As the Illini continue this homestand, they look to continue the momentum they have built over this past week.
Starting last Monday, Illinois has picked up three wins against Hawaii, The Citadel and Hampton. They also picked up a major recruit, Adam Miller from Morgan Park, who is ranked 28th in the nation.
With this upswing in momentum for the program the Illini will look to keep it going. After an offensive outburst that came on Saturday night, the Illini will be looking for a similar result against a Division II program, the Lindenwood Lions. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Who is Lindenwood?
Lindenwood University, who hails from St. Charles, Missouri, will be next up for the Illini. The Lions who are members of the GLVC conference, have gotten off to a pretty solid start and now sit at 3-1. Their only loss has come to the third-ranked team in Division II , Bellarmine University.
They have been able to rack up wins against UW Parkside, Ohio Valley, and William Woods.
Not really the Illini’s competition though.
Players to watch out for?
The top player that the Fighting Illini will have on their scouting report for this game will be TJ Crockett. The 6-foot-1 junior enters the game averaging 26.8 points for the Lions as well as 3.3 rebounds.
To go along with Crockett, the Lions rely on two sharpshooting wings to help out in the scoring attack. Vijay Blackmon is averaging 13.5 points on 39% shooting from the three-point line. Cameron Scales is averaging 10.5 points on 55% shooting from the behind the arc. The Illini will need to keep Crockett out of the paint on drives and know where these two shooters are at all times.
Keys to the game?
Lindenwood does not have much size on its roster and that plays right into the Fighting Illini’s hands for this game. The Lions do not have anyone on the roster that has played this year over 6-foot-8 and have not had a player start in a game this season over 6-foot-4.
For the Illini it will be key to throw it inside early and often to Giorgi Bezhanishvili and Kofi Cockburn to put this game away. Expect Illinois to have a major edge on the glass and to dominate the paint.
A key for the Illini’s guards will be to avoid turnovers and let the substitutes get ample playing time. This could be vital it giving Alan Griffin and Da’Monte Williams confidence before the BIG 10/ACC matchup against Miami.
The Lions will be overmatched with size and skill for this game. As long as Illinois can take care of the ball and do not give Lindenwood extra possessions, this game should be put away very early.
Score: Illinois 96, Lindenwood 54.