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Illinois Basketball Tops #1 Kansas Jayhawks



Illinois Basketball Tops #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Mar 16, 2023; Des Moines, IA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) reacts after a play against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the first half at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Tops #1 Kansas Jayhawks

Illinois Basketball finished off their preseason with an exhibition against Kansas. All proceeds of this exhibition go towards the natural disasters in Maui. There were plenty of basketball storylines involved. Bill Self made his long awaited return to Champaign. Hunter Dickinson played one final game in front of his beloved Champaign fans. Kansas is also the number one ranked team in the country. This was a great opportunity for Illinois Basketball to see where they stack up. This was just an exhibition, I am aware. Despite this, it was an encouraging night for Illinois fans.

They played a solid 40 minutes and came out with the victory. Illinois Basketball topped the preseason number 1, Kansas Jayhawks 82-75.

Vets make the right play.

Quincy Guerrier showed his experience during the second half. Guerrier frequently led team huddles on the court and put guys in the proper spots on defense. His rebounding was key and he went on a solid stretch of getting to the foul line. The Canadian basketball player made his debut in the starting lineup after coming off the bench the first exhibition. The fifth year senior led the way as he set the tone with his intensity and attention to detail. Though most would probably like to avoid any injury, Guerrier dived on the floor late in the second half for a loose ball. The constant effort was a sight to behold as Illinois trot out a lineup of veterans to close it out.

A hot shooting night

Terrence Shannon Jr went back to his “UCLA Terrence” form. Coleman Hawkins was decisive in catch-and-shoot 3’s After watching Matthew Mayer, Skyy Clark and Jayden Epps take poorly timed three point shots for a whole year, Illinois Basketball showed the power of simple ball movement.  Illinois Basketball continued to make extra passes to get the best shot. We did not see that too often last year. Additionally, the vets played calm and collected. Justin Harmon was a steady presence in the backcourt and it was nice to see a player cut to the basket.

Terrence Shannon Jr wanted this game very badly. I hope that we can see that same level of intensity and Cohesiveness moving forward. If so, Illinois Basketball is in for a very good season.

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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.