Game 22 preview | Nebraska at No. 14 Illinois; 5:30 p.m., Sunday

Feb. 4—Lineups

No. 14 Illinois (16-5, 7-3 Big Ten)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G/F Ty Rodgers So. 6-6 6.9 Saginaw, Mich.

G Terrence Shannon Jr. Sr. 6-6 20.1 Chicago

G/F Marcus Domask Gr. 6-6 15.5 Waupun, Wis.

F Quincy Guerrier Gr. 6-8 11.0 Montreal

F Coleman Hawkins Sr. 6-10 11.6 Sacramento, Calif.


* Shannon's 23-point effort in Tuesday's win at Ohio State marked his first 20-point game since his return from his six-game suspension and his eighth this season. It was also Shannon's 25th straight game in double figures, dating back to Jan. 28, 2023, when he had six points in Illinois' win at Wisconsin.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Luke Goode Jr. 6-7 7.4 Fort Wayne, Ind.

G Justin Harmon Gr. 6-4 6.9 Chicago

F/C Dain Dainja R-Jr. 6-9 5.7 Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Nebraska (16-6, 6-5 Big Ten)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Keisei Tominaga Sr. 6-2 13.1 Moriyama Nagoya, Japan

G Jamarques Lawrence So. 6-3 5.9 Plainfield, N.J.

G Brice Williams Jr. 6-7 13.3 Huntersville, N.C.

F Josiah Allick Sr. 6-8 6.8 Lincoln, Neb.

F Rienk Mast Jr. 6-10 13.6 Groningen, Netherlands


* Tominaga played just 19 minutes in Nebraska's upset of No. 6 Wisconsin on Thursday. Probably because he had two points on 1-of-7 shooting. Tominaga has averaged just 4.7 points and shot just 26 percent in his last three games after averaging 17.8 points as a 51/44/93 shooter in the six before that.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G C.J. Wilcher Jr. 6-5 9.7 Plainfield, N.J.

G Sam Hoiberg So. 6-0 3.9 Lincoln, Neb.

F Juwan Gary Jr. 6-6 11.5 Columbia, S.C.


➜ Site: State Farm Center (15,544); Champaign.

➜ Radio: Brian Barnhart (play-by-play) and former Illini Deon Thomas (analysis) will have the call on the Illini Sports Network on WDWS 1400-AM, WDWS 93.9-FM, WHMS 97.5-FM, WPXN 104.9-FM, WDAN-1490-AM and WDNL 102.1-FM.

➜ TV: Dave Revsine (play-by-play) and Robbie Hummel (analysis) will have the call on BTN.

➜ Series: Illinois leads 21-8.

➜ Last meeting: Illinois won 72-56 on Jan. 31, 2023, in Champaign.

➜ FYI: Illinois has won seven straight games against Nebraska, matching the longest winning streak (that also belongs to the Illini) in the series. The first seven-game winning streak happened between 1921 and 1976. The Cornhuskers, who have never won consecutive games in the series, have six wins against Illinois since joining the Big Ten.

Beat writer Scott Richey's storylines

Domask: 'The Valley's got dudes'

Half of the 2022-23 All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team now plays in the Big Ten, including 2023 MVC Player of the Year Ben Krikke, who leads Iowa in scoring. Two of the Valley's best last season will square off Sunday at State Farm Center. Rienk Mast (Bradley) leads Nebraska in scoring, rebounding and assists. Marcus Domask (Southern Illinois) leads Illinois in assists, is second in scoring and ranks fourth in rebounding. "Honestly, I'm not that surprised," Domask said about the MVC stars thriving in the Big Ten, which also includes his SIU teammate Lance Jones at Purdue. "There's been really good talent every year I've been in the Valley. A lot of people compare the Valley to the Big Ten in terms of play style. The transition makes sense. The length is a little longer and more athletic (in the Big Ten), but the Valley's got dudes."

Illini want to keep rebounding and running

Illinois' guards combined for 23 of the team's 36 rebounds in Tuesday's win at Ohio State. Ty Rodgers was responsible for nearly half that total with 10 rebounds. Justin Harmon finished with four, and Domask and Terrence Shannon Jr. had three apiece. It was that rebounding commitment from the guards, Rodgers said, that fed the Illini's transition offense. "When our guards do a great job rebounding we can get it out to (Shannon)," Rodgers said. "When we get a rebound, we know where's going to be at and we know he's running. It allowed Coleman (Hawkins) to run also. When Coleman gets a rebound, he's trying to get it to a guard, but when we get the rebound, he can just run."

Still searching as Illinois needs its 'P.J. Tucker'

Quincy Guerrier's streak of regular double-doubles and generally consistent production came to a halt in Illinois' last two games. After averaging 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds between the Illini's mid-December win against Colgate and overtime loss at Northwestern, Guerrier had just two points and four rebounds in last Saturday's win against Indiana. Tuesday's win at Ohio State wasn't much more productive for the veteran forward with five points and two rebounds. "When he's locked in defensively and rebounding the basketball, we've seen him get double-double after double-double," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "That's effort. That's a focus. I don't have a reason for him not getting double-doubles. I know for us to be our best, he can't get two rebounds like he did the other night. We need him bringing that. I kind of compare him to P.J. Tucker in the NBA — that mentality of just guarding anybody on the court, getting every rebound and makes open shots when called upon."

The News-Gazette's pick

No. 14 Illinois 88, Nebraska 79

Nebraska has some big wins this season. Like Michigan State, Purdue, Northwestern and Wisconsin. That accounts to every possible top-six team in the conference save for Illinois and the Cornhuskers themselves. All four of those wins, however, came at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. Away from home, Nebraska hasn't been quite as successful with five of its six losses on the road. Advantage Illinois? Probably so. (N-G prediction record: 18-3)