After starting 12-0 the Illinois Fighting Illini
are 2-3 in their last 5. And one of those wins was rather ugly. A big reason for their recent struggles is the ramped up level of competition as Big Ten
play has begun. But it’s also they fact the team lives and dies by the three, and no one was more so than senior guard D.J. Richardson
. Of all his field goal attempts on the season, only 46 have been of the 2-point variety. The three is D.J.’s game so when it’s off, so is he, as are the Illini
Richardson has always been streaky, he’s had major struggles with his shot at various times during his college basketball
career, but this slump could be his worst. Or it seems that way since the Illini
are ranked so high and playing in so many high profile games?
Maybe it’s time for Coach John Groce to sub Joseph Bertrand in the lineup for Richardson...
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...
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 »
In our latest NCAA Tournament projection, we have the Illini as a #9 seed in the South Regional. Since February is pretty much here- time to think about who needs to shore up the old resume for selection time come March. At 16-7, 5-5 in conference, RPI 37, SoS 26 and 5-5 and vs the... Read more »
Entering tonight’s contest, the Michigan State-Illinois series was tied at 55. The last 13 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, and this was no different. And the #9 Michigan State Spartans fell to the Illinois Fighting Illini 42-41. There was really ugly offense in the first half, by both... Read more »
It’s rather ironic when you think about it. Last year’s Illini basketball team entered the year with exceedingly high expectations; the theme was last dance for a talented senior trio. This year’s team entered with zero expectations. The theme was rebuilding and re-establishing. Yet, if it were somehow possible to get the two teams to... Read more »
Where would the Illlini be without Sam Maniscalco? What would become of their point guard situation if the three time team captain at Bradley, All-Missouri Valley second team pick wasn’t eligible after his transfer this season? Illinois didn’t play very well, but they did make it three straight wins in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and... Read more »
Heading into this season, the Illinois Fighting Illini had some questions to answer at “the one.” Two games in, they still do. Demetri McCamey, as inconsistent and polarizing as he was, provided minutes and some sense of stability. The situation was helped this offseason when Bradley transfer Sam Maniscalco became eligible. He provides a steady... Read more »