Thursday, January 26, 2006

2 good (and expected) wins

It has been a little crazy here at Illinitalk so sorry we haven't had some new content up this past week. Since we last wrote, the Illini have garnered to victories over teams they should clearly beat in Northwestern and Minnesota, respectively. We are 2/3 of the way through an easier part of the schedule and have Purdue coming up on Saturday. That should be another win, barring a major upset.

Assuming Illinos does beat Purdue, the team will find itself in a nice position heading into the Wisconsin game on the 31st. More on that in a future post. In the meantime, Illinois needs to beat Purdue and move to 5-2 in the conference. The Big Ten remains highly competitive and the conference title is up for grabs right now with Wisconsin at 5-1 and the Illini and four other teams at 4-2. Lurking just behind that are the Spartans at 3-3.

Back to Northwestern and Minnesota. Since it has been a few days since we beat the Wildcats, I will just say that it was nice to finally get a win on the road. Illinois didn't close them out quite the way I would have liked to have seen but a win is a win.

Last night was a different story. While Minnesota hung in throughout much of the first half and for the first 7 or so minutes of the second half, Illinois went on some runs and put them away. They didn't let up and they demonstrated the ability to close out a team. Hopefully, they can do that on Saturday and in other games when they get a nice lead. I thought the team as a whole played very well.

Dee and James were what we expect them to be. Pruitt continues to be aggressive. McBride and Randle played lock-down defense (well Randle did in the second half anyway after having foul trouble in the first) and I loved the way Randle took it to the basket. It was also good to see Jamar get going again from three point range and I thought Calvin Brock played well during the time he was on the court. All in all, very few complaints. Free throws were even good in the first half, although they were not as good in the second.

You can find some coverage of last night's game in articles from the Sun-Times, the Tribune, and the Daily Herald. Also, this was Illinois' 32nd consecutive victory at home, setting a school record. And as you will ready, I didn't realize that the only game Dee and James have lost at home was to Purdue in 2004. Simply Amazing!

P.S. If you are interested in recruiting, check this article from today. Also worth a read is this excellent article by Herb Gould that came out yesterday.

Go Illini!

<< Home |

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?