Harrington: Ceilings and floors for 2015-16 Illini players

Illini Inquirer basketball analyst Sean Harrington breaks down the ceiling and floor for each Illini basketball player

Malcolm Hill, junior wing

Ceiling: Scores inside and out. Averages close to 20 pts per game with 8 rebs per game. Shoots over 40 percent from 3.  Is a First Team All-Big Ten selection.  

Floor: Tries to do too much or sees a lot of junk defenses thrown at him and he takes a high volume of shots at a low percentage. Struggles to average 12 pts per game and doesn’t make Honorable Mention.

D.J. Williams, freshman wing

Ceiling: All-Freshmen Team, earning around 20 minutes a game. Able to play 1 through 4 positions and consistent all year long with numbers around 6 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast.  

Floor: Struggles to pick up the system and doesn’t have a true position. Only sees the floor about 5 minutes a game.  

Jaylon Tate, junior guard

Ceiling: Becomes a leader on the floor and has a 5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Consistently makes 17-foot jumpers. Averages 6 assists per game along with 6 pts per game.

Floor: Struggles to take care of the ball and shoot poorly. 2:1 A/TO ratio. Doesn’t see the floor more than 15 minutes a game.  

Khalid Lewis, senior guard

Ceiling: Solid PG that gets teammates open looks with a 3:1 A/TO ratio. Becomes one of the teams best perimeter defenders and makes the opposing teams PG miserable.  

Floor: Doesn’t shoot the ball well. Has a 1:1 A/TO ratio. Struggles to see 10 minutes a game.

Jalen Coleman-Lands, freshman guard

Ceiling: Sets some single season Illini freshmen shooting/scoring records. Has multiple games of 15+ pts. Multiple times makes 4+ three pointers. Makes All Freshmen team.

Floor: Never fully recovers from injury. Very inconsistent offensively. In and out of the 9 man rotation and gets 5-10 minutes a game.  

Leron Black, sophomore forward

Ceiling: Is a double-double machine. Averages 9 pts and 9 rebs a game. Stays out of foul trouble and is an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection.

Floor: Doesn’t recover from the injury or continues to get in foul trouble and can’t stay on the floor. Averages 4 pts and 4 rebs a game.  

Maverick Morgan, junior center

Ceiling: Shoots around 60 percent from the floor. Avg 6 pts a game while getting 5 rebs per game. Is a strong defensive presence in the lane.

Floor: Inconsistent and field goal percent is in the 40s. Struggles to see 5 minutes a game.



Aaron Jordan, freshman guard

Ceiling:  Finds himself in the regular rotation. Has multiple games where he makes 3+ three pointers. Has a handful of 10+ point games. Sees 15-20 minutes per game.

Floor: Very inconsistent and shoots the ball poorly from the floor. Shoots in the 30’s from the floor and in the 20’s from 3. 

Kendrick Nunn, junior guard

Ceiling: Comes back strong from injury and plays last few non-conf games. In conference, he is a balanced scorer from the inside and outside. Averages 15 pts a game and becomes a 165% shooter (45% FG, 40% 3P, 80% FT). Earns Third Team All Big Ten.

Floor: Doesn’t get back from injury and struggles to shoot the basketball. Shoots in the upper 30’s from the floor and upper 20’s from 3. Averages single digit points per game.  

Mike Thorne Jr., senior center

Ceiling: Becomes Illinois’ best inside scorer in the last 10 years. Consistently gets double-doubles. Averages 12 pts and 10 rebs per game. Makes Third Team All-Big Ten.  

Floor: Has up and down games. Struggles to stop people on the defensive end. Averages 5 pts and 5 rebs per game. Conditioning limits his play late in ball games.  

Michael Finke, redshirt freshman forward

Ceiling: Is the biggest surprise on the roster. Able to score the ball inside and out. Scores 8 pts per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 35 percent from 3.  

Floor: Struggles from the floor and shoots 35 percent from the field. Has a hard time guarding on the defensive end. Can’t get 10+ minutes a game.  

Alex Austin, junior guard

Ceiling: The walk-on and former EIU guard is an energy guy and emotional leader. Has a few games where is makes a big impact on a game. A couple of 10+ point games.  

Floor: Sees limited time only when the game is in doubt.  




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