USA Today // Mary Lagenfield

Sean's Scout: Kendrick Nunn

Illini Inquirer basketball analyst Sean Harrington breaks down Illini junior Kendrick Nunn's sophomore surge, previews 2015-16 season

During the next few weeks, Illini Inquirer basketball analyst Sean Harrington will give a scouting report on each Illinois basketball returner.

Read his report on junior wing Malcolm Hill. Today, he focuses on the other returner who averaged double-digit points last season.

Kendrick Nunn Scouting Report

Last Season in Review

Kendrick Nunn got off to a slow start last season due to an injury that kept him out of a lot of the off season and pre season workouts. Once Kendrick got his legs under him, following a 2014 offseason knee procedure, he showed some flashes of being an All-Big Ten type player.  His scoring average almost doubled from freshman (6.2 ppg) to sophomore year (11.1 ppg).  Kendrick is at his best when he is locked in and scoring from all areas on the floor.  Nunn is the guy on the floor that can give you a highlight reel dunk, a midrange pull up and a deep three all within a two-minute spurt.  

Offseason Focus

Kendrick needs to focus on his ball-handling skills this off season.  He will be called on to handle the rock more with the loss of senior point guard Tracy Abrams to a torn Achilles' tendon.  Nunn also had a tendency to be loose and casual with the ball at times (1.4 turnovers per game).  Now as a junior, it is important for Nunn to not give away any possession by making bad decisions or not having the ball on a string.  Nunn should be in the gym everyday working on his three-point shooting.  When he is making his threes, it gives him confidence, stretches the defense and opens up lanes for his teammates.  Adding more of a mid-range game and getting to the basket in the half court will really make him a tough matchup for his opponents.  

2015-16 Expectations

Kendrick Nunn has the ability to be an All-Big Ten type player.  He can be the most electric player on the floor -- when he is locked in.  But he can also disappear at times.  It is important for Nunn to be a factor and dominate both ends of the floor.  He can be a lock-down defender and cause havoc on the opposing offense.  Nunn should be a deflection machine and lead the team in steals this season (1.2 last season).  Nunn is a good shooter and his three-point percentage (36.0 percent last season) needs to be around 40 this year.  The last two seasons, 43 and 45 percent of his shots taken were from beyond the arc.  Nunn need to keep that to be below 45 percent this year so he stays in attack mode.  

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