5 huge observations from the Illinois basketball win over Iowa

Illinois basketball needed some momentum entering the Big Ten Tournament, and a quick start against Iowa did the trick, as this led to a big road Big Ten win.
Mar 10, 2024; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts with
Mar 10, 2024; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood reacts with / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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2. That is the Terrence Shannon Jr. we are used to seeing

In the five big questions post before the Iowa game, I wanted to see if Terrence Shannon Jr. could be more aggressive in the game against the Hawkeyes. Could he get going downhill and get the basket?

Shannon has been one of the most unstoppable players when he drives to the hoop. While it looks like he is wildly out of control nearly every time, he is actually in incredible control to the point he can finish at the rim while getting laid out by the defender.

That is why it is frustrating when I see a game against a top-five Purdue team where Shannon scores 11 points. This was a home game, and getting to the free throw line should have been easy. He only attempted five free throws, though.

Against Iowa on Sunday night, Shannon reverted back to his old self. While he only took three free throws, we were playing in Iowa City, so Illinois didn’t get any calls. There were some hard fouls quite a few times, but the refs apparently didn’t think they were fouls.

Regardless, Shannon looked like his All-American self again. He was aggressive toward the basket and didn’t settle too many times. He was smart about his three-point shots, and he probed the defender until he found a signal and attacked.

Shannon finished the Iowa game with 25 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while going 10-of-19 from the floor and 3-of-8 from three-point range.

The explosion Shannon has off the dribble is incredible. He can blow past the defender, especially when he catches him flatfooted. This was one of the best games of the season for the Illini, and the charge was led by one of the best players in the country in Shannon.