5 big questions for the Illinois basketball team against Northwestern

Jan 18, 2024; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini forward Marcus Domask (3) guard
Jan 18, 2024; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Marcus Domask (3) guard / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 5

3. Does Luke Goode still see massively reduced minutes?

Illinois basketball got much deeper this past Sunday when Terrence Shannon Jr. rejoined the team. He won his court case against the University, which allowed him to play basketball while he awaits his preliminary hearing for rape charges on February 23.

With Shannon back in the fold, he has to get minutes. He is Illinois’ leading scorer and is electric on the basketball court. But those minutes have to come from somewhere.

One of the big questions I have for Wednesday night against Northwestern is will Luke Goode still see a massive reduction in minutes? Is he the player who gets his minutes cut the most?

It is a bit frustrating to see Goode be the potential sacrificial lamb. He was consistently getting around 20 minutes per game leading up to Shannon’s suspension. In the six games Shannon was suspended, Goode averaged 32.3 minutes per game.

Goode had some special games in that stretch of six contests as well. He dropped 16 points against Purdue and 13 points against Maryland. He was one of the reasons those games were so close. Goode was also 10-of-25, 40%, from three-point range in the final five contests of the suspension.

In Shannon’s first game back, Goode saw a big minute reduction. He only played 19 minutes against Rutgers. I know that he had four fouls, but I believe that is about how many minutes Goode would have received regardless.

On Wednesday, we will see if Goode is permanently back in the 20-minute-a-night range. Why does it have to be him to sacrifice all the minutes? He is a big-time scorer who can really help the Illini. Let’s see if the minutes keep being reduced.