5 crucial observations from the Illinois basketball loss against Michigan State

Illinois v Michigan State
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3. Terrence Shannon Jr. was a tale of two halves

This was one of the most roller coaster-feeling games I have watched in a while. There were so many ups and downs throughout the contest.

Terrence Shannon Jr. provided a lot of those ups and downs for the Illini. There were a few areas I couldn’t fault him. He was hustling all over the court, diving for the ball and skying for rebounds. I appreciated this greatly.

Shannon also had a great first half. He played 18 minutes and had 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and made 7-of-8 from the free throw line. That great play didn’t last, though. He cooled off greatly in the second half.

It was a completely different player in the second half for the Illinois basketball team. Shannon wasn’t hitting shots, and he was killing the team when it came to offensive efficiency. Shannon finished the second half going 3-of-12 from the field and 1-of-6 from three-point range for 12 points and six rebounds.

In the first half, Shannon let the game come to him more often. He played well, but then in the second half, things slowed down. Illinois didn’t move nearly as well, and we went into more of an iso-style offense. This is when we are at our worst.

For the game, Shannon had a -13 box plus-minus, meaning Illinois was losing by 13 points when he was on the court. It was the worst box plus-minus on the team. Brad Underwood has a lot of work to do to keep Illinois winning at a high level and keep Shannon a big part of this offense.