Game 30 preview | No. 3 Purdue at No. 12 Illinois; 6 p.m., Peacock

Mar. 5—Beat writer Scott Richey breaks down the matchup between the Illini and Boilermakers:


No. 12 Illinois (22-7, 13-5 Big Ten)


G/F Marcus Domask Gr. 6-6 16.0 Waupun, Wis.

G Terrence Shannon Jr. Sr. 6-6 22.0 Chicago

G/F Ty Rodgers So. 6-6 6.4 Saginaw, Mich.

F Quincy Guerrier Gr. 6-8 10.2 Montreal

F Coleman Hawkins Sr. 6-10 13.3 Sacramento, Calif.

FYI: Domask shooting 44 percent from three-point range in his last 11 games (well above his 29 percent season average) and Shannon getting closer to his pre-suspension average knocking down 39 percent of his three-point attempts in the last six games has helped Illinois climb to 35 percent shooting from deep as a team. That's good for 105th nationally. Not elite, but better than 33 percent the Illini shot in the first two months of the season.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Justin Harmon Gr. 6-4 7.0 Chicago

F/C Dain Dainja R-Jr. 6-9 5.4 Brooklyn Park, Minn.

G Luke Goode Jr. 6-7 6.2 Fort Wayne, Ind.

No. 3 Purdue (26-3, 15-3 Big Ten)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Braden Smith So. 6-0 13.1 Westfield, Ind.

G Lance Jones Gr. 6-1 12.6 Evanston

G Fletcher Loyer So. 6-4 10.3 Fort Wayne, Ind.

F Trey Kaufman-Renn So. 6-9 6.3 Sellersburg, Ind.

C Zach Edey Sr. 7-4 24.0 Toronto

FYI: Smith went from not being included as one of the 10 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award to securing status as one of five remaining contenders Monday. Purdue coach Matt Painter was critical of Smith's exclusion when the top 10 was announced in late January. Rightly so when you consider the Boilermakers point guard's averages of 13.1 points, 7.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds are matched by no one else this season and exceeded by just 15 others in the last two decades, including the likes of Jason Kidd, Lonzo Ball and Ja Morant.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

F Mason Gillis Sr. 6-6 6.9 New Castle, Ind.

F Camden Heide R-Fr. 6-7 3.4 Wayzata, Minn.

G Ethan Morton Sr. 6-7 0.8 Butler, Pa.


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.

Streaming: Noah Eagle (play-by-play), former Illini Stephen Bardo (analysis) and Robbie Hummel will have the call on Peacock.

Series: Purdue leads 106-90.

Last meeting: Purdue won 83-78 on Jan. 5 in West Lafayette, Ind., behind a still season-high 23 points from sophomore forward Trey Kaufman-Renn.

FYI: Illinois is 12-57 all-time — that's a winning percentage of just .174 — in games against teams ranked in the top three of the Associated Press Top 25. The most recent win came last season against No. 2 Texas at Madison Square Garden, and the most recent loss was the Illini's last game against Purdue.

Beat writer Scott Richey's storylines

Physicality at the forefront of Tuesday's game

Illinois ultimately lost by just five points in early January at Purdue. An 83-78 victory for the Boilermakers that never really felt that close. Outscoring Purdue by 10 in the second half didn't matter much when the Illini faced a 15-point deficit at halftime and trailed by as many as 21 points in the second half before mounting a too little, too late comeback attempt. "We were never in it," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "We made a run, but they whooped us. They physically just manhandled us. They were more ready to play, more ready to be in that game even though we were in the top 10. They controlled the boards. Every time we tried to make a run, it was an offensive rebound for a three (for Purdue). ... It was a pretty thorough butt kicking, to be honest. We've got to match the physicality because we did not in the first game."

Illini will have all their options for rematch

There are two clear differences between Tuesday night's showdown with Purdue and the the one Illinois lost two months ago. The game is at State Farm Center, not Mackey Arena, and Terrence Shannon Jr. will be available. The Illini's scoring leader was three games into what wound up a six-game suspension following his late December arrest on rape charges in Lawrence, Kan. Now he's back and ranked fifth in the country in scoring after averaging 26.4 points in his last seven games. Other differences are more subtle. "Outside of just TJ, a lot of us have gotten a lot better," Illinois guard Marcus Domask said. "I think we're a completely different team than we were the first time around. ... We're playing with more confidence than we were back then, and I think we're clicking more on offense."

Unexpected Senior Night participant

Luke Goode will make it seven Illinois players going through Senior Night festivities Tuesday at State Farm Center. The Illini junior, who still has one season of eligibility remaining, is set to graduate from the Gies School of Business, and Underwood said Monday he felt it "was important to be able to recognize that." How much Goode plays, though, is still to be determined. The 6-foot-7 guard played just three minutes last week against Minnesota and five minutes at Wisconsin as he dealt with an ankle injury. "Luke's been fighting a really bad ankle," Underwood said. "He twisted an ankle, and it's been black and blue. ... He's had some swelling, but he's pretty close to 100 percent."

The News-Gazette's pick

No. 3 Purdue 94, No. 12 Illinois 90

Illinois has managed to outscore seven of its last nine opponents since its offense hit another gear . None of those offenses were as good as the one Purdue boasts, with the Boilermakers ranked first nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, per Bart Torvik. Purdue's defense is also better than most the Illini have faced in that run. Not the ideal combination as Illinois tries to keep its slim Big Ten title hopes alive. (N-G prediction record: 25-4)