5 massive observations from the Illinois basketball win over Duquesne

It has been nearly 20 years, but the Illinois basketball team is heading back to the Sweet 16.
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Marcus Domask (3) claps after the
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Marcus Domask (3) claps after the / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

2. Quincy Guerrier rose from the dead

There are a couple of magicians on the Illinois basketball team. Usually, magicians are fun and exciting. When I refer to magicians, I mean it in a bad way. They make their game disappear.

Quincy Guerrier is one of those magicians. There are times when he looks incredible. He is active and running the court well, and he can even hit shots. But then there are the bad times when he disappears. He doesn’t do much offensively, and his defense looks mediocre at best.

In the first round against Morehead State, Guerrier’s game was nowhere to be found. He played 12 minutes on the court and had zero points on 0-of-2 shooting from the field and missed his lone three-point attempt. He did have three rebounds, one assist, one block, one steal, one foul, and one turnover as well.

Illinois needed more out of Guerrier, though. You are a starter and someone who is in his fifth year in college. Leadership and production should be at a premium with Guerrier.

Against Duquesne, Guerrier rose from the dead. The magician made his game reappear, and it was beautiful to watch. Honestly, when I watch Guerrier play, he reminds me so much of a 1990s NBA player. He has a nice big body that runs the court and finishes at the rim. He has a little Scottie Pippen in him.

Guerrier finished the game against the Dukes with 10 points and six rebounds on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and missed his lone three-point shot. Guerrier was active, though. That is all I ask. When he is active, he is nearly unstoppable.

The athletic ability of Guerrier is something I haven’t seen often at Illinois. There was a play on Saturday night when an Illini player missed, Guerrier flew in and had a putback dunk over three different players. It was a special play athletically. When Guerrier’s game is clicking, this kid is incredible.