When Jack came up with the idea for the season roundup, he offered us the option of who we would write about, first come first serve. And I'd be damned if I would allow any other writer to take my beloved Mike LaTulip article from me.
If you Google "Mike LaTulip", the fifth article listed is one I wrote about him last season. When something over a year old from our site is the fifth hit for your name behind only your Fighting Illini bio, Twitter page, Youtube highlight reel, and ESPN bio, that probably means you didn't do very much in the most recent season.
And that's exactly what happened. Mike LaTulip is essentially Mark Titus, but without the blog. He's the last man off the bench who was amazing in high school, but didn't want to play at a smaller school so he took a walk-on role. He lacks the otherworldly athleticism that the four and five star recruits have, which endears him to the fan who also can't dunk.
But that means he doesn't play very often. While LaTulip did manage to play six more minutes than he did last season (44 to 38), he appeared in four fewer games (12 to 16). He took nine shots all season, zero of which came from inside the arc. He did hit 33% of his threes, so maybe if he got more playing time, the team would have made the tournament! WAY TO LET US ALL DOWN, GROCE!
But in all honesty, there really isn't too much to write about the Snap Dragon. Barring injuries or benchings, he'll come in during blowouts. Hopefully he'll get more chances to be the Human Victory Cigar next season, when the Illini look to be a better team than this year's version. If they are, prepare to have him steal your heart all over again.