5 big questions for the Illinois basketball team against Indiana

Illinois basketball didn't look good this past Wednesday, but we have a big opportunity to get back on the winning train on Saturday against Indiana.

Jan 21, 2024; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Noah Fernandes (1) drives to
Jan 21, 2024; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard Noah Fernandes (1) drives to / Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Does Indiana continue the rebounding woes?

While Illinois might struggle to stop Indiana’s size in the paint on Saturday, that doesn’t mean the Hoosiers are good at rebounding the basketball.

One would think when you start three players at least 6-foot-8, you would pull down a lot of rebounds. That isn’t happening with Indiana. In fact, they have had recent woes when it comes to rebounding.

Can Illinois take advantage of these rebounding struggles? Will Illinois be able to finish the Indiana game with a big rebounding margin?

This season, Indiana has been a little below average when it comes to crashing the glass. The Hoosiers are averaging 34.9 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 186 in the country.

Indiana’s struggles have been amplified in the last five contests as well. The Hoosiers have lost the rebounding battle in all five games, and in two of those contests, they lost the rebounding margin by double-digits.

Illinois, on the other hand, is a great rebounding team. We are pulling down 43.3 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 4 in the nation. Even when the Illini struggle and fall to a team like Northwestern, we still win the rebounding battle. Illinois won the rebounding battle against the Wildcats 46-32.

I think what could give Indiana trouble on Saturday is the fact Illinois has a great rebounding backcourt. Ty Rodgers, Terrence Shannon Jr., Marcus Domask, and Luke Goode all average over 4.0 rebounds per game. As a team, Illinois has eight players averaging over 3.0 rebounds per contest.