Malcolm Hill will be a Breakout Player

Do you know the name, Malcolm Hill? At this point in time, probably not, however that may change in the future. The 6’6” Shooting Guard will be entering his Senior year with the Illinois basketball team. Hill has had a steady improvement since he arrived at the Illinois, averaging 18.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, and 3.3 apg, last season. As a Sophomore, Hill averaged 14.4 ppg, up from 4.4 ppg as a Freshman. The only aspect of his game that has regressed has been his 3 point shooting, which was only 31.4 % last season (39% as a Sophomore). However, that appears to be a fluke 3 point shooting season, as he improved his free throw shooting % (78 to 82), and his field goal percentage stayed consistent (44% as a Junior and Sophomore). As a player, Hill possesses ideal size for a wing. The All-Big Ten second-team selection is a natural scorer of the basketball. He can score in a variety of ways, and already knows how to use his size to his advantage on the offensive side of the floor. As stated above, he is a good shooter that is able to shot over defenders at the college level. While he is not a great ball handler, he is proficient enough to glide to the rim with his gentle frame. While his size is a helpful tool on offense, his mediocre wingspan hurts his ability to defend. However, he is a very hardworking kid that should provide constant effort on the defensive end. Every time I have watched Illinois the last few years, Hill always seems to pop out as a really good scorer that has the offensive tools to be a productive scorer in the NBA. Admittedly I have a soft spot for the Fighting Illini. Despite being from Massachusetts, I gravitated towards rooting for Illinois (probably because of the orange color). My favorite college player was Dee Brown, and I was gutted when the Brown and Deron Williams led team lost to North Carolina in the title game. Even after Bruce Weber left, Illinois has had a good history of guard play under John Groce, with recent players like Brandon Paul. Illinois has struggled (largely due to injuries) the last few years, so Malcolm Hill has gone under the radar. I think all of that changes this year (Mike Thorne’s back!) and Hill might emerge as a star player in the Big Ten and a potential NBA Draft pick. Remember the name, Malcolm Hill.

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