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Purdue and Illinois Set to Battle with Big Ten Title at Stake



A share of the Big Ten title hangs in the balance tonight when Purdue battles Illinois in Champaign. The No.3 Boilers come into Tuesday’s clash with a share of the title clinched and looking to lock up sole possession of first. For the Illini, a win keeps them alive in the race.

Transfer stars lead the way for Illinois. Terrence Shannon Jr. transferred to the Illini following the 21-22 season after three years at Texas Tech. TSJ’s dominated from the moment he stepped on campus. The senior averaged 17 last season, and scores 22 per contest this year.

In addition, Southern Illinois transfer Marcus Domask and two-time transfer Quincy Guerrier carry their weight as the second and third option each night. Domask, a four-year starter for the Salukis, puts in 16 a night and averages a team leading 3.4 apg. He scored 26 in the Illini’s January road loss to Purdue.

Guerrier started his career with two seasons at Syracuse. He averaged career highs in points and rebounds during the 2020-2021 season with the Orange. After two seasons in Eugene with the Ducks, Guerrier decided to play his final college season at Illinois. The Montreal native leads the team with 6.7 boards a night this season.

Meanwhile, Purdue’s Lance Jones provided the Boilermakers with a spark this season. Purdue suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round last March. In his first year in West Lafayette, Jones continues to give Boilermaker fans reasons to believe they will not suffer a similar fate in the Big Dance this year.

Jones and Domask ran the backcourt for four years together at Southern Illinois. In Jones’s first season at Purdue, he’s averaging 12.6 points per game and swipes 1.3 steals a night. His ability to get out in the open floor and dominate in transition adds a huge aspect to Purdue’s game that they lacked last year.

Tonight’s game features two Player of the Year candidates. TSJ’s absence in game one between these two played a huge role in the Purdue win. With TSJ and Purdue’s dominant center Zach Edey taking the brunt of the focus, the contributions from the forementioned transfer studs will be crucial. Expect a shootout in Champaign tonight.

Purdue and Illinois tip from the State Farm Center at 7 ET on Peacock.

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