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Illinois Basketball: Key Piece Cleared to Return



Illinois Basketball: Key Piece Cleared to Return

Illinois Basketball: Key Piece Cleared to Return

Illinois Basketball has had some good news released. Jon Rothstein reported that Southern Illinois transfer, Marcus Domask has been cleared to return to basketball activities. Domask has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury since arriving to Champaign and missed the three exhibition games played in Spain last month. This is great news. Though hamstring injuries can be reoccurring and can be difficult to shake, Domask has a little under a month to get up to speed before the season start.

Illinois Basketball will open their season with two exhibition games. October 20th is the first one against Ottawa. October 29th is the marquee matchup against Kansas. All proceeds to the latter will go towards the natural disasters in Maui.

Domask will make a huge impact

Marcus Domask put up almost 17 points per game last year at Southern Illinois. Though the competition level will be way more intense, Domask will arguably be the best shooter. On a team that struggles to make perimeters shots, Domask will arguably be the most important piece. Terrence Shannon Jr, Coleman Hawkins and Ty Rodgers all need significant space to play their games efficiently. Having a guy like Domask who can shoot and also playmake will be so vital to this year’s success.

Domask will hopefully play a secondary playmaker role, much like Jacob Grandison did for Illinois. Grandison may not have had the assist numbers, however he was the best passer to Kofi Cockburn. His loss was a huge reason why the 2021-22 season flamed out the way that it did. Marcus Domask has the skillset to be an elite glue guy. One that Illinois has not had since Jacob Grandison and Da’Monte Williams.

Worries about Competition?

Domask played one true Power-five game against Oklahoma State.  16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists on 4/8 3pt shooting. 

Domask has a small sample size against Power-five opponents. Outside of the Oklahoma state game, the highest level opponent was UNLV. Domask had an impressive game against the Running Rebels in which he put up 21 points 6 rebounds and 4 assists on an efficient 53.8 percent shooting. Domask, Guerrier and Harmon all need to play at an above average level if Illinois Basketball wants to have any form of consistent success.

Now that Domask is healthy, I hope that he plays one exhibition to see how he gels on the court. Hearing that he is healthy brings an exciting intrigue about Illinois Basketball.

Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is a Resident Physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Northwestern Medicine and has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS sports and more.