Saturday, April 02, 2005


Goop Hope Orange's thoughts at halftime from inside the Dome:

"Overall, I like how the Illini have played, especially considering the terrible officiating. We have a little bit of foul trouble but no one with more than two. Weber gambled by leaving Deron in as long as he did after he got his 2nd foul but it paid off. It will be good to have Powell back in the second half. He's a senior and he's probably a bit ticked right now so he may have a big second half.

"Offensively, we need to keep moving the ball and be careful not to get too locked in on taking the three. We need to drive to the basket more, especially Luther, and also look for the big men inside. They can do some damage if we get them the ball and can also force the Cards to foul. Driving should also open up some kick-outs to the open man.

"The Cards defense is vulnerable to baseline shots. Defensively, we have to cut off their drives. They are penetrating way too easily, which let's them dish for easy shots or kick out for the three--basically what we need to do more of on the other end. We need to help as much as we can although I know it is hard with their shooters.

"Finally, we have to rebound better and if we are going to foul, hammer them so they don't make the shot. I still feel good about the flow of the game. Although we are only up three, we have never trailed and I feel they have been in control."

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