Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lou!

What more could any great coach ask for on his 80th birthday? Former Illini coach Lou Henson got to see many former players, his name and picture raised to the top of Assembly Hall, a birthday serenade from Illini nation, and the upset of a top 5 team on his birthday. Sounds like a great day!

The upset win came despite Ohio State having more rebounds and significantly fewer turnovers (11, compared to 18 for the generous Illini). The current Illini starters did their part in giving Coach Henson a gift/game to remember:

Even with a big win, the Illinio gave Coach Henson plenty of reason to be glad he is retired. And reason for Coach Weber to keep them working during their 8-day break. Unforced turnovers. Not getting the ball to an open, hungry Leonard. No free throws for Leonard. A scoreless bench, even though Tyler Griffey added a couple key steals, and Myke Henry had another. Giving up 15 offensive rebounds.

Bruce Weber's Illini currently define the phrase "playing to the competition." Against Nebraska, a team struggling as they get to know their new conference, the Illini allowed them to hang around the entire game. But against #5 Ohio State, they stepped up with tough defense and great shooting. In fact, with the exceptions of the losses to UNLV and Purdue and a couple cupcake wins, the Illini have played everyone close. This will be another thing for the Illini to work on during their break in the conference schedule.

But all said, there was plenty to be excited about in Champaign, especially after that less-than-impressive home performance against the Cornhuskers last weekend. Go Illini!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

<< Home |

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