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...
Before we get to the breakdown of what happened in the Illinois Fighting Illini
first loss, (Illinois was one of the last 6 unbeaten teams remaining in the nation) suffered at the hands of the Missouri Tigers 82-73, a few observations and notes on this series and rivalry overall, with updated stats.
-Why is this even called the Braggin’ Rights
game? I mean seriously, how many of you Illini
people actually have Mizzou
people to tell how much they suck? (after Illinois wins of course)
-Why does this arena have a NBA
three-point line on the floor? There hasn’t been a NBA
team in St. Louis since 1965? (And why were Brandon Paul
and company bombing away from that spot so much...
The Tim Beckman hire is such a disaster that it requires FEMA aid, but so far the entrance of John Groce may be alright. It looks like this guy can really recruit. Monday afternoon Austin Colbert, a four-star center from Gill St. Bernards in New Jersey, announced his commitment to the Illini
. He did it through Twitter; which is of course the new AP.
Get ready “cuz this is the Colbert Report.”
Expect a ton of Stephen Colbert
jokes over the next four years...
Illinois tips off the 2012-13 season on Friday, hosting Colgate at 7 p.m. at the Assembly Hall. In addition to being the season opener, it also marks the debut for new Fighting Illini head coach John Groce. To recognize Coach Groce’s inaugural game, the Orange Krush student section encourages everyone in attendance to join... 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...
With Assistant Coach Isaac Chew
, just weeks after he left Mizzou to join the Illini
(More on the questionable professionalism of jumping ship like that so early here), the asst. gig is now opened up again.
Top candidates include, surprisingly not Simeon coach Robert Smith
, but Illinois State assistant Paris Parham
, Florida State
assistant Dennis Gates.
And Deon Thomas.
Yes, for Illini
fans, Deon Thomas
could soon become much more than just nostalgia and the answer to a trivia question...
New University of Illinois head coach John Groce got his second recruit today. The Illini announced today Coastal Carolina’s Sam McLaurin has signed a tender of financial aid and will transfer to Illinois for his final season of eligibility upon earning his bachelor’s degree in May. Because he will be enrolled as a graduate student... Read more »
For Illini fans, Deon Thomas could soon become much more than just nostalgia and the answer to a trivia question. Thomas, a product of Chicago Simeon is the Illinois basketball all-time leading scorer and second all-time rebounder, starring in Champaign from 1990-94. He was selected by the Dallas Mavericks 28th overall in the 1994 NBA... Read more »