Illinois basketball was in a shootout at the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday night, and we came out victorious over a tough Florida Atlantic program.
This was a crazy game from the jump. The Illini started slow offensively, but we quickly corrected course, as two huge Illinois players took the reins. Marcus Domask and Terrence Shannon Jr. were unstoppable, as Florida Atlantic allowed Illinois to shoot 63.2% from the field and 40% from three-point range.
The hot shooting night by the Illini, and some key foul trouble, ended up dooming the Owls. Illinois would surge ahead and win the game in regulation, 98-89.
Here are five observations from the Illinois basketball win over Florida Atlantic
1. Clutch game out of Justin Harmon
Illinois’ offseason was full of adding players who could help this team win crucial games. We are starting a couple of those transfers, but one of the transfers who isn’t getting a ton of shine is Justin Harmon.
Harmon has played okay since transferring into the Illinois program. He is coming off the bench for the Illini, and his shooting has been about average, going 3-of-8 from three-point range and putting up around four or five points a night.
Coming into the Florida Atlantic game, I wasn’t expecting a lot out of Harmon. I wanted to see a few points off the bench and for him to bring solid energy. Thankfully, he gave the program much more than that.
Harmon had his best game in an Illinois jersey. He finished the game with 10 points and two rebounds while going 3-of-5 from the floor and 2-of-2 from three-point range. He also hit both of his free throws.
Illinois needed a spark off the bench, and we got that with Harmon. He had over half the bench points, and without his 22 minutes on the floor, the Illini probably lose the game on Tuesday night.
The only issue I had with Harmon the entire night was his fullcourt press decisions. The Owls would press Illinois, and this gave Harmon some trouble. Besides that, I think he had a great game. He was aggressive to the rim and clutch on the three-point arc. This was a huge game from one of our veteran leaders.