Connect with us


Illinois Basketball Dominates Second Exhibition Game



Illinois Basketball Dominates Second Exhibition Game
Mar 2, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts to the Illinois fighting Illini fans before the start of Thursday’s game with the Michigan Wolverines at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Dominates Second Exhibition Game

Illinois basketball turned some heads after their first exhibition game. Though they won the game by a comfortable margin, they shot 3-25 and had to rely on a late game push from their bench to win the game. This time around, Illinois seemed much more comfortable. The Valencia team sounds like a far lesser opponent, however the Illini took care of business with a dominant 105-60. Additionally, I am not 100 percent sure that Illinois played the same Valencia squad that lost to Nebraska by only 3 points. Though Nebraska is a very mediocre squad, Illinois dominated this team for the most part.

Kicking your feet up

Terrence Shannon Jr led the way for Illinois Basketball. He had 25 points, including 23 points at the half-time break. This game ultimately means nothing, but it was nice for players like Niccolo Moretti and Dra Gibbs- Lawhorn to get extended run. Moretti looks like he has a ways to go physically, however he has a solid outside shot and above-average court vision. Moretti seems like the most comfortable player on the roster in terms of bringing the ball up. If Moretti can provide what Te’Jon Lucas brought to Illinois a few years back, I think that would be solid. 

Through these two games, Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn and Justin Harmon seem to be providing great sparks off the bench. Both guards are combo-scoring guards who have a burst to them that Illinois desperately needs off the bench. Additionally, Sencire Harris continues to play hard every single time. His chip on his shoulder shows and Illinois always seems to need his jolt of passion and intensity. Gibbs-Lawhorn and Harmon both had some athletic dunks on the break during today’s game.

Other notes

Illinois will play one more game on their Spain trip against Catalonia All-stars on Sunday August 13th. Chester Frazier seems likely to coach that game after Geoff Alexander coached this one. Other observations I had were that Illinois continues to struggle at the free-throw line. Dain Dainja seems to have a new free-throw form, however Illinois Basketball just chronically struggles at the line for whatever reason.

Regardless of the competition, Illinois Basketball passed the eye-test today. They flashed their athleticism in the open court and created opportunities with their defense. All you can ask for in a summer exhibition.

Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.