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Armchair Film Room: Marcus Domask vs Ottawa



Armchair Film Room: Marcus Domask vs Ottawa

Armchair Film Room: Marcus Domask vs Ottawa

Over the last couple of years, no Big Ten team has gotten as much production from the transfer portal as the Illinois Men’s Basketball team. Brad Underwood and his staff deserve a lot of credit for their ability to diagnose what they need, then identify and lock down players who fit that need. In this last four year stretch where they have won the most conference games of any program, three out of the four years a transfer has been the leading or second leading scorer. This offseason Underwood looked to get older and more experienced in the portal, bringing in three fifth year seniors, including Southern Illinois grad Marcus Domask.

Domask has gotten the most hype of the three. However, with him missing the Illini’s overseas trip to Spain, the Ottawa exhibition was the fans first look at him in the Orange and Blue. Domask didn’t disappoint. The veteran put up eight points, six rebounds and six assists in 20 minutes, those six assists being a team high. Domask looks as advertised, here’s what he did against the Braves.


Marcus  Domask made his presence known right off the bat. However, it wasn’t by jacking a shot or forcing anything. As Terrence Shannon Jr. goes to the rim, Domask sneakily crashes the glass:

At 6’6″ Domask will likely be guarded by smaller players. Teams will need to send their bigger more athletic perimeter players to Ty Rodgers and Shannon. Of his six rebounds, four of them came at the offensive end. Obviously against stronger competition he won’t be getting a ton of offensive rebounds. However, he has a good knack for reading the path and getting in the mix:

A plus when Domask gets in there is he makes great decisions with the ball. He won’t just panic and throw up a bad shot or immediately back it out. I liked his back down in the last clip, despite him getting stripped.


Of course, it was also nice to see Marcus Domask make shots. Last year the Illini were one of the worst shooting teams in the country. Domask came billed as a shooter to help solve that. He didn’t really show anything off the dribble, but went 2-5 beyond the arc, with two of those misses going in and out. He should get these opportunities as Rodgers and Shannon Jr. will attract a lot of attention driving the ball:


What I think is most encouraging from this game is his ability to create advantages playing off of the Illini’s best players.  He showed the ability to advantage create on and off the ball for others:

Most important is the final clip, where he shows he can be a connector cutting off the ball and not just in on ball actions. This will be huge for playing around Hawkins, who can draw the center out of the paint, allowing for basket cuts like that.

I think the below clip sums up his debut nicely. Gets around the corner on a ball screen before making a smart pass, then chases down the offensive rebound:

It was a very positive debut for Marcus Domask despite a couple defensive lapses. He showed much of why the Illini made him a priority shortly after entering the portal. While there probably won’t be many games he leads the team in scoring, his ability to connect the Illini’s best players will be a welcome departure from last year’s freestyling. This will also help lessen the burden on Rodgers, as Domask can also handle some of that playmaking load. We will see how much carries over to the top of the top against preseason #1 Kansas.

Brian is a former sports writer for the Daily Illini who has been covering Illinois Basketball for over 5 years. Brian is now the lead basketball reporter for Armchair Illini, the go-to source for Illinois athletics news. He has had work published on Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, USA Today and more.