Lineup breakdown: Who’s who on Orange and Blue basketball

By Bret Greenberg

Macie Blinn: freshman guard

Blinn is a pure shooter with a solid three-point range. She has been working on her defense since she arrived at Illinois and has shown progress to the coaches in scrimmages.

With Smith drawing an extra defender, Blinn will be asked to step in and hit shots this season..

Lacey Simpson: junior forward

Simpson is a utility player that can step in and play many positions. She has worked on her post game because Illinois has a thin front line.

She is an energetic player that will try and outwork her opponents on the defensive end. Working with and against Smith in practice has improved her post game.

Jenna Smith: junior center

Smith is very strong and can use both hands well. She can face up in the post as well as shoot the three on the perimeter and take opponents off the dribble. She can move like a guard now that she has developed her all-around game.

Note: Last season, Smith averaged 18.3 points on her way to becoming an AP Honorable Mention All-American.

Chelsea Gordon: senior forward

The team is looking to establish her as a shooter and big-time defender this year. She has been putting in a lot of time working on her three-point shot and will be looking to connect with Jenna Smith in the post to get open shots. She needs to focus on staying low in a stance to be successful on the defensive end.

Note: The team’s only senior.

Fabiola Josil: freshman point guard

Josil is quick with and without the basketball. She is more of a scoring point guard who can create her own shots off the dribble. She is working with McCully as a one-two punch at the point guard position.

Note: In her senior year at Coral Glades High School in Florida, she averaged 26 points, eight assists and nine steals.

Lydia McCully: freshman point guard

McCully is a strong, hard-nosed point guard that can back down opposing guards and score.

Her great vision and passing ability contribute to her pass-first mentality.

She is good at pushing the ball up the floor.

Note: McCully redshirted last year.