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Illinois Basketball needs Justin Harmon’s Toughness



Illinois Basketball needs Justin Harmon's Toughness
Mar 28, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Utah Valley Wolverines guard Justin Harmon (0) reacts after being fouled by the UAB Blazers in the first half at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball needs Justin Harmon’s Toughness

In recent Illinois Basketball history, one of the most universally liked players was Andres Feliz. Of course, Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn and even Malcolm Hill all have their superstar shine. However, it’s hard to remember a time when Andres Feliz did something to hurt Illinois on the court. Feliz always played hard and was truly a “dawg” that Illinois Basketball rarely has. Since Feliz graduated, fans have yearned for that one pitbull of a guard to stabilize the fort. As great as Trent Frazier was, he was too streaky offensively. Andre Curbelo obviously had his issues in his Sophomore year.

Illinois now has Justin Harmon on this roster. As he entered the portal, the Chicago native immediately reminded Brad Underwood of Andres Feliz. If Harmon can make true to that lofty comparison, this team will surely succeed from having that.

Statistically similar

Andres Feliz (per 40 minutes): 16.4 ppg, 7.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists on 46.0 fg% and 27.4% 3pt.

Justin Harmon (per 40 minutes): 19.7 ppg 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists on 45.3 fg% and 34% 3pt.

Statistically, the numbers line up. However, this is tough to compare. Harmon played this past year at a far lower level than the Big Ten. Additionally, Feliz had a year prior to the year above to at least get acclimated, while Harmon will have this year and this year only. I do not think that Justin Harmon will get the amount of minutes that Feliz got. Ty Rodgers, Sencire Harris, Luke Goode and even Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn are talented backcourt players who will certainly have their chance to contribute.

However, Justin Harmon has the skillset to make an impact off as a secondary ball-handler in Champaign. He will need to tighten his handle and take care of the ball to be successful.

A steady presence.

Harmon played incredibly well in this past year’s NIT tournament. He averaged close to 20 points, and did so against solid competition. Additionally, he had an outstanding trip to Spain. The grad transfer averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2.3 steals through the 3 games.

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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.