Location: Champaign, IL
Nickname: Fightin' Illini
Chief 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
- 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
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
5 Ahron Ulis 6-3 190 lbs Junior - Likely out for the season
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
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