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Illinois 94, USC 64 POSTGAME

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:39 AM   #101
IlliniWC
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What a great thing to wake up to - a blow out win . Shame that I'm like an old fart at the ripe age of 28 sleeping at 11 pm .
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:43 AM   #102
SOILL-ILLINIFAN
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I just woke up this morning and seen the final score and was like wow am I reading that right the illini scoring 94 points!! I thought I was dreaming still lol

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:44 AM   #103
IntenselyOrange
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Oh my goodness. I didn't watch last night due to the late start, but never could have imagined this result. Good grief. I can't wait to hear from those of you that stayed up.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:56 AM   #104
cmore
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When I fell asleep it was 7-6.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:16 AM   #105
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I stayed up to watch the first half. I must say that this looks like a completely different team. They were having fun and you could tell. And Tracy is finally that guard we can rely on. All I can say is that if this team plays like that every game, we're in for a fun season. All around team effort, so much fun to watch. Scoring 57 points in the first half doesn't hurt either.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:21 AM   #106
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Illini bury Southern Cal, 94-64

"We obviously played really well at both ends," Groce said. "Everything was clicking. We emphasized playing with more pace and our pace hit them between the eyes in the first half. That tempo was not to their liking. Guys were stepping up and making shots. And our defense was really good in the first half. I was very pleased with our effort."

Groce told his team that if they could force USC to play zone or switch on ball screens, that would be a good sign for the Illini.

"They did that," he said. "They tried everything. Our guys really executed. They were locked in."

Tupper
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Illinois 94, USC 64

Brandon Paul scored 26 points and Illinois used a hot first half to ride to an easy 94-64 win.

Illinois shot just under 69 percent in the first half on its way to a 31-point lead at the break. USC pulled no closer than 18 points in the second half despite some sloppy play from Illinois, which finished with 20 turnovers.

The Illini (4-0), who never trailed, also got 13 points from DJ Richardson and 10 from Tyler Griffey. Tracy Abrams had 11 points and eight assists, one more than the entire Trojans team.

http://www.illinihq.com/sports/illin...94-usc-64.html
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But with that out of the way, FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN. Watching this game was so much fun. As I said on Twitter, the only time I can remember being dumbfounded by a first half of Illini basketball was the Gonzaga game in the Wooden Classic in late 2004. For me, that was my "wow, this team is pretty incredible" moment. We had a hint in the Cincy tournament game, and we saw it in action against the #1 team in the land against Wake Forest, but that Gonzaga first half was something else.

This USC first half was something else. No, we're not going to make 11 shots in a row again this season. But it wasn't just the shots. It was the defense. And the passing. And the hustle. And the determination. And the smiles on their faces. And the togetherness. And the relentlessness. (And the 57 points.)

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Groce is the first Illinois coach to start 4-0 since Lou Henson started 5-0 in 1975

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Great team win! Focus is all on tomorrow now. Gotta keep winning. #illinination was bumping in Maui. Unbelievable support from back home too

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Great support tonight, much more business to take care of.

8 turnovers definitely gone cut that down. New day tomorrow.

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Amazing support #illinination ... tomorrow is now our focus.

https://twitter.com/BP3
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#illinination was getting #loose tonight. awesome support from everybody back home also. gota come back and get another one tomorrow #ILL

https://twitter.com/kevinberardini






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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:27 AM   #107
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Impressive.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:31 AM   #108
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Seeing the score is a great start to the day! It's great to see improvement in BP3 and confidence in the whole team. I'm pumped to get to watch the game tonight!
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:31 AM   #109
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I'm not buying that USC is so bad that we can blow them out as bad as we did versus St. Francis. They're better than last year; they're no where NEAR good, but I don't think they're so bad that our 94 points wouldn't have been at least 84 points against Butler or Marquette the way we were playing...
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:38 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by IlliniWC View Post
What a great thing to wake up to - a blow out win . Shame that I'm like an old fart at the ripe age of 28 sleeping at 11 pm .
I crashed at 8 and got back up for the game...not sure I'd reccmmend it again in the future.


Anyways...there has been a ton of chatter lately about how this looks like a different team, with comments on confidence and pace being most common. Brandon has had quite a few monster games in the past and we've had dominating performances against better teams...people said similar things and we've always come back to earth. The sample size is still really small and really weak but I think it's safe to say the team mentality is at least a little more loose.

Illinois will continue to be prone to scoring droughts...we just don't have the dominating paint presence to toss it into for easy looks and as good as our shooting from range has been, we all know it's going to come down. What seems a little different is guys don't seem as timid to take open looks...even after missing a bunch in a row.

During the second half when USC made their last push I fully expected our 30-ish point lead to shrivel to 8-10 but we never left attack mode...turnovers, poor shot selection and the increased defensive pressure kept us in check but we never went into eat the clock mode. Hopefully that mindset is here to stay.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:42 AM   #111
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Kendrick Nunn ‏@KNunnSG
“@Pencey21: @KNunnSG how do you like the fan support in Maui?#BestFansInTheCountry” I seen a lot of orange in the crowd that's wasup!

https://twitter.com/KNunnSG
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:43 AM   #112
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If TA is hitting jumpers this team will be hard to defend
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:55 AM   #113
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I am seeing the type of basketball I felt we should be seeing with this recruiting class. DJ, BP, and Bert should be getting up and down the floor. I know when they recruited them many fans thought we would see the former coaching staff pick up the pace. I would think the "buy-in" (a term many know over on the fball board) would have been easy for most of these players.

This is a system that fits with many of their skill sets. I would hope they continue to improve and work on breaking down some of the bad habits they developed. The one habit that will take some time is "milking the shot clock" when up by more then 10 or 15 in the 2nd half. This always irritated me and I am looking forward to never seeing this again. I want to watch a team that will continue to deliver the final nail in the coffin possession after possession.

Good win!

I-L-L
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:56 AM   #114
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I had to work last night so I had to listen to it on the radio. If anyone can post video of the dunks that would be clutch!

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:56 AM   #115
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I wish I'd been able to see it...looks like a great game. I love that the players and staff acknowledge the fan support, it makes me think back to 2005.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:58 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by AK Illini View Post
I crashed at 8 and got back up for the game...not sure I'd reccmmend it again in the future.


Anyways...there has been a ton of chatter lately about how this looks like a different team, with comments on confidence and pace being most common. Brandon has had quite a few monster games in the past and we've had dominating performances against better teams...people said similar things and we've always come back to earth. The sample size is still really small and really weak but I think it's safe to say the team mentality is at least a little more loose.

Illinois will continue to be prone to scoring droughts...we just don't have the dominating paint presence to toss it into for easy looks and as good as our shooting from range has been, we all know it's going to come down. What seems a little different is guys don't seem as timid to take open looks...even after missing a bunch in a row.

During the second half when USC made their last push I fully expected our 30-ish point lead to shrivel to 8-10 but we never left attack mode...turnovers, poor shot selection and the increased defensive pressure kept us in check but we never went into eat the clock mode. Hopefully that mindset is here to stay.
Agree with everything you've said here. I was getting a bit glum when USC got it down to 18 in the 2nd half, Illinois not playing very well and USC eating into what was a 30 point lead. Then . . bam ! a deuce, a three, some hustle and it was like it never happened. Right back in control. Felt good.

But, to go back to your central paragraph, with a limited inside presence, whatever night the shots aren't falling is going to be hard basketball. Last night was easy basketball.

57 in the 1st half ! Obviously, we've all seen games like that. Even worse. Great feeling. Let's go get some Rainbow Warriors.

(Late edit: Silver Swords?? Thought they were Rainbow Warriors. Don't know much about Hawaii I guess. OK, get those swords.)

Last edited by FeelYourPaign; Nov 20, 2012 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Don't know team names, lol
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 06:59 AM   #117
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Fell asleep waiting for the game to begin, woke up briefly and saw the score was 33-17?????!!!!!! Squinted a bit to try to make sure of it and then shut off the TV and went to sleep with some confidence.

Woke up to the good news! Glad to see they were back on track last night. Go BP!
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:05 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Illini70math View Post
1. Let's be honest, USC is not a very good basketball team. They have lots of talented individuals, but they are a poor team at this point. Some called them the All-Airport team, and that's about right for now. Several of us suggested this was the case, only to be told by other posters that USC was quite good. Not really. If it's any consolation to those folks, Andy Katz was on your side!
Well, if we're going to be "honest", then let's tell the truth. You claimed that USC would be the worst high major on our schedule, and one of the worst teams in the country, based on last year's record. People informed you that USC had many new players and might be better than you thought. Vegas was also on board with this, since they had USC as the favorite tonight. Bottom line is we still don't really know how good they are since they are probably still figuring out how to put all their pieces together. Hopefully they'll get it together and become a good win on our resume.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:07 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by kbo007 View Post
I had to work last night so I had to listen to it on the radio. If anyone can post video of the dunks that would be clutch!



Last edited by Dan; Jan 29, 2013 at 10:04 AM.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:34 AM   #120
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For those of you who didn't get to see the game, it's available on ESPN3.com.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:35 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Illini70math View Post
9 Observations from the USC Game:

1. Let's be honest, USC is not a very good basketball team. They have lots of talented individuals, but they are a poor team at this point. Some called them the All-Airport team, and that's about right for now. Several of us suggested this was the case, only to be told by other posters that USC was quite good. Not really. If it's any consolation to those folks, Andy Katz was on your side!

2. Some criticized the scheduling of the Hawaii game, and surely it is a risk, but part of why we came out so locked in was probably the successful Hawaii game we had under our belts. Of course, it could have gone the other way, but that's college basketball.

3. A team looks awfully good when the shots are falling! We are not as good as we looked in the first half (think back to some of our awesome shooting displays early by the 2011 team), but this game did give a taste of the promise of what we can be. At times in the second half we definitely looked like mere mortals, but I think the West Chester game helped us to finish this one in good shape.

4. USC plays a rather physical game with a lot of pushing, which makes sense with their size, but we outrebounded them by a 2 to 1 margin. We have excellent athletes, and we were simply quicker to the ball in many cases. The best part is that our rebounds were really spread around among our players, so everyone is contributing in this area. We were a bit sloppy with the ball in the second half, but overall our ballhandling was pretty good. We had too many turnovers (20) for most games, but our rebounding evened that out.

5. We can shoot free throws! Who knew? It was good to see us do well from the stripe in this game as that has been a problem lately. One game doesn't mean the problem is solved, but it is a step in the right direction.

6. This was probably the most complete game we have played in the sense that all parts of the team showed well in this one. Our guards continued to dazzle (remember how worried we were about the point guard position), and our bigs did a nice job in this one as well. We are not a small team really, and our bigs did their job against USC. Was Sam an important "get" for us this summer, or not! (If you answered "not", go to the back of the class!)

7. As good as our offense was in the first half with shot after shot dropping, our defense looked good too. Ultimately we know that defense is what will keep us in games in the B1G, so that was good to see. We are not "there" yet, but we are starting to master this defensive system.

8. One summer "prediction" I feel pretty good about now is that the players on this roster are a very good match for our new offensive and defensive systems. Just to single out Brandon, it is obvious that he is much more comfortable in this offense as a lead guard than he was as a point guard in a ball-control offense. He has a chance to have a special season, and help himself a lot in his pro aspirations.

9. On to Chaminade! I like our chances in that one, but I think it could be a tough game. They have some guys who can play, and they play well as a team. Win that game, and we have a successful Maui trip no matter what.

Go Illini!
In reference to number 3 above. Forget about the offense..when you play defense the way we did tonight, that's when you know you are good. If we play defense like that everytime out, we will give ourselves a chance to win a lot of games.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:36 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Illini70math View Post
9 Observations from the USC Game:

1. Let's be honest, USC is not a very good basketball team. They have lots of talented individuals, but they are a poor team at this point. Some called them the All-Airport team, and that's about right for now. Several of us suggested this was the case, only to be told by other posters that USC was quite good. Not really. If it's any consolation to those folks, Andy Katz was on your side!
USC is putrid as a team. A lot of one on one nonsense. Very little fluidity. A lot of slow responding, like they are thinking too much. Make no mistake, USC is an awful team right now.

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2. Some criticized the scheduling of the Hawaii game, and surely it is a risk, but part of why we came out so locked in was probably the successful Hawaii game we had under our belts. Of course, it could have gone the other way, but that's college basketball.


Quote:
3. A team looks awfully good when the shots are falling! We are not as good as we looked in the first half (think back to some of our awesome shooting displays early by the 2011 team), but this game did give a taste of the promise of what we can be. At times in the second half we definitely looked like mere mortals, but I think the West Chester game helped us to finish this one in good shape.
This game was just like the Gonzaga game. We can beat anyone in the country when our shots are falling at an epic clip. That said, we had wide open shots from beyond the 3pt line all night long. Leave our kids open like that at your peril. They really seemed to be trying to stifle Egwu. I was also impressed that we were able to dribble drive fairly well at times. We almost always ended up kicking it back out instead of taking it to the rack but it was nice to see.

Quote:
4. USC plays a rather physical game with a lot of pushing, which makes sense with their size, but we outrebounded them by a 2 to 1 margin. We have excellent athletes, and we were simply quicker to the ball in many cases. The best part is that our rebounds were really spread around among our players, so everyone is contributing in this area. We were a bit sloppy with the ball in the second half, but overall our ballhandling was pretty good. We had too many turnovers (20) for most games, but our rebounding evened that out.
I think the TO's can be excused given that the two teams were playing at a frenetic pace.

Quote:
5. We can shoot free throws! Who knew? It was good to see us do well from the stripe in this game as that has been a problem lately. One game doesn't mean the problem is solved, but it is a step in the right direction.

6. This was probably the most complete game we have played in the sense that all parts of the team showed well in this one. Our guards continued to dazzle (remember how worried we were about the point guard position), and our bigs did a nice job in this one as well. We are not a small team really, and our bigs did their job against USC. Was Sam an important "get" for us this summer, or not! (If you answered "not", go to the back of the class!)

7. As good as our offense was in the first half with shot after shot dropping, our defense looked good too. Ultimately we know that defense is what will keep us in games in the B1G, so that was good to see. We are not "there" yet, but we are starting to master this defensive system.
How about that 2-3 zone they played for a big chunk of the 2nd half. It was unbelievably active at the top. USC had no answer and from the time that we started playing it we expanded our lead from 18 to around 30. Very nice, and I am not a big fan of the 2-3. Successful use of it just gave us a lethal weapon against some teams and forced a lot of scouting time by opposing coaches.

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8. One summer "prediction" I feel pretty good about now is that the players on this roster are a very good match for our new offensive and defensive systems. Just to single out Brandon, it is obvious that he is much more comfortable in this offense as a lead guard than he was as a point guard in a ball-control offense. He has a chance to have a special season, and help himself a lot in his pro aspirations.
I see a lot of pro-BP comments and he deserved them. He played a great game. Unfortunately BP's problem has NEVER been that he fails to have any good games. It is that he fails to be consistently good. He's going to have to carry that type of play (not the ridiculous shooting %) through the rest of the season to make me a believer.

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9. On to Chaminade! I like our chances in that one, but I think it could be a tough game. They have some guys who can play, and they play well as a team. Win that game, and we have a successful Maui trip no matter what.

Go Illini!
Texas is really bad. Chaminade legitimately beat them in every phase of the game but Texas is an awful team. Bad ball handling, They don't play defense with their feet, A ton of one v. one nonsense. USC essentially. Both teams will be better by season's end. Neither makes the NCAA's IMO.

We should beat Chaminade if we are patient and play better Defense. They also had the game of their lives shooting-wise. I expect both teams to come back to earth. Illinois wins 80-68.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:38 AM   #123
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Somewhere in Hawaii, Kevin O'Neill is trying to call another timeout.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:53 AM   #124
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Wow, that was fun to watch! I reiterate what those have said that this is the type of basketball this senior class and the what's left of the junior class was recruited for.

As far as USC being bad, I don't really think so. They have a lot of talent, quickness, size, toughness, and speed. It's is early in the season and they are ironing out the kinks just like we are and every other team that played in the nation thus far in the early goings of the season.

As far as the disparity of the first and second halves, I think Illinois was just GOOD in the first half and nobody would have been able to keep up with that. The pace was great and the ball was just falling in. The team is much improved but still has growth and learning in the new system and finding who they were before being institutionalized in the former offense and man D. Speaking of the D, it looked really well and we were able to take advantage of our athleticism and help out and close the gaps when people drove. The big guys did well on the inside D as well. I honestly liked everyone's D who entered the game....not perfect but very nice.

The second half I was worried about when the first ended. We were too hot for a break. They cooled off a little. But also, USC got tougher. The big difference was that they settled for the long Js vs driving once USC upped it defense on the perimeter. That's when the dribble drive comes in and would be effective or use a low post game that we really need to improve. USC adjusted in the second half to guarding the perimeter better. There will be low % shooting nights and tough perimeter D against us but If we utilize the dribble drive and low post we'll be fine. It'll also cut down on turnovers, IMO. USC adjusted definsively to the barrage of 3s by guarding. Settling for the outside shot and not driving an getting inside started to affect the spacing and IMO increased the turnovers and cut back on some open shots. Plus, driving in the second half would have maybe drawn more fouls and sent guys to the line more allowing to get that rythym and stroke back by getting on the line.

Other than that:
-great fan support in Maui
-great body language of players and coaches
-great product to show fans and future recruits
-make me want more TG
-want to see more consistency from MH, DL, and JB
-wish MLT was a little quicker and taller bc that kid is a gamer. He reminds me of a cool calm rookie QB like Luck, RG III, or even Peyton manning. He just plays like he's been there before. He has the stroke, ball handling and IQ. Just not tall or quick enough to get more mins.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:54 AM   #125
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Are we gonna see a highlight reel of this game?
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