Illinois Basketball: 5 observations from the Illini loss to Purdue

Illinois Fighting Illini forward Marcus Domask (3) shoots the ball over Purdue Boilermakers forward
Illinois Fighting Illini forward Marcus Domask (3) shoots the ball over Purdue Boilermakers forward / Alex Martin/Journal and Courier / USA
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2. This might be Marcus Domask’s team

Illinois is now looking for the No. 1 on the team. Who is going to be the leader and will put the team on their back when the game is on the line?

I think we are all quickly realizing that someone is going to be Marcus Domask. The Southern Illinois transfer has impressed a few times to start the season, but he has really come on and been incredible the last few games.

Domask has had double-digit points in seven out of the last eight games, which included a 33-point and 32-point performance against Florida Atlantic and Northwestern, respectively.

While the three-point prowess is not there with Domask, his ability to back his man down into the paint and make a bucket is incredible. I would argue he is one of the most dangerous players within 15 feet of the bucket that I have seen Illinois have in the history of the program.

Domask once again proved he was great on Friday night. He dropped 26 points, five assists, three rebounds, and one steal on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor against Purdue. I felt the most comfortable when Domask had the ball.

Illinois needed to find that guy on the offensive end of the court. I think that guy is Domask. Brad Underwood seems to think so as well, as he is starting to run specific plays just for Domask.

There was one point in the game when Luke Goode waved his arm, and all of a sudden, Illinois cleared the right side of the court and allowed Domask to go complete isolation. This was fascinating to watch because I don’t think I have seen that with an Underwood team.

I am comfortable enough to say that this is Domask’s team. Illinois needed a leader on the offensive end to step up, and Domask answered that call.