2. Justin Harmon was a difference maker for the Illini
I touched on this a bit on the previous slide, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw out of Justin Harmon on Friday night.
Brad Underwood did a great job this past offseason of going out and getting some talented transfer portal players. That recruiting ability paid dividends against Fairleigh Dickinson, as I believe Harmon helped turn the momentum of the game in favor of the Illini.
The Knights were hanging around for much of the first half. They got the deficit to just six points with under four minutes to go until halftime. Dain Dainja was able to increase that lead back up to 11 points, but Fairleigh Dickinson just wasn’t going away. That is when Harmon flipped a switch.
Harmon started to get in a rhythm from three-point range. He knocked down four three-pointers in less than two minutes to increase the lead to 21 points. Harmon then finished the first half with another bucket as icing on the cake.
Illinois went from only being up 11 points and the Knights having hope to having a 20-point lead at halftime and this game essentially being in the books.
Harmon was huge off the bench for Illinois. This is the type of production the Illini need to have success the rest of the season. Someone needs to step up, and Harmon answered the call.