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Illinois Basketball: Player Grades Against Nebraska

Illinois Basketball survived an OT thriller against Nebraska and there were many ups and downs. Marcus Domask and Ty Rodgers were among the positive standouts.



Feb 4, 2024; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Quincy Guerrier (13) drives past Nebraska Cornhuskers forward Rienk Mast (51) during the first half at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball survived an OT thriller against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at home on Sunday night.

Who stood out? Positively, negatively, bit of both? Let’s dive in…

#2 Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn – N/A

DGL logged only two minutes in this one, largely because the lead for both teams was never more than 7 points.

#42 Dain Dainja – B-

Dainja looked more like his old self for Illinois Basketball against Nebraska. He was able to provide a spark while giving Coleman Hawkins some rest. However, it must be noted that he missed a wide-open dunk that would have given Illinois a sizable lead while bringing down the house. That was the story of the game for Illinois Basketball, and Dainja wasn’t the only culprit. Ultimately, he was the only bench player to make a shot in this game.

#4 Justin Harmon – C

Harmon missed all of his field goal attempts on Sunday, and when Illinois needed a solid in-bounds pass late in the game, he failed to produce. It was a tough night for him, and if he makes any of his shot attempts, the Cornhuskers may have been in the rearview mirror much earlier.

#10 Luke Goode – C

The offensive glass saved Luke Goode’s grade for this one. Goode shot 0-6 from the field and, like Harmon, those misses prevented Illinois from taking a big lead in the basketball game.

#13 Quincy Guerrier – B

If pump fakes led to a higher grade, Guerrier would have finished with an A+. For some reason, he has been hesitant to shoot the ball. He’s also been incredibly poor from the line. It was shaping up to be another stinker for Guerrier, but he hit a three in the second half when Nebraska was also hitting big shots. He played the least out of the starting five, a trend over the last few games.

Guerrier still isn’t quite the same player he was when Shannon was out, but hopefully, he can gain some confidence and pick up steam down the stretch.

#20 Ty Rodgers – A+

Illinois won’t win this basketball game without Ty Rodgers. He was sensational on the board, racking up 14 rebounds on the night. Rodgers was also 2 points away from a double-double. Since getting exposed by Purdue, Rodgers has thrived clashing the glass. He still doesn’t give Illinois much offensively, but they’ll gladly take 8 points a game from him.

#33 Coleman Hawkins – A-

At this point, Hawkins is nearly impossible to take off the floor. His spacing provides so much for Illinois, and his defensive versatility is unrivaled in the Big 10. Hawkins is still prone to take a bad shot, as the first possession of overtime showed us, but he’s still shooting the best percentage of his career from deep. However, another big man had a big night against Illinois, a trend that has been going on for awhile now. Mast finished with 22 points, but unlike the other bigs who found success against Hawkins, he did a lot of his damage from deep.

#0 Terrence Shannon Jr. – B

Shannon’s night was a mixed bag. He finally looks locked in defensively, despite Tominaga’s big night. Illinois wins this basketball game rather handidly in the second half if Shannon doesn’t fall in love with three in the final four minutes. There were two attempts in particular that were basically turnovers, giving Nebraska opportunties to claw back into the game. He also missed two free throws at the end of overtime, giving Tominaga a chance at a halfcourt heave.

#3 Marcus Domask – B+

Domask has continued to be a 20 ppg scorer for Illinois Basketball even with the return of Terrence Shannon. Illinois runs most things through him offensively still, and he’s continued to produce. He finished with 19 points on 7-15 shooting (while playing 43 minutes!!!). Domask settled for a three a couple of times when better shots were available, and his struggles from deep continue. It might be a “what if” of his time at Illinois. What if he was a 36% 3-point shooter? How would teams have to defend him? Ultimately, he’s still one of the best players in the Big Ten without that stroke from the outside.

Domask also missed a clutch free throw to win the game for Illinois in regulation, a rare miscue from the 90% FT shooter.

Many of the starters graded out pretty well, while the bench, who shot 3-16 from the floor tonight, really struggled to capitalize on momentum for Illinois Basketball in the second half.

**all stats provided by ESPN**

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.