5. Illinois starting to lean on Luke Goode
With Illinois being shorthanded, it enables some of the players who haven’t gotten a full shot to emerge and play some big minutes. I am excited to see what Luke Goode can do with a full workload for the first time in his career.
In the flashes we have seen of Goode in the past, he has shown he can be a great three-and-D guy for Illinois. He can come down the court, knock down a three-pointer, and then get back on defense and lock down his man.
Before the Fairleigh Dickinson game, Goode was averaging a solid 20.5 minutes per game. Illinois was bringing him off the bench for a bucket or two. But now that the Illini are shorthanded, he has taken a bigger role on the team.
Goode is now starting, and he has averaged 31.0 minutes in each of the last three contests. He has averaged 8.0 points during this stretch, but his big breakout game was against Purdue last Friday. Goode played a career-high 35 minutes and finished with 16 points, which is another career-high. He hit 5-of-11 from the field and 4-of-8 from three-point range.
Illinois seems to be leaning on Goode more now. He is getting more minutes, and from what I saw in the Purdue game, he is going to start being more active on the offensive end of the court.
Goode didn’t just hit four three-pointers against Purdue, but he also drove the lane and got to the free throw line for points. He is a dynamic player who is extremely valuable to the Illini. Look for Goode to finish the 2023-24 on a high note.