Connect with us


Is Illinois Basketball Facing a Trap Game?



Illinois Basketball Class of 2024 Continues to Dominate
Dec 9, 2023; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Food City Center at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Is Illinois Basketball Facing a Trap Game?

Illinois Basketball had a much-needed week off. They played three high-level games on the road and really brought their A-game. Ever since last week, Illinois was able to return to Champaign and recover—their brief sabbatical ends on Sunday when they host Colgate in front of an eager State Farm Center. Illinois Basketball’s two best offensive players, Terrence Shannon Jr, and Marcus Domask, played over 33 minutes in all three games last week. Coleman Hawkins recently returned from a nagging Knee injury and averaged close to 30 minutes through those three games.

Illinois Basketball played very well last week and earned some national media attention. They have jumped up in the AP polls and in other top 25 rankings. Despite this, Illinois Basketball needs to show up and beat Colgate to prove that they are the team worthy of the praise. Colgate Basketball is currently 135th in Kenpom and 102nd in the NET.

Possible Trap Game?

Colgate Basketball is a respectable program. They have made the NCAA tournament the past 5 years (including the year canceled by COVID) and have dominated the Patriot League. This year, Matt Langel’s squad is not as sharp thus far with a 4-4 record. To compare, Arizona beat this same team in their gym by 27 points. Illinois needs to come out and put together a similar effort to avoid a trap game. If everyone remembers last year, Illinois beat #2 Texas at Madison Square Garden in an epic game. The vibes were at an all-time high as Illinois had also just beat UCLA. The Illini returned home 4 days later and laid an egg against Penn State in horrific fashion.

Hopefully, this veteran-laid team will not put up a similar effort coming home. Additionally, Illinois is coming off a closely battled loss to Tennessee. They held the lead early in the second half, however, ran out of gas and hit a wall to end the game. There were some key kinks that flared up that Illinois has to improve on such as half-court offense and turnovers. Because of this, they should have a little bit of fire to come out and beat Colgate in dominant fashion.




Thank you for reading Armchair Illini. For more Illinois Athletics and Big Ten content from Armchair Illini, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Please use our Seatgeek code for 20$ off your purchase on ARMCHAIRILLINOIS. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing Illinois media outlets around!

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.