Saturday, January 10, 2009

Indiana 46; Illinois 75

There's really not a lot to write about.  This was the true definition of a slaughter.  The Illini led by 19 points less than seven minutes into the game.  They made shot after shot after shot, and....well, let's face it folks.  Indiana is about as godawful as any team in America.  And you know what?  They deserve it.  They sold their soul to the Devil for one year of Eric Gordon.  They hired the scummiest coach since the demise of Clem Haskins, and in exchange, they got a disappointing tournament run, and probation.  


Honestly, I feel kinda bad for some of the kids on the team.  It's not their fault.  But the only way that this game could have been better is if it had been played in the other Assembly Hall.  It's very nice watching Indiana totally suck this year.  

Anyway, this was never really a contest.  The Illini scored early and often.  Trent Meacham, who struggled against Michigan, lit up the Hoosiers from outside, converting seven of his nine three point attempts and finished with 21 points.  Dominique Keller, not noted as a long range gunner, made three of four three pointers and finished with 15 points of his own (which I assume is career best).  The Illini shot 51% from the field, 52% from long range, while holding Indiana below 40% shooting.

Four Illini finished the game in double figures, with Demetri McCamey and Mike Davis adding 12 point performances to the 21 and 15 poured in by Keller and Meacham.  The Illini knocked down 26 shots, and recorded assists on 17 of them.  For the season, Illinois is assisting on almost 75% of its field goals (301/415).  For reference, UCLA, with one of the country's best backcourst, is averaging an assist on just more than 50% of its field goals (220/403).  North Carolina is around 60% (308/513).  That's an impressive statistic for the Illini, and it tells me that after the last couple years of a stagnant offense, often due to the black whole that was Shawn Pruitt, the Illini are back to executing Bruce Weber's offense the way it's supposed to be executed.  Excellent ball movement.  Dribble penetration when available.  Kick it back out if you don't have a good look.  If there's a reason to be excited about Illinois basketball season this year, that's it.

The road gets tougher from here.  Michigan is in Champaign on Wednesday night.  Michigan State is up after that, followed by Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  That's a tough stretch.  If they can win three of those games, it will be a VERY successful stretch, and will give the Illini some good early buzz, which goes a long way toward making the tournament.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill, I went to this game and it is hard to explain how bad Indiana really is.