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Good Morning, Illini Nation: Quincy Guerrier's defensive evolution

Jan. 12—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 and college basketball at large:

Illinois coach Brad Underwood caught up with former Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim ahead of Thursday's game against Michigan State with Boeheim serving as analyst for his first Westwood One radio broadcast. Quincy Guerrier, of course, came up in conversation. The Illinois forward started his career with the Orange and played two seasons for Boeheim before transferring to Oregon.

"When I told (Boeheim) he's becoming an elite defender, he laughed," Underwood said about Guerrier. The veteran forward does have the best defensive rating of his career, and it's a significantly better than any of his seasons at Syracuse or Oregon.

"He is an elite defender," Underwood continued. He can guard multiple positions. We thought we had a great matchup tonight. He's a 10-rebound-a-night guy. The bonus is he makes shots and can drive it. We need him defensively, and we feel extremely comfortable when we five-way switch. We just feel great with him being able to guard multiple guys."