Illini Men To Face Rutgers Tuesday Night

Illini men's basketball player Malcom Hill

Malcolm Hill dunks for Illinois during the team's loss to Northwestern last Saturday, Feb. 13.

Rob McColley/Illinois Public Media

Despite enduring a disappointing season, the Illini men’s basketball team are double-digit favorites to win Tuesday night’s game against visiting Rutgers.

Rutgers head Coach Eddie Jordan announced Monday that freshman point guard Corey Sanders has been suspended from basketball activities for two weeks due to a violation of team rules. Sanders will not compete in the next four games, beginning with Tuesday night’s 8 pm tip at the University of Illinois State Farm Center in Champaign.

Two weeks ago in Piscataway, New Jersey, Sanders scored 39 points and dished 12 assists against the Illini in Illinois' triple-overtime win.

The Illinois point guard position will likely see a platoon of Khalid Lewis, Jaylon Tate and Malcolm Hill. Hill played exactly half of Saturday's Northwestern game at the point. Lewis played 17, and Tate the other three.

Monday afternoon, Hill said he enjoys playing the point guard position.

It’s pretty fun,” said Hill. “It feels like kind of running the show on both offense and defense. Because both ends start with me. Because both of the time I’m on the back line watching. And now I get a chance to lead on the offensive and defensive side. So it’s pretty unique.”

Freshman wing DJ Williams talked about the advantages of playing taller, more mobile line-ups. He said Hill runs the point frequently in practice, so it's no surprise to see Hill running the Illini offense in games.

“No, because even in practice, Malcolm runs the points,” said Williams. “So I’m sure he’s pretty prepared to run that position. I doubt the coaches would put him in something he’s uncomfortable in. I think he handled it pretty well. He had a nice amount of assists for playing point guard. I think that was a proven for him.”

Williams has enjoyed a breakout February. So has junior Maverick Morgan, who scored a career-high 20 at Rutgers on February 3rd.

Story source: WILL