Marcus Domask pens goodbye, as Illinois basketball transfer portal steal departs

It was a fun ride with Marcus Domask leading the way, but the Illinois basketball transfer portal steal is officially done in college
Duquesne v Illinois
Duquesne v Illinois / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

A short but impactful Illinois basketball career has come to an end.

There have been numerous transfer portal players the Illini have landed throughout the years, and one of the best we have ever seen entered the picture for the 2023-24 campaign.

Marcus Domask spent four seasons at Southern Illinois where he developed his game and became an elite player. His 16.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.0 steals per game in year four got him noticed by numerous high-level DI programs.

After entering the transfer portal, Domask picked Illinois as his landing spot. Most transfers from smaller schools to bigger programs usually see a decrease in statistics. That isn’t the case with Domask, though. In fact, I think he blossomed into an even better player.

During the 2023-24 campaign, Domask averaged 15.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game for the Illini. Despite being 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, Domask could back players down and finish strong at the rim. He had a buttery fadeaway jumper as well.

Illinois fans sadly won’t be seeing that again at the college level. Despite Domask trying to come back by all means necessary, he announced via social media on Thursday that his time in college is now complete.

“At this time, I have exhausted all my possible eligibility in college and will be entering my name in and preparing for the 2024 NBA Draft.”

Without Illinois basketball snagging Marcus Domask out of the transfer portal, the Elite 8 run wouldn’t be possible

It was a wild 2023-24 campaign for the Illini. Coming into the year, I wasn’t sure what impact Domask would have on the program. He didn’t play in the summer overseas, so we didn’t get a full glimpse of his potential.

Domask hit the ground running from the jump. Through the first 20 games of the season, he was a big part of Illinois being 15-5 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten. I think it is worth noting that when Terrence Shannon Jr. was suspended for six games, Domask kept Illinois afloat. In that stretch of games, he upped his scoring average to 20.8 points per game.

Illinois’ run to the Elite 8 wouldn’t have been possible without Domask on the team either. He helped the Illini avoid any worries of an upset in the first two rounds, guiding us to our first Sweet 16 since the 2005 NCAA tournament.

Even when he wasn’t scoring, like his seven-point outing in the Sweet 16, Domask was able to contribute in more ways than one. He added six rebounds and five assists in that Sweet 16 win over Iowa State. The attention he would draw from defenders helped Illinois win games as well.

Domask coming to Illinois was huge for the program. When we remember the Elite 8 run years from now, this kid will be one of the top players mentioned. Thank you for everything, Marcus.

Next. Projected Illinois basketball lineup after Luke Goode entered the transfer portal. Projected Illinois basketball lineup after Luke Goode entered the transfer portal. dark