Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monkey Off Their Back

Assembly Hall in Champaign is known as one of the toughest places to play in the country. Filled to the brim with orange, court surrounded by the loud, proud and philanthropic Orange Crush, it's the kind of place that can intimidate.

But the last few years, Penn State has been an odd exception. They had won 3 straight on the road against the Illini. And the Nittany Lions have been in the middle to the bottom of the conference the whole time, a monkey on the back of the Illini.

With a 54-53 win, the Illini just managed to end PSU's streak at the Hall. In an ugly game, the Illini scored just enough baskets and played just enough defense to go 4-0 in conference play. We are starting to see some trends that could end up defining the '09-'10 Illini.

Trends to like:

Trends to dislike:

That said, the Illini have taken advantage of the conference scheduling. I happen to like seeing them near the top of the conference standings. Next up...a very tough game at Michigan State. Izzo's team is also undefeated in conference play.

Go Illini!

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