Oct. 30—Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:
Illinois upended Kansas 82-75 on Sunday night at State Farm Center. A big-time win for the No. 25 Illini against the No. 1 Jayhawks — even if it doesn’t actually count. (If the 2017 charity exhibition loss at Eastern Illinois didn’t count in Brad Underwood’s opinion, neither can beating the top team in the country in similar circumstances).
But there were plenty of positives and interesting notes to take away from the win nonetheless. A few box score tidbits of interest:
— Playing time is worth a mention. Terrence Shannon Jr. played 34 minutes. Marcus Domask and Coleman Hawkins got 29 minutes apiece. Quincy Guerrier and Ty Rodgers were on the court for 25 of the 40 minutes, and Justin Harmon played 22 minutes off the bench.
20That’s basically it. Luke Goode was the only other Illini to hit double digits in minutes played with 10. The second half was basically a six-man rotation, though, of Shannon, Domask, Hawkins, Guerrier, Rodgers and Harmon. Goode and Sencire Harris played 4 minutes each and Dain Daina just 3 out of the final 20 minutes. None of the three freshmen played in the second half.
— Guerrier and Shannon combined to make 15 of 20 free throws. A reasonable success rate. The rest of the team was 6 of 12 … a less reasonable success rate. Dainja went 1 of 4, and Nico Moretti missed a pair.
— Eight assists on 25 made shots was lower than Underwood typically likes. The number of dribble drives attacking Kansas closeouts, though, lowered that number. Throw in some iso looks for Shannon, who shot 8 of 13 and scored a game-high 28 points, and the opportunities for assists dipped even further. Related to that, Shannon drew seven fouls by the Jayhawks.
— Guerrier had the best defensive rating of Illinois’ regulars against Kansas. The 6-8 forward’s stop percentage (estimate of the rate of defensive possessions where the opposing team did not score) was 79.2 percent. The Canadian wing also had the team’s best rebound rate (estimate of the percentage of missed shots the player rebounded while on the floor) at 20.1 percent.
— Illinois and Kansas combined to miss their last nine shots in the final 2 minutes of the game. Hunter Dickinson missed four of the Jayhawks’ last five shots, including a trio of desperation threes.