Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your each day dose of school basketball information from Illini beat author and AP High 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll supply up insights each morning on Brad Underwood’s crew:
Technically, Andres Feliz’s skilled basketball debut got here final summer time when he performed for Home of ‘Paign in The Basketball Match. Feliz and his fellow former Illini — and TBT “grad transfers” — had been enjoying for a financial prize.
Feliz made his full skilled debut for CB Prat Juventud on Saturday in a 94-89 victory in opposition to Villarrobledo. The previous Illinois guard performed 18 minutes off the bench and completed with 16 factors (hitting each of his three-point makes an attempt), one steal and one rebound. Prat performs within the second division in Spain.
A number of different former Illini are additionally enjoying abroad:
Smith is in his fourth season enjoying in Russian for Unics Kazan within the VTB United League, which is among the high home leagues in Europe. The previous Illinois and Southern Indiana guard is averaging 15.5 factors, 4.2 assists and a couple of.8 rebounds in his tenth season as a professional.
Egwu is again in Japan for a second season with Earth Pals Tokyo Z. Albeit not a really profitable season, with Tokyo Z, which performs in Japan’s second division, at the moment 5-31 and using a 17-game shedding streak. Egwu is averaging 8.8 factors, eight rebounds and two assists, whereas taking pictures 51.8 % general and 26.5 % from three-point vary.
Rice can also be enjoying in Japan with Kyoto Hannaryz within the nation’s first division. The Centennial grad, who spent final season in Israel, is averaging 19.7 factors, 5 rebounds and three assists for a 12-25 crew. Rice is taking pictures 48.7 % general and 32.9 % past the arc.
Hill moved from Kazakhstan (the place he performed final season within the VTB United League) to the Israeli Basketball Premier League this season. Hill performs for Hapoel Jerusalem, which is definitely in three leagues once you embrace the Balkan League and the Champions League. Hill is averaging 13.5 factors and three.5 rebounds in his home league, 19.5 factors, 4.5 rebounds and three steals within the Balkan League and 6.6 factors and 5.2 rebounds within the Champions League.
Tate is again abroad enjoying for Swans Gmunden in Austria’s high league after spending his final season in Canada. Tate is a current addition to the crew and is averaging 8.8 factors, 6.5 assists and a couple of.5 rebounds in his 4 video games because the crew’s newly-installed start line guard. The previous Illinois guard is doing quite a lot of scoring on the free throw line (19 of 26), as he is taking pictures simply 20.8 % general and 28.6 % from three-point vary.
After a debut season break up between Poland and Estonia, Finke wound up within the Netherlands this season enjoying for Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden within the high Dutch league. Finke’s crew is undefeated and atop the league standings, with the Centennial grad averaging 11.8 factors, 5.2 rebounds and a couple of.2 assists. He is taking pictures 64.7 % general and 33 % from three-point vary.
Black performed the primary a part of his 2020-21 season for Abejas de Leon within the high league in Mexico and put up 18.1 factors and eight.4 rebounds per recreation this previous fall. With the season wrapping in Mexico in late October, Black moved on to Group Cali in Colombia and averaged 13.7 factors and 4.4 rebounds by way of that season’s late November finish.
Nichols’ skilled debut got here with the Sheffield Sharks within the British Basketball League. The Sharks’ season began in early December, and Nichols is at the moment averaging 9.9 factors and a couple of.8 rebounds whereas taking pictures 53.5 % general and 26.1 % from three-point vary for the 7-5 crew.