Game 4 preview | Valparaiso at No. 23 Illinois; 7 p.m., Friday

Nov. 17—Lineups

No. 23 Illinois (2-1)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G/F Ty Rodgers So. 6-6 7.3 Saginaw, Mich.

G Terrence Shannon Jr. Sr. 6-6 17.3 Chicago

G/F Marcus Domask Gr. 6-6 10.3 Waupun, Wis.

F Quincy Guerrier Gr. 6-8 5.7 Montreal

F Coleman Hawkins Sr. 6-10 4.7 Sacramento, Calif.


* Guerrier has 14 career double-doubles, with 11 at Syracuse, two at Oregon and one at Illinois with 13 points and 10 rebounds in last Friday night’s win against Oakland. The veteran Illini forward had a unique stat line in Tuesday’s loss to Marquette, however, with 10 rebounds to maintain his team rebounding lead, and zero points.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Luke Goode Jr. 6-7 7.3 Fort Wayne, Ind.

G Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn Fr. 6-1 6.0 Lafayette, Ind.

F/C Dain Dainja R-Jr. 6-9 6.0 Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Valparaiso (2-1)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Darius DeAveiro Jr. 6-0 2.3 Kanata, Ontario

G Isaiah Stafford Jr. 6-2 16.7 Bolingbrook

G Jaxon Edwards So. 6-5 15.7 Indianapolis

F Cooper Schwieger Fr. 6-9 9.7 Overland Park, Kan.

F Jerome Palm Sr. 6-10 8.0 Almere, Netherlands

FYI: Stafford (Southern Indiana) and Edwards (Murray State) are two of four Division I transfers on the Valparaiso roster. The Beacons’ frontcourt also has a pair in Ola Ajiboye (Central Michigan) and Lual Manyang (Hofstra). Eight other newcomers make up the bulk of the Beacons’ roster for first-year coach Roger Powell Jr., including former Valparaiso defensive back turned basketball walk-on Anthony Sciarroni

* .

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Jahari Williamson Fr. 6-1 7.7 Pickering, Ontario

F Ola Ajiboye So. 6-7 5.3 Chicago

G Sherman Weatherspoon Fr. 6-2 4.7 Bowie, Md.



* State Farm Center (15,544); Champaign.

Radio: Scott Beatty (play-by-play) and former Illini Deon Thomas

* (analysis) will have the call on the Illini Sports Network on WHMS 97.5-FM, WPXN 104.9-FM, WDAN-1490-AM and WDNL 102.1-FM.


* BTN Plus.


* Illinois leads 7-0.

Last meeting: Illinois won 82-57 on March 14, 2017, in the first round of the NIT in Champaign. Malcolm Hill scored a game-high 25 points for the Illini, and interim coach Jamall Walker

* got the first win of his career.

FYI: All seven previous games in the Illinois-Valparaiso series have been played in Champaign, and the Illini boast an average margin of victory of just more than 20 points. The closest was a 53-49 Illini win on Nov. 30, 1998.

Beat writer Scott Richey’s storylines

Domask finding his consistency

Illinois coach Brad Underwood thought Marcus Domask played “really hesitant” in the Illini’s win against Oakland. The Southern Illinois transfer had seven points on 3-of-7 shooting against the Golden Grizzlies, which basically matched his production from the season opener against Eastern Illinois. What Domask did in Tuesday’s loss to No. 4 Marquette — 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting with four rebounds and zero turnovers — was the kind of breakthrough Underwood was waiting to see.

“He’s so consistent, and there’s such great attention to detail with him,” Underwood said. “It was just a matter of time. … I’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got a whole package of stuff to get him into post-ups and do things. He was very effective in there (Tuesday). We’ve got to continue to drive him and get him into those areas and cut him into those areas because he’s really, really effective.”

Picking up the pace is vital for the Illini

The adjusted tempo numbers (possessions per 40 minutes against a team that wants to play at an average Division I tempo) for Illinois from Ken Pomeroy and Bart Torvik don’t exactly line up. The Illini rank 275th nationally in the former and 140th in the latter, but they paint a similar picture. Through three games, Illinois isn’t playing with the kind of pace they prefer.

“We’ve got to run the floor,” Illinois forward Quincy Guerrier said. “I think that’s going to be our identity. We’ll be a really good team. We’re already good, but we’ll be a really, really good team when we run the floor and play with a high tempo. Push the tempo, especially on offense. The wings have got to run better. The 5-man has got to rim run. That will give us opportunity to have open shots and have easy buckets.”

Looking for leadership from Hawkins

The first three games of the Illinois season haven’t been Coleman Hawkins at his best. The senior forward is averaging 4.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists, but he’s shooting just 31 percent overall and 14 percent from three-point range. Nine turnovers in those three games, including five Tuesday against Marquette, is also a concern. But what Underwood mostly wants from Hawkins is leadership.

“I have no problem with what he’s doing defensively,” the Illinois coach said. “He’s an initiator offensively and helping us create those things. We’re putting the ball in his hands a lot and asking him to make the right plays and screen and play a lot of minutes. I’ve got no problems with the way Coleman is playing. He’s doing a good job. He just can’t turn it over five times.”

The News-Gazette’s pick

No. 23 Illinois 93, Valparaiso 61

If the Illini can avoid sending the Beacons to the free-throw line, Friday night’s game at State Farm Center should go off without a hitch. That’s the only place Valparaiso has shown much offensive efficiency. While the Beacons did make 14 of 33 three-pointers in their season opener against Trinity Christian (an NAIA program), they’re shooting just 17.6 percent from three-point range and 34 percent overall against Division I opponents. (N-G prediction record — 3-0).


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