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  • hhcmatt

    Game Day Essentials: Game #23 at #14 Illinois

      Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-6) at #14 Illinois Fighting Illini (16-5)


      Date: Sunday Feb 24th,  2024
      Time:  5:30 pm 
      Arena: State Farm Center

      Broadcast:  BTN

    Illinois Info

    Head Coach: Brad Underwood (7th season)

    Location: Champaign, IL 
    Conference: B1G
    Nickname: Fightin' Illini

    MascotChief Illiniwek They got rid of Chief Illiniwek in 2007

    Typical Rotation Depth: 7+

    Point Spread: Illinois by 9.5

    Last Time out: Beat Ohio St

    KenPom rank: 10

    Nota bene:  

    • Illinois is KenPom's 12th most experienced team in terms of his D-1 Experience metric
    • Illinois is KenPom's 9th tallest team in terms of KenPom's average height metric
    • Fred Hoiberg hasn't beaten Illinois as the coach of Nebraska. The Husker did lose an OT game at home to the Illini in 2021
    • Illinois has won 7 straight vs the Huskers


    KenPom most used lineups

      PG SG SF PF C Pct
    3 Marcus Domask
    6-6  215  Sr
    4 Justin Harmon
    6-4  180  Sr
    0 Terrence Shannon
    6-6  225  Sr
    13 Quincy Guerrier
    6-8  220  Sr
    33 Coleman Hawkins
    6-10  225  Sr
    3 Marcus Domask
    6-6  215  Sr
    4 Justin Harmon
    6-4  180  Sr
    0 Terrence Shannon
    6-6  225  Sr
    10 Luke Goode
    6-7  210  Jr
    33 Coleman Hawkins
    6-10  225  Sr


    Player to watch: Terrance Shannon

    Shannon is like an elite Terran Petteway where he can get to the rim almost at will and draw a lot of contact on the way.  Often a one-man fast break, you'll be better served to turn him into a 3pt shooter where he makes a pedestrian 35%


    Player to watch: Marcus Domask

    The 3-time All Valley Southern Illinois transfer guard serves somewhat as a ball handler for this Illinois team. Domask is like a Terrance Shannon lite where he's a lot better at getting to the rim than he is at shooting from outside.


    Player to watch:    Luke Goode

    He's like the CJ Wilcher of Illinois as when he comes off the bench it's to take and make 3s.  The career 40% 3pt shooter isn't quite as aggressive with his shot though some of that is due to needing his teammates to get him the ball.


    Others to watch

    Oregon transfer Quincy Guerrier's nose for rebounding and ability to take outside shots have cemented his role as the starting 4 man for the Illini. Between Guerrier and Goode playing the 4, Coleman Hawkins is almost exclusively at the 5 where his 37% 3pt shooting has taken him to the next level. Beefy center Dain Dainja has been relegated to under 10 mpg. Ty Rodgers is the glue guy where he's a high level rebounder but the 6'6' F isn't a threat to take a 3. Utah Valley transfer Justin Harmon is another glue-guy type but is hitting 3s at about a 40% clip.


    UNL Game Notes


    Out indefinitely 

    5   Ahron Ulis     6-3    190 lbs    Junior - Likely out for the season


    Emergency use 

    15  Blaise Keita     6-11    257 lbs    Junior - Ongoing ankle injury recovery


    Possible starters for Nebraska

    10    Jamarques Lawrence  6-3    183 lbs    Sophomore

    30   Keisei Tominaga           6-2    179 lbs    Senior

    3     Brice Williams               6-7    213 lbs    Junior

    4   Juwan Gary                   6-6    221 lbs    Junior

    51    Rienk Mast                 6-10    248 lbs    Junior



    0    C.J. Wilcher                  6-5    214 lbs    Junior

    53   Josiah Allick                 6-8    231 lbs    Senior

    9    Jarron Coleman            6-5    213 lbs    Senior
    1    Sam Hoiberg                 6-0    183 lbs    Sophomore
    11    Eli Rice                         6-8    213 lbs    Freshman
    21    Matar Diop                 6-10    213 lbs    Freshman

    35    Henry Burt                  6-7    216 lbs    RS Freshman

    2    Ramel Lloyd Jr.             6-6    210 lbs    RS Freshman

    31    Cale Jacobsen            6-4    200 lbs    RS Freshman

    24    Jeffrey Grace III         6-3    197 lbs    Sophomore 


    The Skinny: 

    Nebraska will once again try for their first road conference win vs what has always been their least winnable game on the schedule. Not only is Illinois one of the best teams in the country, but their elite ability to take away the 3 and FT line make this a nightmare matchup for a Nebraska team looking to score from deep. 


    Illinois is almost exclusively trying to force you into bad shots so the majority of turnovers by Nebraska will be self-inflicted. The Illini will pound the offensive glass intensely so expect Nebraska to send everyone to the glass today. 


    Extremely doubtful that Nebraska can take the Maryland path to victory as they don't play anything near high-level defense. The Huskers will likely need to outshoot Illinois to win. Additionally, Illinois hasn't played since Tuesday and won't play another game until Saturday; this is a team unlikely to hold anything back after watching Nebraska come back against Wisconsin. Would take one heck of a shooting day from the Huskers.


    Prediction: Illinois 95 - Nebraska 73

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    4 hours ago, hhcmatt said:

    The Illini will pound the offensive glass intensely so expect Nebraska to send everyone to the glass today. 



    I certainly hope they do, but I'm not sure if I expect it.

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    they'd have to have their best defensive game of the season to have a shot. and the odds of that are......


    this is what I always loved about Docs teams....the great equalizer. D. It's a shame we don't play it. 

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    Well, it was 73-73 after regulation, despite the refs attempting to make certain the home team came out victorious. Valiant effort by the Big Red, and hopefully this can be a B1G catalyst for the Huskers to overcome their road woes on Weds. LFG


    Edited by AuroranHusker

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