It is never easy losing your best player, but that is exactly what the Illinois Fighting Illini will have to go through once the 2013-14 college basketball season starts. Brandon Paul is out. The second leading scorer is also out. That leaves Tracy Abrams, who will carry the load in the upcoming season.
Abrams is the highest leading returning scorer from last year’s team. He averaged 10.6 points per game and also had 3.5 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game.
Illinois was a three-point shooting team last season and I do not see that trend changing a whole lot. A lot of three-point shooting talent will be coming back to the team. If this is going to stay the case for the Fighting Illini, Abrams is going to have to become more efficient, as he shot 39.4 percent from the field and a low 27.2 percent from behind the arc. However, he did manage to sink 31 threes.
Just like the rest of the Big Ten–for the most part–Illinois will be losing some great players, although there are some teams in the conference that are not losing much talent at all.
However, Illinois does not seem to have the talent on paper to win this conference. It never helps when you lose your two leading scorers from the previous season. With those two losses, Abrams can dull some of the pain by being the new leader on the Fighting Illini and having a big season.
He won’t necessarily have to completely carry the load since other players will be returning, but it would be nice if he led the team in points and came up clutch when the team needs him most.
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