Good Morning, Illini Nation: Finding his role

Oct. 28—Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team:

Marcus Domask knew exactly who he was and who he needed to be in his four seasons at Southern Illinois. He was a starter from day one in Carbondale and a constant in the Salukis' lineups save for a sophomore season in 2020-21 derailed by injury.

Finding out who he needed to be at Illinois was also slowed by injury. Domask missed part of the summer workouts and was held out of the three games in Spain while he dealt with a left hamstring issue.

The Illini's exhibition win against Ottawa (Kan.) was the first real look at the versatile 6-foot-6 wing.

"Obviously, not being able to play in Spain was a bummer," Domask said. "That kind of sucked, but through practices you kind of learn your role. Watching film with coaches a lot is where you learn to pick your posts. It's easy to play with these guys. The ball moves a lot. When the ball is moving, it just makes it easy to play with anybody.

"For me, as a fifth-year senior who's played a lot of games, I've just got to be a leader for this team. I've been around the block for a minute. I've got four years (on the freshmen). I can use my experience to kind of help everybody out and just make winning plays. I want to get on the glass, share the ball. Just do whatever I need to do that night to win the game. That's why I'm here — to win games."