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Podziemski uses Illinois season as motivation in viral post

He’s not wrong.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you’re of the mindset that Brad Underwood should have played Brandin Podziemski more or not, you can’t disagree with Podz’s viral Christmas Eve post.

“2 years ago at this time I had 17 DNP and only played garbage time, 1 year ago at this time I wasn’t on any draft boards, 5 months ago all I heard was that I was bust. Started the year out of the rotation and now I’m starting for the best franchise in the NBA!”

Podz isn’t wrong — he only appeared in 16 games with the Illini during the 2021-22 season, averaging just four minutes per outing and a little more than one point a game.

Whether Underwood never saw the Wisconsin native blowing up into a big-time player doesn’t change the fact that the sophomore season glow-up at Santa Clara likely came as a surprise (19.9 points/game in 36 starts). For Podz to then parlay that into an actual opportunity with the Warriors is more impressive than anything.

I’m not sure how much Illinois’ program changes, especially in 2022-23, if Podz sticks around.

But it’s nice to know that he’s still thinking about the Illini sometimes.