5 huge questions for the Illinois basketball team against Michigan

Illinois basketball is at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to the 2023-24 season. On Tuesday, a wounded Michigan team comes to town, and this is a great chance for the Illini to get back on the wagon.

Illinois v Michigan State
Illinois v Michigan State / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages
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2. Will Michigan be Quincy Guerrier’s breakout game?

Quincy Guerrier started the 2023-24 season off well. He was a big contributor to the Illinois basketball program, and we looked to him for big production on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

That production has slowed down a lot over the past couple of weeks. Guerrier hasn’t looked the same, and this has been strange to watch. He isn’t just ineffective on one end or the other either. His entire game has looked bad.

I want to see if Guerrier can get out of his funk. He played well in the last Illinois win over Michigan, so can the Wolverines be Guerrier’s breakout game on Tuesday?

In the last game Illinois played against Michigan, Guerrier went off in the 15-point victory. He finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds while going 6-of-12 from the floor. Ever since that game, his numbers have slowly declined, though.

On Saturday, Guerrier hit rock bottom, as he finished the Michigan State game with three points, five rebounds, and four fouls while only hitting 1-of-3 from the field. He only played 14 minutes due to his number of fouls too.

My theory is that Guerrier started thriving in the Illinois lineup when Terrence Shannon Jr. was suspended by the University after he was charged with rape.

In the six games Shannon was out, Guerrier averaged 13.2 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 46.2% from the field. In the six games since Shannon has returned, Guerrier is averaging 8.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting 45.5% from the field. Guerrier’s production is down considerably, but maybe the Michigan game on Tuesday will be a nice rebound.