Saturday, January 07, 2006

Illinois 48; Iowa 63

Well, this one hurts, but let's face it, they're not last year's team, Iowa is probably better than they were last year, and this was on the road. They're going to lose some games here and there.

What's really disappointing about this one is that it's a game they could have won. They had to work hard to get good looks, but when the looks aren't coming easy, you have to take advantage. You have to make those shots, and today, the Illini didn't. Dee was the most culpable, and he is going to get most of the bad press, but this was a total team effort at sucking. The three starting forwards combined for 10-14 shooting, but they couldn't find ways to get open often enough. The guards, on the other hand, were about as bad as they could be. Brown, McBride, Smith, and Frazier went a combined 7-34. That's just a hair above 20%, and you're not going to win games when you shoot that poorly.

Let me be clear, the Illini did not deserve to win this game. However, I do believe that this game was very poorly officiated in Iowa's favor. Augustine was a target yet again, picking up for fouls in very limited minutes. Iowa had over twice as many free throws as the Illini, and the big men did not take that many more shots than the Illini big men. But the truth is, that's Big 10 basketball on the road. You aren't going to get calls. You have to find a way to fight through it, and the Illini didn't.

These things are going to happen. Shake it off and come back strong.

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