No. 2 Guard
Starter: Terrence Shannon Jr.
Regardless of how the summer went, Terrence Shannon Jr. would always have a spot in the starting lineup. The talented fifth-year senior is back for one more ride, and he is ready to show NBA scouts that he is made for the grind.
I have Shannon starting at the No. 2 spot for the Illini this season. This is where he would fit in the best. Shannon likes to be a primary scorer. He also dabbles in a little bit of everything in the court. That makes him valuable for Illinois. Shannon can pass and rebound well. I think his best attribute is the ability to get to the free throw line. While he can put up bad shooting nights, he makes up for it by getting to the charity stripe.
Backup: Justin Harmon
Illinois has a pretty deep team heading into the 2023-24 season. If this was an Illinois team from a few years ago, then Justin Harmon would be starting. This isn’t one of those teams, though, so I think he will probably be a primary backup at the No. 2 guard spot.
Harmon is a little bit like Shannon. He is a super streaky shooter who can knock down big shots and put up points in a hurry. But when he isn’t shooting well, Harmon has the great ability to get to the free throw line to get points. He is a great finisher around the hoop as well. I love this addition by Brad Underwood in the offseason. Harmon will likely see the court at the No. 2 or No. 3 guard spots quite often.