Postgame podcast: DI Sports talks Hawkins’ triple-double, Big Ten schedule

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Sydney Laput

Senior guard Terrence Shannon Jr. stands on the end of the court waiting for the game to resume against Syracuse on Tuesday.

By Carson Gourdie, Sports Video Editor

Daily Illini Postgame Podcast: Hawkins delivers triple-double, Illini pound Syracuse

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The box score shows a dominant Illinois victory. Coleman Hawkins registering a triple-double, the team recording 21 assists and committing only seven turnovers? Sounds like a great night for Underwood and co. 

However, the Illini struggled to shoot mightly against the ‘Cuse, and it’s unclear how good the Orange really are in 2022–2023. While the Illini dominated the boards, Illinois only made 36% of its shots. 

Skyy Clark continues to struggle from the field, finishing with a 0-10 shooting night. Matthew Mayer didn’t make a three-pointer and Shannon — while making five deep balls — was inefficient with ten misses. 

The team seems at times to forget what is their true “bread-and-butter.”

What made Shannon exciting for Illinois was his ability to slash defenses inside and get to the free throw line — evident by his 19 free throw attempts against Kansas in the “secret” scrimmage. 

What makes Mayer exciting is his ability to run the floor in transition and create easy offensive chances for the team and himself. 

A refreshing sight to see tonight was how Hawkins decided to handle his scoring chances. Too often, Hawkins seemed too comfortable settling for three-point shots. Sure, making five of them in the season opener was cool, but is that truly sustainable? 

Probably not, as Hawkins has shot only better than 40% one other time this season. Hawkins has consistently been hyped up by Underwood as one of the most complete players in the conference. However, Hawkins never used his “bully-pulpit”: his size. 

Hawkins, though, used his strength and size down low and shot nine out of his 11 buckets inside the three-point line. Hawkins finished with a solid 15 points, and he showcased one of his best games near the paint.  

 

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