5 epic observations from the Illinois basketball win over Nebraska

Illinois basketball was on the brink of elimination early on the game on Saturday, but a legendary performance propelled the Illini to a huge Big Ten Tournament win.
Mar 16, 2024; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) and
Mar 16, 2024; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) and / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Great time for Luke Goode to ball out

Illinois put up 98 points in a Big Ten game. That alone is an impressive feat. It shows the true firepower this program has on the offensive end of the court.

The fact the Illini can find production from players off the bench helped get us to that 98-point mark. No, I am not talking about Dain Dainja, Niccolo Moretti, Justin Harmon, or Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn. All four of those bench players played 20 minutes and gave Illinois zero points, two rebounds, and one assist.

I am talking about Luke Goode. Yes, that player who has so much potential but hasn’t looked the same in the past month or so. Coming into the game against Nebraska, Goode had failed to score over three points in the prior six contests. He had only scored over three points two times in the past 12 games.

It seemed that Goode had lost confidence, and maybe even the coaching staff lost confidence as well. He was fouling a lot and not making shots. That all changed on Saturday.

Goode came out firing and hustling. He knocked down huge three-point attempts that kept Illinois alive in the game, and he was going for rebounds that he had no business getting to.

By the end of the game, Goode was Illinois’ fourth-leading scorer. He finished the Nebraska game with 12 points, six rebounds, two assists, and one block on 4-of-9 shooting from the field. All of his shots were three-point attempts too.

One of the major stats that jumps out to me is Goode’s rebounding. Not the fact he snagged six rebounds, but the fact four out of the six rebounds were offensive boards. That is a lot of second-chance points for Illinois and a big reason we came away with the win.

Goode was a magician the past month or so. He made his game disappear. Just like a magician, it reappeared at the right time. What a game by the sharpshooting wing.