Advertisement

Good Morning, Illini Nation: Not sweating playing time

Feb. 1—Sign up for our daily basketball newsletter here

Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team and college basketball at large:

Ty Rodgers played 14, 16 and 16 minutes in the first three games after Terrence Shannon Jr. returned from what wound up a six-game suspension.

When Shannon was out following his arrest, Rodgers won on the court 24 minutes per game and averaged 8.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Those first three games with Shannon back, Rodgers' production dipped alongside his playing time to six points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, and he played truly sparingly in the second half of those games.

Rodgers played 26 minutes in Tuesday's win at Ohio State and earned every last second. The 6-foot-6 sophomore guard posted his second career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds while bolstering his assist-to-turnover ratio — 19 assists and 10 turnovers in January.

Rodgers apparently didn't sweat his playing time in the three games before he diced up the Buckeyes. He's all in on Brad Underwood.

"I know coach knows what's best for the team," Rodgers said. "I trust in him and believe in him, and whatever he wants me to do I'm going to do. If he sees a lineup that's working better with me on the bench, then I'm happy as long as we're getting the win. I trust in coach and believe in coach, and I'm going to ride with him."