Team USA wins again as Ty Rodgers shows versatility

Ty Rodgers continues his tear with Team USA on Tuesday night with another performance that should have Illinois basketball fans excited.

You don’t need to score a ton of points to be a great player. While some of the greats, like LeBron James, can post huge numbers in the points column, they do everything else just as well. A complete all-rounder is hard to find in the game of basketball, but that’s what the Illini have with Ty Rodgers.

In Game 1 of the FIBA ​​U18 Americas Championship, Rodgers recorded solid numbers with seven points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the match against the Dominican Republic 116-48. Those solid numbers are special, and he continued to build on those numbers against Ecuador on Tuesday.

Rodgers didn’t start against Ecuador, but he would still play 14:34 into the game. He would finish the night with seven points, eight rebounds and six assists while shooting 2 of 3 from the field and was a perfect 3 of 3 from the charity strip.

Ty Rodgers is an unprecedented player for the Illinois basketball program.

The match against Ecuador is the second time Rodgers has adapted for Team USA and played with some of the elite players from across the United States. The word leadership continually came to mind as I watched him on the field directing traffic for the team.

As I continue to watch Rodgers pay, I think Illinois doesn’t really have a precedent for this type of player.


The combination of height, speed, grips, basketball IQ, passing ability and communication is quite fascinating to watch. Rodgers can post in the paint, he can get the ball to the hoop and finish, he can shoot from anywhere on the court, and he can get the ball down the court as a point guard. Having done all of that on the attacking side, he still puts the effort in defense by pressing his smothering coverage on the ball.

As far as comparing it to someone who’s played for Illinois in the past, I don’t think there’s a good roster. I think there’s a little Ayo Dosunmu in Rodgers, though. The Horton-Tucker talent is someone Rodgers reminds me of too. What Horton-Tucker does to his size is phenomenal. I also think of LeBron when I look at Rodgers purely because I can play just about any position on the court.

Rodgers is a special player and every time I watch him play I think he should probably start for Illinois as a freshman. This child is unique and I love him.

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