Tracy Abrams Learning Point Guard

The Fighting Illini basketball team lacked depth at point guard last year, and the starter graduated. Freshman Tracy Abrams was recruited to play that role. While he still has much to learn, he is the kind of hard-nosed leader who thrives in Bruce Weber's system. Illini Nation must be patient with him, but he has significant potential.

Tracy Abrams committed to Illinois as a sophomore at Chicago Mt. Carmel. He is excited finally to wear the school colors.

"It feels pretty good. It's personally exciting; I'm glad to be here. It's very comfortable."

Abrams is a gamer. He hungers to win games, and his competitive drive will serve him well as an Illini.

"I'd like to help improve this team. I want to bring anything that can help the team win. The most important thing is to win the game."

He doesn't always demonstrate his excellence in practices, but when the game is on the line, he comes through. Illinois coach Bruce Weber wants to see that same focus and intensity every day.

"I'm learning how to play my best every day in practice. I think it will come along in the games just by doing what I do."

For those unfamiliar with his game, Abrams describes his best asset.

"Right now, I think I bring a lot of energy to the team, which is important to me, and I think it is for the team. It sparks everybody up and gets us motivated and going."

The Illini have struggled with ball handling in recent years. The 6-footer dribbles low to the ground and is good at protecting it from defenders.

"Us guards have ball handling under control. I have confidence with the ball."

Summer and fall practices have been intense, but Abrams is developing.

"I'm getting a different perspective on style of play. It's still a learning experience right now. But I'm having a great time while learning the game. The most important thing is to have fun while learning. That's what I've been doing."

He has stated previously point guard is extremely complex and requires attention to detail. Little by little, it is coming along for him.

"I think it's improved a lot since this summer. Decision-making is real important as a point guard, and I think I've improved a lot in that part of my game. I'm gonna keep working and do what I can to get better."

Illini players utilize far more options in the motion offense than at the high school level, but Abrams feels he has a head start.

"I ran a motion offense in high school, so I should be real familiar with it. I ran motion with the Wolves as well."

Abrams is a bulldog defensively. Steals and solid defense should be strengths. His outside shot is a work in progress, but it's improving. But maybe his best asset is his clutch play. When the game is on the line, don't be surprised to see Abrams at his best.

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