This is what it’s like to rebound: both winning the battle on the glass and coming back from a loss. In their last three games (Mizzou, Auburn and Purdue
) the Illini
got owned on the backboards and went 1-2. In their Big Ten
opener Illinois got upset by a .500 Purdue
team. The loss was shocking, but the #11 Illini
recovered nicely, CRUSHING the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes
74-55 in their conference home opener. They won the battle of the boards 40-30.
It was their second win over a top ten team this season, and their most lopsided defeat of a top ten ranked Big Ten
team since 1954. Although it appears both teams in this one are over-ranked and overrated. Or it’s just that no one will be able to win on the road in the Big Ten
this year. Either way, it was Illinois’ best defensive effort of the year by far, and a career game for center Nnanna Egwu...
The Illinois Fighting Illini
suffered their first loss last night to Mizzou, but they’re still 12-1. And nationally ranked. I think any Illinois fan would have taken 12-1 at this point when the season started. This Illini
team will go as far as their seniors will take them. And I’m not talking about Tyler Griffey. Four year starter guards D.J. Richardson
and Brandon Paul
are the keys to the Illini
maintaining that top ranking and getting a high seed in March. And then doing something with it...
Last year’s Illinois Fighting Illini started 10-0, just like this year’s team. They finished an awful 17-15. But those were the Illini of Bruce Weber, not John Groce. With the 85-74 win at #10 Gonzaga last night, the first year coach has now produced the fastest start for a rookie coach in school history. 11... Read more »
Football season is thankfully over. Good riddance, and time to move on to hoops. First-year head coach John Groce has the Illinois Fighting Illini off to a 6-0 start this season. He is just the third Illini coach to begin his UI tenure with at least six consecutive wins. Illini Win EA Maui Invitational; Paul... Read more »
guard Brandon Paul
will have to carry the load for Illinois college basketball
next season. Especially now that Meyers Leonard
is gone to the NBA
(most likely the Milwaukee Bucks
with the #12 pick). BP dropped 43 in the season’s biggest win over Final Four team Ohio State
, but he was still largely inconsistent, and committed way too many turnovers.
Paul will need to be the go-to guy in new coach John Groce’s first season. And his offseason preparing for that role just suffered a major setback...
The first season for new Illini head coach John Groce just got a lot tougher. He’ll be without his big 7 foot post presence in Center Meyers Leonard, who declared for the NBA Draft. His sounds-like-it-tested-well-with-focus-groups statement regarding the matter: “This was a very difficult decision because I love the University of Illinois. But I... Read more »
The 2011-12 Illinois Fighting Illini alpha dog (Brandon Paul) and second banana (Meyers Leonard) have submitted their names to the NBA’s undergraduate advisory committee to receive feedback on their draft stock. Therefore, they will have the chance to receive feedback from NBA scouts on their game, but still retain the ability to return to school... Read more »
The college basketball season is only five months long, so any time you’re talking about a winless month, it’s not a good sign. And in their seventh and final game of the year’s shortest month, the Illini would not come up short. They picked up a 65-54 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes, avoiding the February... Read more »
Iowa Hawkeyes country is college football country. Right now, it’s just not a college basketball town. Today’s loss at Illinois doesn’t help that. It was an Illini team that really needed a win, and for some reason Iowa can’t seem to beat Illinois lately. The Illini improved their record vs Iowa at home to 61-14... Read more »
Bruce Weber has his 2011-12 Fighting Illini in real good shape to make the NCAA Tournament, with his third big, signature win coming just the other night over Michigan State. Yet he’s on both the hot seat and the bad side of Illini Nation. (Much more on this in a quickly upcoming post) Why? Style... Read more »