Friday, January 30, 2009

Yeah, but When do They Play the Second Half?

Oh, you mean that's it? 36 points was all Illinois could muster for the entire game? Did everyone foul out before halftime?

What an awful game just when things were looking great for Illinois basketball. The loss ends a 20 game winning streak over Minnesota. I could cite disgusting numbers for Illinois players for hours, so suffice it to say that they played like hot garbage. Illinois scored 16 points in the first half, and the 36 point total was the lowest for the Illini in 24 years.

Remember those keys to the game? Outplay their big men, contain Westbrook, and limit turnovers? The Illini limited the turnovers to nine, but failed miserably in the other two departments. Westbrook led all scorers with 15 points, while Sampson and Iverson outscored Tisdale and Davis 16-11 and the Gophers dominated the boards 40-26. I guess it's not too hard to get out-rebounded badly when you miss 36 of 51 shots.

Whew, okay that's out of the system. The Illini need to forget this game. They need to dig a deep hole, dig a few more feet just to be safe, then throw the damn thing down there after lighting it on fire. There is no time to feel sorry for yourself or even doubt yourself in the Big Ten. Take care of business Sunday at Assembly Hall against Iowa, then get ready for another road test at Madison next week.

A solid win over Iowa might keep the Illini ranked. Tune in before the Super Bowl Sunday when hopefully the real Illini team shows up to take down the Hawkeyes.

3 comments:

Stormin' Norman Disciple said...

That game made me want to pull my hair out. I wish I could just black out the last 24 hours of my life.

EEKS said...

Looked like the Illini were thrown off by the Gophers' height. There were more than the usual amount of possessions where the Illini passed the ball around the perimeter until they ran the shot clock down to take a bad shot. Minnesota always has their share of big & tall white doofuses. Now throw in a couple of extra bigs with talent and it threw the Illini off. Besides Tiz, the Illini aren't that big. And Bruce insists on playing his seniors, so there are a lot of Frazier, Brock, Meachem together time and they go real small. His loyalty to seniors killed the team last year with Randle and Pruitt. I think he just needs to stick Legion out there more and run with him. The offense needs help, especially when McCamey is off and now Meachem has been in a slump for about 3 weeks.

I think this game was a fluke. They're not that bad. The first true klunker of the year.

This 4 out of 6 games on the road stretch could mean the difference between NCAA and NIT. They needed to go 3-3 (Makes them 20-6, 8-5). They are 0-1 now. the 2 crucial games are Purdue at home and at Northwestern. The Illini need to win one of those 2. They should beat Iowa at home and Indiana on the road. Wisconsin at Kohl is always tough. 4-2 (21-5, 9-4) in this stretch gives them some wiggle room for the last 5 Big 10 games.

StevieY19 said...

You're right about the importance of this stretch. After that though, I think they play some very winnable games. At Indiana, Penn State at home, and Minnesota at home. If they win those three, and one of the two you mentioned, they have to be in with 22 wins.

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