5 crucial questions for the Illinois basketball team against Iowa State

The Sweet 16 is not too far away, and the Illinois basketball team is eyeing a potential trip to the Elite 8. We have to get through Iowa State first, though.
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) smiles on the
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) smiles on the / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Is it possible to make Tamin Lipsey inefficient?

Iowa State is a great team. That is why they have 29 wins so far this season and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. You don’t slop into that type of success.

A huge part of this winning is due to the great play of Tamin Lipsey. He is a 6-foot-1 guard who can do everything on the basketball court. He has also been playing some extremely efficient basketball.

I want to see if Illinois’ guards can handle a smaller guard who is quick and can do a lot on the court. Is it possible for the Illini to make Lipsey inefficient?

In the postseason, Lipsey has been incredible. It started back in the first game of the Big 12 Tournament and has extended through the first two rounds of the Big Dance.

Through five games of the postseason, Lipsey is averaging 12.4 points, 5.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. Those are great numbers, but his efficiency while putting up those numbers has blown me away.

Lipsey has shot 21-of-40, 52.5%, from the field and 9-of-17, 52.9%, from three-point range during this stretch. But wait, it gets more efficient. He has played a total of 164 minutes in those five games and has a total of four turnovers. That is incredible.

Illinois has the guard length that could give Lipsey some problems. That is my hope right now. Lipsey is a smaller guard, so it will be hard to shoot over and see around the Illini length. It will be tough to make Lipsey inefficient on Thursday.