and Harris raised Irini from 8th and 38th to 4th, respectively, with Big Ten and 18th, before his decision.

“It feels pretty good to take him to the locker room and know that he doesn’t have to face him,” Underwood said. “I’m not crazy about who we beat. I know I love the kid. I don’t want to put him in someone else’s locker room, so I play against him. Must be. It’s perfect for us and that’s my point of view. “

Scott Richey is a reporter on college basketball in The News-Gazette.His email is srichey@news-gazette.comYou can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).



Rogers is perfect for Irina | Sports

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