Looks Like University Of Illinois - Ty Rodgers

Jan 3, 2022

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Even typing the title makes me laugh out loud. Let me go see when Ty Rodgers committed to Illinois. It was... November 17th. Nearly seven weeks ago.

The football LLUOI backlog at least makes a little sense. We added six high school recruits and two transfers after the season ended. I was behind to begin with, and then we added eight guys before signing day causing the inbox to Jenga. I've regrouped and will be able to plow through the football LLUOI's very soon. But not having the Ty Rodgers LLUOI finished? That's just LOL bad. Let's fix that right now.

A question you might have: "Robert, why do you make a bunch of gifs for the football LLUOI articles but usually only link full videos for the basketball LLUOI articles?" The answer: so much basketball film (high school and AAU) is shot from handheld cameras under the basket. Those cameras move around to capture the action right in front of them, often zooming in and out quickly. And so the gifs are really shaky unless they're 200 gb and 100 frames per second.

This is what I mean. Here's three gifs of Ty Rodgers looking like a beast. They're a little disorienting. But we should still watch him in beast mode.

Steal and a dunk:


And to show that he's much more than just a few athletic dunks, a spin move in the lane:

See what I mean about disorienting? Videos are better. This is probably the best one:

We'll discuss all of this in a bit, but let's also talk about his RSCI ranking. I've kept a list of Illini RSCI recruits since 1998 (the first year for the Recruiting Services Consensus Index). Here are all the top-100 recruits since the 1998 class with the 2022 recruits in bold:

19 Dee Brown
20 Brian Cook
21 Frank Williams
24 Jereme Richmond
28 Richard McBride
29 Adam Miller
29 Meyers Leonard
32 Ayo Dosunmu
35 DJ Richardson
37 Jalen Coleman
38 Alex Legion
43 Kofi Cockburn
45 Andre Curbelo
45 Omar Payne
46 Leron Black
48 Deron Williams
49 Brandon Paul
49 Brian Carlwell
53 Brian Randle
54 Ty Rodgers
57 Kendrick Nunn
62 Roger Powell
65 Mike Shaw
66 Myke Henry
69 Tracy Abrams
70 Dain Dainja
70 Malcolm Hill
71 Demitri McCamey
76 Crandall Head
77 Shaun Pruitt
77 Nick Smith
78 James Augustine
78 Nnanna Egwu
78 DJ Williams
79 Brandin Podziemski
81 Ramses Melendez
82 Jayden Epps
86 Aaron Spears
90 Mark Smith
95 Sencire Harris
98 Luke Goode

That's including the fall RSCI for the 2022 class, so there will be an update in May once the final lists are released. Rivals now has Jayden Epps at #105, which means he gets no points in the RSCI formula (you get 100 points if you're the number one player and you get one point if you're the #100 player), so some of these rankings will change. But for now, all three 2022 signees are RSCI top-100 recruits (as is the transfer from Baylor, Dain Dainja).

The good news: all three 2021 recruits, all three 2022 recruits, and the 2022 transfer are RSCI top-100 recruits.
The asterisk: being 95th in the RSCI isn't the same as being 19th. In the 25 classes ranked by the RSCI, we've only had seven recruits ranked between 79 and 100 - Aaron Spears, Mark Smith, and then five of the six recruits in these two classes.

That doesn't mean they'll be Spears or Smith. James Augustine was 78th in the RSCI, Demitri McCamey 71st, and Malcolm Hill 70th. It's just... an asterisk that must be mentioned when I say "that's now six RSCI top-100 recruits in a row".

What's really worth noting: Five of the six might be ranked between 79 and 98, but Rodgers is not. He's ranked 54th, and if we just list all of the players on my list ranked 44th to 64th, here's his "company":

Andre Curbelo
Omar Payne
Leron Black
Deron Williams
Brandon Paul
Brian Carlwell
Brian Randle
Kendrick Nunn
Roger Powell

This should put him in contention for Mr. Basketball in Illinois (oh right, I forgot - he transferred from Grand Blanc, Michigan to Thornton HS in Chicago for his senior season). One issue with his run at Mr. Basketball, however: he's dealing with a hamstring injury. If you're wondering how Thornton lost in the semifinals and the third-place game of the Big Dipper holiday tournament (losing to Perspectives and Hyde Park), Rodgers didn't play:

His competition for Mr. Basketball is probably Jaden Schutt (going to Duke) and AJ Casey (going to Miami). I won't pretend to know enough about Illinois high school basketball to handicap that race - I just want to say that I hope we get another Mr. Basketball in Champaign. And I'm worried that an injury might cost him the award (like it cost Ayo).

Now let's watch a little more film and then give him a Tom Cruise rating. Here's a game from December where Thornton (he's #23 in blue) is playing St. Rita and sophomore Illini commit Morez Johnson (#21 in white).

OK, fine, one more gif:

What's a word for "comp" that doesn't mean "he's comparable to these players"? Vibes maybe? I get Malcolm Hill vibes here.

They don't have the same game. If we simplify and say they're both "small forwards", I guess they're somewhat comparable. But Malcolm constantly made me say "that's not the kind of player I expected when I saw him". And Rodgers gives me the same vibes. That's a good thing.

If I'm remembering correctly (because it was SO LONG AGO), Brad Underwood said that Rodgers had a Draymond Green-like all-everything game. Let me see if I can find the quote.

LOLOL. Maybe it's because I clicked on that other bot article the other day and now I've given the robot life, but in googling to search for that quote I landed on another one of those articles assembled by a bot. The honest-to-God title of the article: Rogers Is Perfect For Irina.

Let's do some cuttin' and pastin':

Champaign -- Brad Underwood is all right when it comes to recruiting and building a roster of Illinois men's basketball. That applies to both the courtroom and the entire program.

Thai Rogers? He fits. And that's almost not enough to say that the 6'7,210-pound wings are what Illinois coaches want. Rogers basically checks all potential boxes.

Brad Underwood. Basketball Coach. Attorney at law.

Underwood is high enough in Rogers, so he facilitated the hiring process. Illinois took him to campus for an official visit in mid-September to Grand Blanc, Michigan, born in early August, and welcomed him again last Friday for a victory over Arkansas. rice field.

I absolutely laughed out loud when I read "rice field". These bot articles might be my favorite thing this year and 2022 is only three days old.

OK, so now I ABSOLUTELY have to find the Draymond Green quote in this bot article. My Google search landed on this article because I typed "Brad Underwood Ty Rodgers Draymond Green", so it has to be in here.

And here it is:

"Thailand is one of the most versatile players in its class," said Underwood, comparing skill sets, abilities and sizes to Draymond Green. Michigan State University's 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year was named the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and has won three NBA titles in the Golden State Warriors.

"I think he can be the best two-way player in his class," Underwood continued with Rogers. "It was great when we talked to young people in the hiring process. It was Ty Rodgers who always found it most difficult to score. Ty is very diverse and in any position on the court. You can play. What I mean is."

Swear to God this is a real thing. You can click on the link above and see for yourself (just have a really good malware blocker because you never know with these bot sites). The article actually ends Underwood's quote with "what I mean is" and then goes to the next paragraph.

I listened to a podcast about these bot-created articles once. I think the program takes an actual article (this one appears to be from the News Gazette), jumbles the paragraphs, and swaps out some words with synonyms so that the new "article" looks nothing like the original article and they can't be accused of plagiarism. And it doesn't matter if the article doesn't make any sense. It showed up on the Google search, and I clicked on it, so they have their click and don't care if I ever return.

OK, one more and then I'll finish this article:

"You know that you are building and now maintaining a culture. The piece of victory is very important," Underwood said. "All three of these young people won the state championship. All three had very successful stints in the summer. All three of these young people brought about that victorious culture, which was called Champaign. Bringing it to the University of Illinois."

Victorious culture. Which was called Champaign.

Rice Field.

Anyway, so yes, Underwood did comp Rodgers to Draymond Green. Kind of an all-everything player who can play the point on one end and then guard the five on the other. Maybe what I was really trying to say above (with the Malcolm Hill thing) is "doesn't fit the mold". Malcolm wasn't the player I expected. Kind of an old-man game (and that was a good thing). Hopefully, Thailand Rogers will surprise us in the same way. Go Irina.

Tom Cruises seem easy here. A very solid, no-need-to-mess-around-with-quarter-Cruises 4.0 Tom Cruises. The kind of player we need to stay in the top-25 year after year.

Ty Rodgers - Four Tom Cruises.


IlliniJoe81 on January 3, 2022 @ 02:10 PM

Underwood really likes this kid. He is going to play a lot.

PowerGranger on January 4, 2022 @ 10:37 AM

But can he withstand cross-examination?

iluvrt on January 4, 2022 @ 06:53 PM

The people of Thailand look forward to a victorious culture of Rodgers..

SactownIllini on January 5, 2022 @ 10:28 PM

Oh man I LOL'd so hard at this article. Love it Robert. I also love Thai. Wrote elsewhere that I also love the fact we went into Michigan and beat MSU for a Draymond or Magic-esqe type of player. I wouldn't think it was possible. But in comes Mr Anderson and put the orange and blue pills in the Thai Iced Tea.

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