Early projected Illinois basketball lineup for the 2024-25 season

Now that the Illinois basketball season is over, it is time to look at what lies ahead for the Orange and Blue roster in 2024-25.
Jan 5, 2024; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn (2)
Jan 5, 2024; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn (2) / Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 2 Guard

Starter: Marcus Domask (6YR)

This is a bit surprising that I have Marcus Domask on the projected Illinois starting lineup for the 2024-25 season. He was a graduate player this past season, so why do I have him on here? On Sunday, IlliniGuys reported that Domask has applied for a waiver to get a sixth year of eligibility. If approved, he is going to be back on the roster.

Illinois getting Domask back would be huge. I would argue he would be the leader for the Big Ten Player of the Year entering next season. Domask averaged 15.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in 2023-24. He was an incredible addition to the Illinois roster, and I have him starting at the No. 2 guard spot for the Illini. It would likely be a very similar backcourt to last season with these two.

Backup: Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn (SO)

With so many departures from the Elite 8 run we just had, this will give a chance for the younger guys to see much more playing time in 2024-25. One of the players who will get a major boost is Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn.

Gibbs-Lawhorn saw action in 28 games for the Illini as a freshman, and he was fun to watch when he was in the game. He brought great energy and liked to shoot from three-point range. Gibbs-Lawhorn averaged 2.4 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.4 assists per game while shooting 34.2% from the field and 22.2% from three-point range. The ability is there, but the sample size is too small. Gibbs-Lawhorn will average over double the 7.1 minutes per game he earned during his freshman campaign next season.

Backup: Jase Butler (FR)

Illinois has a nice haul of freshmen coming into the program for the 2024-25 season. I am excited about the under-the-radar guard, Jase Butler.

Butler is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard from The Branson School in California. He is rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 94 player in the class of 2024. Butler had a big high school season, and he continues to develop his game. He is an aggressive player who can get to the basket and shoot at all levels on the court. This kid screams Brad Underwood-style of basketball. I have him entering next season as a backup at the No. 2 guard spot.