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Illinois Basketball: Player Grades Against Indiana

Illinois Basketball beat Indiana on their home floor on Wednesday. Many of the guys struggled, leaving very few bright spots besides the W.



Jan 27, 2024; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Ty Rodgers (20) drives the ball between Indiana Hoosiers forward Payton Sparks (24) and guard Anthony Leal (3) during the first half at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball pulled out the win against Indiana on Saturday, though the game was much closer than the 15-point favorites would have liked it to be. Who stood out, positive and/or negative? Let’s dive in.

#11 Nicco Moretti – N/A

Underwood had to press the “freshman spark” early in this one, which is typically a bad sign. Moretti didn’t do too much of note in his 2 minutes.

#2 Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn – B+

In the second half, Underwood again found himself feeling the need to give the team a spark of energy. Turning towards another freshman, DGL actually hit a fairly important three and had a nice take to the rim. Also had a turnover.

#42 Dain Dainja – C

Dainja has struggled to find his fit on this team, and this game was no exception. Coleman Hawkins struggled once again defensively, and this team could really use somebody of Dainja’s size on that end of the floor. Unfortunately, Dainja doesn’t offer much defensively, and thus, minutes have been hard to come by. Did have a dunk that seemed to give the State Farm Center some life.

#13 Quincy Guerrier – C-

Full disclosure, I do these grades in order of minutes played. To see Quincy Guerrier this low is a surprise, and yes, it is very surprising that Guerrier only played 16 minutes against Indiana. Hardly any of those minutes came in the second half. He was a -11 on the floor in his minutes, the worst on the team.

#20 Ty Rodgers – B

Rodgers played 16 minutes in this contest for Illinois Basketball and is carving out a nice little roll for himself. His finishing at the rim is still not the best, as he botched an alley-oop he should have just dunked. But Illinois found some offense with him in the post early when they couldn’t get anything to fall. He stuffed the stat sheet too, finishing with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.

#0 Terrence Shannon Jr – D+

Shannon’s late free throws saved him from an F grade in my book. He was a team-worst -12 until the final few minutes when he did hit a few clutch free throws. Shannon shot 2-10 from the floor, 0-4 from three, 2 turnovers, and 0 assists. His defense hasn’t looked much better, as he was beaten on a cut by a guy who hasn’t seen the court very much.

#4 Justin Harmon – B-

This game was a weird one for Justin Harmon. It didn’t look incredibly great, he did hit a three to get the crowd going and hit a big bucket late, but he was still only 2-9 from the floor. He still was a positive for Illinois in terms of plus/minus, in fact, he finished highest on the team in that regard. What’s been most surprising about Harmon is, even with Shannon’s return, he is still playing big minutes. He actually finished with more minutes played than Shannon himself today.

#10 Luke Goode – B

Goode seemed to be the only player who could score for Illinois from deep today. He hit a few big ones to get the crowd going and then had an impressive and-one against Mackenzie Mgbako. Defensively, he still isn’t very good, especially against smaller guards. He got blown by a few times today. Still, Goode was a positive for Illinois Basketball, and they needed him on the floor for his shooting ability.

#33 Coleman Hawkins – C

Hawkins played 35 minutes against Indiana, 2nd most on the team. Though, the Hawkins experience was a roller coaster on Saturday afternoon. Defensively, he was once again smacked around by another big man. Malik Reneau gave him the work in the low post every time down the court. This is becoming a problem for Illinois Basketball and is becoming something opponents are finding ways to attack. Offensively, finishing at the rim was hit-or-miss for Hawkins, as he finished 4-12 from the floor.

They’ll need him to play better to find their groove again.

#3 Marcus Domask – B+

Illinois Basketball needed their star today, and no, not Terrence Shannon. Since Shannon has returned, Domask has continued to be Illinois’ lead guard. He is the one with the ball in his hands at the end of the game and was the only one against Indiana to shoot a respectable percentage on high volume. Domask finished with a double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 6-13 from the floor. He was also the only Illini to make all of his free throws.

**stats found here**

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Zach Leslie is one of original members of Armchair Illini, your go-to sources of University of Illinois news. He has sports content published on Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits and more. He is also one of the most talented videographers in Illini Nation and has published work on some of the most famous Cinema Review sites such as LetterBoxd.