Wednesday, December 02, 2009

From Embarrassment to Excelllence

Wow, what a win by the Illini tonight! Chief asked to see some hungry Illini players and I think coming back from 23 points down to win 76-74 over Clemson surely qualifies as a postive step forward!

Side note: I missed most of the first half (good for me I guess) and, while it would have been easy to not even watch the second half, whenever I think about turning a game off, I remember the Illini's amazing win over Arizona to advance to the Final Four during their 2005 tournament run. I was glad I didn't turn the TV off that night and I am glad I didn't turn it off tonight!

End Side Note.

I continue to be very impressed by D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul. They will have their ups and downs but are very poised and polished for freshmen. Mike Davis is a double-double machine and looks great so far this year, with Tisdale and McCamey also playing solid basketball most of the time. McCamey's ability to play most of the second half with four fouls was critical.

And while we are handing out praise, Coach Weber deserves a lot of credit for not letting the team quit at halftime and for making adjustments (like playing some zone defense, which the Illini never do) that helped them get back into the game. He continues to prove that he is a top notch game coach who gets the most out of his team.

I was disappointed to see Michigan and Minnesota lose their games tonight but the Illini's comeback victory keeps hope alive for the Big Ten to win the Big Ten/ACC Challenge if Ohio State holds serve against Florida State and Wisconsin can upset Duke (very possible with the game being at the Kohl Center, one of the toughest venues in the country to win on the road at).

That's it for now but savor this win - it was a good one and it's the type that can propel a team on a very nice run.

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