5. Will Illinois stay on the efficiency train?
There are a few things that have changed over the past few weeks. Illinois seems to be more cohesive than earlier in the season. We are also playing some efficient basketball.
To begin the 2023-24 campaign, the Illini weren’t the most efficient team in the country by any means. Illinois had more assists than turnovers in just three out of the first 10 games this year. But, as of late, the efficiency has skyrocketed.
I want to see if Illinois can keep up the efficient basketball. Will Illinois stay on the efficiency train on Wednesday night against Northwestern?
While the first 10 games only produced three contests with more assists than turnovers, Illinois has had more assists than turnovers in seven out of the past eight contests.
Through the first 10 games this season, the Illini had an assists-to-turnover ratio of 0.938, which ranked No. 239 out of 362 teams in DI basketball. Illinois has improved that number to an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.144, which currently ranks No. 130 in the country.
Illinois was also extremely efficient in the first game against Northwestern. We had 17 assists to just 10 turnovers, while the Wildcats had eight assists to 10 turnovers.
I would attribute the increase in Illini efficiency to Marcus Domask getting more involved in the offense. Domask has been special with the ball the past eight games. He has averaged 5.4 assists per game. His ability to get into the paint and back his man down enables other players to get open.
I expect Illinois to continue with efficient basketball against Northwestern. If we get sloppy, the Wildcats will pounce. Let’s keep going through Domask and have another big night against that team up north.