Eleven Fighting Illini #2: Nnanna Egwu November 8, 2012
6′-11″, 235 lbs.
St. Ignatius HS / Chicago, Illinois
What I Know About Him:
There you go. That’s the hashtag. 23,000 shots is the new 5,000 calories. In a press conference earlier this year, John Groce said that Nnanna Egwu made 23,000 shots over the summer. Said he would make them in the dark. Said he worked harder than anyone else in the offseason.
Because of that, and because this team desperately needs a go-to big that can shore up the middle on both ends of the floor, Nnanna Egwu climbs all the way to #2 on this list. Weird – as I typed the words “climbs all the way to #2 on this list”, I heard it in the voice of Casey Kasem.
*places grandson on knee*
You see, back in the 1980′s, there weren’t fancy “cell phones” and such. All we had were radios and gum. So you listened to the radio all the time, chewing your gum and wondering which song would climb to #1 that week. And when Casey Kasem would say the words “climbs all the way to #2 this week”, you knew that yes, Pour Some Sugar On Me had retained the #1 spot for the fifth straight week. It wasn’t much, but dammit, we were living.
Nnanna Egwu must fill the void left by Meyer Leonard if this team is going to win.
What I Expect From Him:
I think the majority of our scoring will come from our guards. I think Brandon Paul will play a lot of the “lead guard” role, and most of the offense will run through him. So I don’t see a role for Egwu like, say, Meyers Leonard’s role last year, where we’d dump it down low and look for a post move. There will be some of that, but I think Egwu’s rebounding and defense will matter more than his scoring.
If I can dream a little bit, where I’d really love to see Egwu impact the game is on the break. If we can get out and run a little bit, Egwu can excel. Watch him run tomorrow night – he looks very natural, like a tight end. Sorry – tight ends are the guys on every other team in college football who both block AND catch passes. And they look athletic doing such. So much so that, I don’t know, MAYBE WE SHOULD THROW THEM THE BALL AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS???
Nnanna Egwu can get out and run so I’m anxious to see what he can do on the break.