SIU transfer Marcus Domask commits to Illinois basketball

Head+Coach+Brad+Underwood+observes++the+court+during+the+first+half+of+a+game+against+Northwestern+on+Feb.+23.%0ASIU+junior+forward+Marcus+Domask+will+be+announced+via+twitter+that+he+will+be+joining+Underwood+and+the+rest+of+the+Illini+team+for+this+upcoming+season.

James Hoeck

Head Coach Brad Underwood observes the court during the first half of a game against Northwestern on Feb. 23. SIU junior forward Marcus Domask will be announced via twitter that he will be joining Underwood and the rest of the Illini team for this upcoming season.

By Shawn Sloan and Ben Fader

Southern Illinois transfer Marcus Domask committed to the Illini via Twitter this morning after they hosted Domask on an official visit this weekend, per 247Sports.

Domask declared for the 2023 NBA Draft on March 29 while maintaining his college eligibility. In the process, he made plans to explore his various options as he additionally entered the transfer portal. According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Domask received interest from BYU, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Pittsburgh and many more schools.

However, his visit to Champaign sealed the deal, committing just a day later. Domask is the second Illini addition through the transfer portal this off-season, and a valuable one. The six-foot-six forward was a four-year starter for the Salukis and brings veteran assets to the table.

Domask was honored with a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference nomination in the 2022-2023 season with averages of 17 PPG, six RPG and four assists. The senior brings shooting to the table, shooting 35% from three last season and 36% in his career. The Illini are acknowledging that three-point shooting was a problem for them all season, making sure they address the weakness with their first portal additions.

The need for shooting, but scoring in general, is very high for the Illini. The team has already lost five players to the transfer portal, and the futures of both Terrence Shannon Jr. and Coleman Hawkins is unknown. In the past few weeks, guards Jayden Epps and Paxton Warden, along with forwards RJ Melendez, Brandon Lieb and Conner Serven are among the names who have left the program. In addition, Hawkins entered the NBA Draft while maintaining his eligibility, with Shannon having made no decision yet. Shannon is a projected second-round pick in recent NBA mock drafts, with Hawkins slipping out during the season.

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    Head coach Brad Underwood and company are looking to retool a team that had high expectations early on last season before chemistry and lack of shooting sent the program in a downward spiral to end the year. Domask is added to a group of newcomers, including Keaton Kutcher, Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn and Amani Hansberry, looking to bounce back in the 2023-2024 season.

    The Illini are expected to continue their pursuit of transfers as they still have five open scholarships, not including Hawkins and Shannon. With over 20% of Division 1 basketball players in the transfer portal, the Illini have an abundance of talent to choose from to replenish a depleted roster.

     

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