As one of only three returning members to the Illinois basketball program this upcoming season, Nnanna Egwu will play an even bigger role than he did as an improved sophomore. As an upperclassman, Egwu now has what it takes to be an All-Big Ten performer and top-of-the-line big man.
In 2012-13, the Illini were a guard-heavy team, with the likes of Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson and returning players Tracy Abrams and Joseph Bertrand. John Groce's squad should continue to be guard-dominant in 2013-14, making Egwu's role that much more important.
Here is a look at why Egwu is the Illini's X-factor and how he can help Illinois get back to the Big Dance this coming March.