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Matthew Mayer ‘has been where we want to go’

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Northfield, Illinois — There is a common refrain when a basketball coach in Illinois is speaking Matthew Mayer And what does his addition mean to the program?

“He’s where we want to go,” head coach Blood Underwood Repeated on Tuesday during a stop on the Fighting Illinite Gate Tour in Northfield, Illinois.

Underwood and Assistant Coach Jeff Alexander — Had a very similar message in Rockford, Illinois last week — apparently Mayer won the National Championship at Baylor in the 2020-21 season and was a huge success during his time at Weiko. Means it was part of the Baylor Run (Texas), which included the appearance of the 2021 Championship and two other NCAA tournaments (and Baylor was another rock, but the COVID-19 pandemic. Did not cancel the 2019-20 NCAA tournament).

But it could be a little deeper than that.Meyer lives primarily in the world of positionless, switchable and versatile basketball, and Underwood and his coaching staff will move towards that star center this season. Kofi Cockburn Declared an NBA draft. The big picture is why Mayer was a perfect fit for Illinois in the final season of college basketball.

“His success with Scott (Drew) at Baylor is well documented,” Underwood told The Philadelphia on Tuesday night. “There are many reasons why I really like Matt. His versatility. I think he’s an elite, an elite defender. Really, his ability to defend from 1 to 5. He’s a very confident person. He Is not afraid to shoot the big guys. He played against us in a match at Indy (7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and steal with a win during the 2020-21 season). The guy who was where he wanted. His leadership, his experience, his understanding of the game and IQ, and his style of play all suit us and the way he plays next season. He’s perfect and I’m him. I’m excited to be there. “

While head coach at Oklahoma State University, Underwood hired Mayer from Westlake (Texas) High School and watched many games before Mayer finally chose to play for Baylor.Underwood was also recruiting Block CunninghamWho chose to play in Texas. Meyer is a 6’9 versatile player who has brought many championship pedigrees to the Illinois team, which has undergone a major roster review after a major success in the last three seasons. He was ranked 12th in the country by 247Sports.

“I think they just think of me as a versatile guy like Baylor, but they really want to help me work on my body in many ways. “I think there are more three than four. They’re actually a kind of big team, so that’s perfectly fine. I also played three in Baylor. A little more guard-oriented, a little more ball. I think I’m trying to get on and work on my body as much as I can. It’s probably a bit like Baylor, but hopefully it will take longer. “

Meyer has played an integral role in Baylor for the last two seasons. This includes Bears’ 55-9 Comprehensive Record (27-5 Big 12), two No. 1 seeds for the NCAA tournament, and the title for the 2021 NCAA tournament.

During the 2020-21 Bears National Championship season, Mayer was off the bench in all 30 games, averaging 8.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals, shooting 48.9%, including 39.5% in three games. Last season, Mayer started all 33 games, averaging 9.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks, shooting 40.9%, including 32.4% of the three games.

“I can’t imagine a coach not wanting to put tools in a bag like he does,” Alexander said last week. “Incredible skill set, versatile. I think he has the average streak you need, the competitive streak. Obviously it comes from the national championship program. Many We’re going to lean on him a lot as people do: Terence Shannon, Coleman Hawkins, RJ (Melendes), Luke (Good). The man played in the last match in April. That’s what we’re aiming for, and he has that experience. “

Despite the success of Illinoy’s strong regular season in the last three seasons, including a share of last season’s Big Tent Championship and the 2020-21 Big Tent Tournament Championship, Irini has had the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. I haven’t tasted it. In the 2005 season, Underwood’s hurdle wants to overcome it sooner, not later.

Meyer and Terence Shannon An important piece from Texas Tech, who played for Elite Eight and another Sweet Sixteen, lacks a lot of return production, but is highly talented and likely alongside the 9th-ranked freshman class in the country. An important piece to supplement the roster, according to 247Sports.

So what Exactly Does Mayer’s history when arriving in Champaign in mid-July seem to be on the floor?

“He’s a big maker, for example,” Underwood said. “He made them in big games. When you played those games, when you did a deep plan, when you won the Big 12, others just because you joined them. I’m confident that no one has ever succeeded in a game. There’s an air around you that makes you very contagious. I’m everything, and it’s always a big part of our recruitment I think I’ve won, but I’ve won. (Shannon) I’ve been to the Elite Eight. Jayden (Epps) won the state championship. Skyy (Clark) hasn’t done anything but win. Ty Rodgers You just won the gold and won the state championship. Sencire (Harris) won the state championship. You go right on the road. All the wins are really contagious, but it’s very important that there are people who actually (did it). It helps to set up our culture, it helps to set up our work ethic. Matt will be a big part of that. “

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