Illini Basketball: What Mark Alstork Brings to the Table


mark alstork illini basketball

Illini basketball fans will see a ton of newcomers on their team this season. It’s definitely a season of transition with a new coach, new staff and a ton of new players. One newcomer however, Mark Alstork, brings a sense of familiarity because he’s very reminiscent of a recently graduated star player- Rayvonte Rice.

Alstork will even be wearing his old number, #24, this season. 

Like Rice before him, Alstork is a big time scorer at the off guard/wing position who transferred in from a mid-major to fill a need that was extremely glaring at the time.

rayvonte-rice illini basketball

Alstork, a Wright State graduate transfer, is a little leaner and more athletic, while Rice (who came in from Drake) was stronger.

Also, Alstork is more perimeter and less driving it inside oriented than Rice. Alstork averaged 19 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists last year; while knocking down 39% of his 3-point attempts. He could give Illini basketball a little bit of Malcolm Hill Lite this season, something they could really use as they have a ton of stat sheet stuffing to replace this winter.

“Mark Alstork is an unbelievable competitor- that’s been a big surprise,” said Illini basketball Coach Brad Underwood. “Good passer and scorer.”

Alstork was the #270 player in the class of 2013 and the #10 player in the state of Ohio when he committed to Ball State out of high school. Alstork scored in double figures in 27 of 32 games, with 17 outings of 20-plus points including three 30-point performances.

Alstork also set a WSU school record with 176 made free throws, which ranked 20th nationally on the season. That’s a stat which will likely go overlooked, but it’s huge. Today at Illini basketball media day, Underwood discussed the three types of scoring that he wants to see this team accrue in bulk: three-pointers, lay-ups and free throws.

The Dayton native needs to be a guy that gets to the rim and draws fouls because he’s the only double digit scorer on this roster.

Alstork discussed his mindset during Illini basketball media day.

“I always loved the thought process of Kobe Bryant,” he said.

“That’s how I want to attack opponents in games, I want to be as vicious as I can on the court.”

mark alstork

Alstork is one of a handful of guys that may be called upon to be this team’s closer/go-to-guy/alpha dog, because as Underwood points out, he’s done it before.

“Definitely,” he responded. “It’s something I’ve done for a lot of my career. So when the time comes, if it’s me or if it’s someone else I’m going to be ready to take the shot or whatever the case may be.”

For more on Alstork watch this YouTube of Underwood’s Illini basketball media day session. The discussion begins at 33:45 mark.

Illini basketball newcomer/individual player season preview series

Mark Smith

Mark Alstork

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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