Marcus Domask Talks About The Opener Vs. EIU, Presented By HX Home Solutions

(Editor's Note: Illini swingman Marcus Domask appears on the IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular syndicated radio show and is presented by HX Home Solutions)

November 6, 2023

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

Larry Smith: We're excited to introduce the newest member of the IlliniGuys team for this upcoming basketball season, presented by HX Home Solutions, a great sponsor and supporter of a lot of student athletes.  Marcus Domask, the transfer from SIU, will be here on the show every week. Marcus, welcome to the Sports Spectacular.

Marcus Domask: Thanks! Appreciate you guys having me.

LS: Absolutely! What's it been like so far? I mean, you got on campus this summer and working, but what was it like to finally get out there?  This felt more like a, a march game the other night.

MD:  Yeah, that game felt (like) a lot more than just exhibition. That's for sure. It felt good. You know, you do all this practice with no one in the gym, and you just wait to play in front of fans. And, you know, it's good to get out there and kind of get your feet wet playing on the home court. And it just makes you excited for the rest of the season.

Brad Sturdy:  Marcus, you leave Southern and you come to Illinois - it's a different kind of level and mindset, and what's that like for you?

MD:  Yeah, it's definitely a different level, you know. Kind of everything's just amped up a little bit. But I think, you know, I think basketball is basketball, you just got to kind of treat every game the same. You know, whether we're playing Ottawa, we're playing Kansas, like, I'm gonna go to my game day routine, you know, I'm gonna try to get mentally focus be on top of the scout. And once the ball is tipped, I mean, we're just trying to win the game.

Mike Cagley:  You know, you played and been through a lot of scenarios at SIU where does the confidence come from that made you have no problem stepping into the Big 10 (and) knowing you would be successful?

MD:  The confidence I think, just comes from putting in work. Every day, I try to do extra stuff outside of practice. You know, I think at the end of the day, you just rely on what you've done your preparation. So I'm just going to try to continue to prepare, you know, try to feel like I've done more than the opponent. So then when the time comes to play, you know, I feel more confident than opponent.

LS:  Eastern Illinois coming in for the season opener Monday night.  How has the mindset changed here in this past several days since the Kansas game knowing that now they're now for real?

MD:  Yeah, I think you can kind of see in our practices, you know. Now that we kind of got teased a little bit, you know, playing in front of our fans in games that didn't count. Everybody has just been in the gym, and we're just excited to kind of get this rolling and, you know, stack some wins in the column for real this time.

BS:  Coach Underwood says you've gotten a lot leaner, like 15 pounds or something like that.  Is it just so you can be a little bit quicker on the wing? Or what's the idea behind that?

MD:  Yeah, I would say that's the idea.  At SIU, I was kind of offensively used all over the place, but defensively, I primarily guarded like, the four. So you know, I was kind of banging down low. So my coach wanted me a little heavier.  But now coming into kind of a new position playing like the three and kind of the one at times, depending on the lineup, you know, I just felt like I needed to try to just be quicker. So, you know, cutting down, you know, focusing on diet, working extra flex, and just trying to get that advantage by just cutting some weight and just moving a little bit on the floor.

LS:  Marcus, in the final four minutes in the exhibition game against Kansas, you're on the court with two guys who spent their spring in NBA camps, a guy who's a former all-ACC player, and another guy who was a double digit scorer last year.  Have you ever been on a court with four teammates with that level of experience and talent at the same time?

MD: Yeah, I probably haven't. You know, it's, it's an old group, you know, and some of the guys make fun of us, they call it they call me "Unc" for uncle!  So you know, it's kind of funny, like, we joke around with it.  We're a lot older. So, you know, but I think it kind of comes to understanding your role, and just knowing what to do, you know, and I just think that we can just have a team that's older, but with talented guys as well.

LS:  I gotta ask, what does it mean to you to be one of the IlliniGuys?

MD:  I mean, it's good. You know, my dad listens to your guys's podcast!

BS:  Now we know who it is!!

MC:  Yeah, we finally tracked down that one that one listener now. We know. We can all like hang out outside of his house!  We could just go record.  I go sit at the Domasks' kitchen table and just talk.

LS:  So when there's a guy who looks like Cagley and is doing his best John Cusack outside the kitchen window with a boom box over his head...

MC:  You'll feed me! It's okay!

LS:  Marcus, you're fitting right in! Have fun in Monday's opener.

MD:  Yes sir. Appreciate you guys!


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