Few expected him to make a huge impact this season.
Even fewer, I believe, saw just how minimal an impact Matic Vesel (pronounced Mah-teets Ves-sail) would really make on this Illini team, however.
Vesel is a tough player to review this year, simply because he didn't do enough to really form an opinion one way or the other. I guess that tells you all you need to know about how Brad Underwood felt about him at least.
He's just such a raw player that there's no way of telling whether or not he will hold up to the rigors of a Big Ten season going forward — if he's even with the team, which we'll deal with when we come to it. From what little tape there is to dissect, Vesel is a loping, lost, unable-to-pick-up-this-offense player.
He's pretty miserable at setting screens and doesn't grasp the pick and pop concept. He has some jumping ability, but, overall, he’s a player who needs a lot of work at this level.
Check out my boy on this possession. The George Gervin of screening no one. pic.twitter.com/AI0qAMKx5J— Bob Zuppke (@BobZuppke) February 18, 2018
When Underwood makes mention to his coaching staff that he doesn't want any more big men "projects", this is who he refers to.
Now it sounds like for all intents and purposes that Matic is a nice kid, and I'm not trying to go out of my way to bash him, but he has a lot of work to do to be ready for this level. If he does indeed transfer (which has been rumored by several reputable sources), I wish him the best of luck. This team, in its current iteration, needs more though.
Michigan would be the perfect team for this Illini basketball program to emulate, as they are getting contributions from several unheralded recruits who supposedly fell through the cracks but fit their offensive system. Caris LeVert is a perfect example of that kind of player. Illinois needs to find their diamonds in the rough as well. Matic Vesel just doesn't look like one of them.