Marcus Domask Talks With the IlliniGuys, Presented By HX Home Solutions

(Editor's note: Illini guard Marcus Domask appears each week on the IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular radio show courtesy HX Home Solutions, which offers $1,000 off any project - just mention "IlliniGuys" to get your discount!)

February 4, 2024

(Cover photo courtesy Joe Clark/IlliniGuys)

Larry Smith: Marcus, it was great to see Terrence Shannon Jr. return to form at Ohio State and watch the two of you attack the Buckeyes in a Batman and Robin kind of thing!

Marcus Domask: Yeah, it felt good. Obviously, it was good to see Terrence kind of get his confidence back after being out for a while. It's always tough to come back when everybody else has been playing so well without him.  A lot of guys that stepped up (and) I thought we just had a lot of contributions from a lot of guys. And overall, I think it was just a really solid one.

Brad Sturdy: You guys have been scoring at just an insane level and the efficiency the other night was off the charts at like 1.4 points per possession. I know the coaches go over analytics with you guys and things like that but you've been a team that's this efficient offensively. I mean, you take out one half really Maryland and it's been insane over the last like 10 games.

MD: Yeah, definitely the most efficient scoring we've ever had. My SIU days, it was it was all grind out when we would win in the 50s 60s. So it's a different pace that we get up and down a lot more. But I think that we're just learning how to play off of each other. And we got guys on the ball, so when people double, we have counters for like everything.

Mike Cagley: When you guys are playing that effectively, is it something that you're actually aware of? Or is it something that you look at when you're watching film, and you look at the stat sheet and you go, 'wow, that was really good'?

MD: I feel like when I'm out there, I have a sense of you know, who's got the hot hand and who's playing well. So I kind of know in the back of my mind where I'm trying to get the ball to. As far as all like the analytical stuff, I just feel like I know where I want the ball to go.

LS: Moving now to the weekend and Nebraska coming in. This is a Cornhuskers team that is having one of their best seasons in decades right now. How important is it to get that confidence with playing well and getting some wins as you go into the weekend?

MD: Yeah, it means a lot, just to kind of get that flow feeling where we're all feeling good. Playing off each other is good, the camaraderie is good. And then looking forward. Nebraska is a really good team, they won against Purdue, they beat Northwestern, they (beat) Wisconsin. So we've got our hands full. It's just another one of those games where we've got to come in with the mentality that we just got to take care of business.

BS: Did you guys need a break? You have had those two-day preps over and over and over. Is it nice to have a little bit of time here, three or four days to just kind of refresh?

MD: Yeah, I'm not gonna lie, it feels good. This is the first time off that we've had in a while and it feels good to have an off day so I can just focus on things outside of basketball and really just put that in the back of my mind for a day or two and just kind of let my body recover.

MC: So on an off day, what is Marcus Domask do?

MD: Not a whole lot!  This is actually one of the few off days I haven't went to Ubben. Usually I still go get a workout in and do stuff. But because we just hadn't had an off day in so long, I figured that I should take the full day, so really just kind of hung out with the guys, watch the games, try to eat healthy, and I took a nap. That was basically the only thing.

MC: Hey, you sound like you're our age! That's what we for a day off. Do you play any Xbox or PS five games?

MD: I don't. I've never really gotten into like gaming like that. I don't do a lot of that. But I guess I'll watch shows every now and then. And I really just watch I watch a lot of basketball pretty much always. If there's a game on, I got it on my TV whether I'm watching it or not.

LS: Our Kedric Prince did a story about your parents on Talk about just the joy that they're having right now watching you play at Illinois in the Big 10 and playing in some marquee games in New York City and Knoxville and West Lafayette. What this has been like for your parents to go along with you on this journey this year?

MD: Yeah, they love it. They have always been huge supporters. I think at my time at Southern in my four years, they probably made 80-85% of the games. Now my dad's retired, so he's not going to miss a game all year. I think my mom maybe missed one or two. But, you know, they've always been huge supporters. If I'm happy, they're happy. So if they see me having fun on the court, they're going to have fun in the stands. I love them. I love their support and they just been really good to me.

BS: It's halfway through the Big 10 season now. Any surprises?

MD: I don't know if there's any surprises. It's about what I thought, you know, grind out games at times. There's been a couple of venues that have been a little quiet on the road, which I guess I didn't expect. I thought they would all kind of be pretty lively. But for the most part, it's been about what I expected.

MC: Yeah and so you've got this opportunity this weekend.  Getting back to Terrence, could you feel him getting his confidence back?

MD: Yeah, I can see it in his body language. Just when he makes a play and his communication on the court, I could tell that he just had a different like level of swag that he played with (Tuesday). It's just a confidence level that I can just see through his body language. It's good to see.



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