LIVE report before Illinois-Iowa

WCIA 3's Annice McEwan reports from State Farm Center

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) -- Illinois basketball won't have one of its point guards for the Iowa game. Sophomore Te'Jon Lucas will sit out after a violation of team rules. It leaves true freshman Trent Frazier as the only true point guard for the Illini. Mark Smith has also briefly played point this season.

After nearly two weeks on the road, the Illinois men's basketball team is just happy to be home. The Illini last played at State Farm Center on Dec. 30th, a narrow win over Grand Canyon. After back-to-back Big Ten losses at Minnesota and Michigan, Illinois welcomes Iowa to town Thursday night for a 7 p.m. game.

The Illini offense has been an issue for the Illini (10-7, 0-4 B1G) at times this season, especially from the perimeter. Illinois ranks 291 out of 351 teams from beyond the arc, shooting just 32.2 percent. It drops significantly in Big Ten play though, down to 24 percent. Overall, the Illini have a Top 100 scoring offense, scoring 78.9 points per game, good enough for 79th in the nation.

"Offense is like music," Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. "It's got a rhythm. It's got flow. You have to have confidence in it. You've got to know shots are coming. We've done a tremendous amount of shooting. We've had games where we've shot the cover off of it. We'll make shots. I don't worry about that. We've got guys who can make shots. At some point guys have got to become makers instead of shooters."


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