Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reality Check (Part 2)

That was a tough one. Purdue 84, Illinois 79. Not necessarily an unexpected loss, given that (at one time) Purdue was a top 5 team, and given that the Boilermakers came to Champaign with a losing Big Ten record.

But the way they lost...that hurts. After a solid first half, the Illini lost their intensity. The problems were glaring: poor shooting, lazy passes, tipping the ball instead of grabbing rebounds, below-average free throw shooting, liberal fouls (Mike Tisdale and Bill Cole both fouled out) and basically not playing their game. Until the pressure of the clock really hit them.

Then the Illini made what's becoming their trademark late-game comeback. But as the quality of competition increases, they are finding it more difficult to make it all the way back to take the lead at the end. (However, it is nice to see Clemson playing well, despite their loss to Georgia Tech tonight. That win will be a good one come tourney time...)

Of course, it's hard not to appreciate the career game by John Hart after not even making Matt Painter's official book. But that the Illini allowed Hart and his team to respond to the technical foul that resulted from that oversight...ouch.

Now, the bright spots...Demetri McCamey continues to dish and score. He had 9 assists to go along with his 28 points, and he would have had even more assists if his teammates could have gotten some easy shots to fall. And welcome back, Mike Davis! Mr. Double-Double was back in business with 17 points and 15 rebounds. D.J. Richardson finally got some 3s to fall as the clock wound down, and Brandon Paul brought intensity off the bench, and got a couple nice rebounds.

And finally, Steve Lavin quotes of the night:

I would much rather have had Steven Bardo courtside instead of in the studio. Just sayin'. Next up...at Northwestern. This isn't going to get any easier.


<< Home |

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