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Illinois 75, Georgia Tech 62 POSTGAME

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:44 PM   #101
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If I were reading this forum without knowing the outcome of the game, i'd assume we lost.

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:44 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by 07Illini View Post
Do we lack depth? We go about 8 deep, which seems pretty typical to me.
Because of size Henry and Langford didn't really see the court. It felt like we went 6 deep in the second half even though that is probably inaccurate.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:45 PM   #103
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Side rant: I'm so disgusted by the people in Section A who left early tonight. At the very least, you could stick around to the final horn and give the players some appreciation. That just didn't look very good at all on national TV. Guess they wanted to beat the traffic. :rolleyes:

This is Champaign-Urbana, NOT Los Angeles!
Yes, I hate seeing the C bowl filled to the top, and so many open seats down low. Would love to see ushers take note of such vacancies, and pull some deserving fans down for the second half.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:45 PM   #104
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Although his game may be somewhat limited right now, I really like how hard Nnanna Egwu plays. He will never get called out for not hustling or not trying hard and there's a lot to be said for that !
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:45 PM   #105
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Enjoyable basketball game, it's fun to watch Illinois play this year.

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:48 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by illiniCA View Post
Because of size Henry and Langford didn't really see the court. It felt like we went 6 deep in the second half even though that is probably inaccurate.
I thought DL played really well in the limited minutes he got in the first half. I just don't worry about front court depth the way I did last year.

Way off topic, but I can't stand Rondo.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:48 PM   #107
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Groce: "You want to have balance if you can, but we have good shooters." Has enough confidence in them to tell them to keep shooting

Groce on Langford: "He's come a long way." Getting better, working hard, had confidence to put him in tonight and he played well

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:49 PM   #108
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Abridged highlights from ESPN.com has the JoeBert lay-up.

ESPN.com

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:50 PM   #109
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Well, Griffey is still a defensive liability but now at least he compensates by scoring at the other end.
I don't think it is as obvious this year. Groce has done a great job compensating for guys weaknesses.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:50 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by 07Illini View Post
I thought DL played really well in the limited minutes he got in the first half. I just don't worry about front court depth the way I did last year.

Way off topic, but I can't stand Rondo.
Yeah, his lack of offense is going to keep him on the bench this year, but he's active when he's out there.

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:50 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by 07Illini View Post
Do we lack depth? We go about 8 deep, which seems pretty typical to me.
Our primary rotation is comprised of 7 guys: NE, SM, TG (inside) + TA, BP, DJ, JB (perimeter)
Henry is getting 12 min/game but seems to get fewer minutes in tough games so that average could decline as we get into the tougher part of the schedule.

Overall, our top three guys are playing a reasonable ~30 min/game. We don't have enough depth not to be seriously hurt by an injury to a top 7 player, but I don't see guys getting worn out either.

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #112
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I thought DL played really well in the limited minutes he got in the first half. I just don't worry about front court depth the way I did last year.
I agree, I like what I saw as well. He camped a little on offense but once the ball is moving he seems to naturally figure out where to go. I really would have liked to see him play more. He had 7 min and Henry had 2. I think they sat because they are more wings then forwards and that makes it hard for them to defend.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #113
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I don't think it is as obvious this year. Groce has done a great job compensating for guys weaknesses.
I agree. This team has weaknesses, but they're also 8-0 because they can perform to their strengths enough to compensate and overcome them.

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #114
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Ha, nice to see John Groce agrees with me on DL.

We shot 38% from the ft stripe tonight. If we shoot a lowly 60% that game isn't nearly as close as it felt. We can't continue to miss 8 consecutive free throws and expect to win. I think the guys had the adrenaline pumping a little bit tonight (the Hall hasn't rocked like that in years). That caused some issues at the stripe. Learning experience. . . in a good way.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #115
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+1 He wasn't doing anything on D in this game. I don't know how tall their #5 is, but he was outplaying Griffey by far. Griffey's got a great stroke on the offensive end of the ball, but he's gotta work on the defense. He's still very much a liability.
Groce did a good job of using Griffey when he could. He was just overmatched inside tonight.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:51 PM   #116
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Great AP photo of Bertrand's crazy, acobatic three-point play late in the game. #Illini #ACCvsBigTen #B1G http://twitpic.com/bhdr8x



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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:53 PM   #117
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I agree, I like what I saw as well. He camped a little on offense but once the ball is moving he seems to naturally figure out where to go. I really would have liked to see him play more. He had 7 min and Henry had 2. I think they sat because they are more wings then forwards and that makes it hard for them to defend.
Langford played more tonight because of foul trouble for the guards. Henry doesn't play much when we are facing bigger, stronger interior players.

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:53 PM   #118
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In the final seven minutes, GT made one basket, and scored two free throws. Illinois finished the game on a 21-4 run.

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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:53 PM   #119
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W/r/t Griffey, defense will never be his strong suit. But, to be fair, he was going up against a very mobile and athletic 7 footer most of the night tonight, which I am sure he has never done before. Bad match-up for him, but he created the same match-up problem on the other side. I think he got more than he gave up, which is all you can really ask from any player.

Egwu's lightbulb just hasn't quite switched on yet, but he looked better today that he has in previous games. With his work ethic, length, and high motor, he will get there. I think he could be actually be a key contributor for us down the stretch. Other than Zeller, no one in else in the BIG with his kind of length. He will be able to shoot over just about anybody.

Good win against a solid team. 8-0 is a great way to start. Lets keep it up and keep getting better!
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:55 PM   #120
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Abrams and the big men were awful (except for Griffey's 3-point shooting). The wings can only carry this team so far. We are going to get POUNDED inside in the B1G if we don't figure things out quickly.

That said, good win tonight. Have to keep getting wins early because we are going to stumble a few times in league play.
we outrebounded them. five blocked shots from our front line. nothing spectacular, but certainly not awful
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:55 PM   #121
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9 Observations from the GTech Game:

1. Well, it was a wild and wooly game. The first observation has to be that Joe Bertrand is coming into his own in a big, big way. He showed some major flashes last season in his first real time on the court, but he is starting to show real star power on a consistent basis. He literally took over the game with UI down 4 at the 7:00 minute mark and went on his own private 10-point rampage to basically turn the game around. Then DJ threw two daggers from deep, and it was over.

2. Kudos to Georgia Tech. They have some very good players, and they played really well before Joe B lowered the boom and broke their spirit. I hope that their guard, Udofia, is not too badly injured because they need him.

3. One key to the win was the move to the zone which did slow down the GT attack. I have to admit that I felt we were doing way too much trapping earlier and leaving shooters and lanes open. The fact that GT scored only 4 points in the last 7 minutes was really why the final score did not reflect what a tough game this was. GT scored on us much to easily for much of the game. Some of that last 7 minutes was with Udofia on the bench injured, in fairness to GT.

4. It was certainly a game of two halves. In the first half we did a lot of things that lose games for you, including 12 turnovers, too many fouls, only one free throw, and very shaky defense much of the time. It is a tribute to our rebounding (18-13 advantage) and our ability to hit from deep that we were able to grab a 1-point lead at the half. DJ and Nnanna were both limited to 8 minutes each in the first half because of fouls.

5. It is worth a special note that Tracy and Nnanna came back from their off game against G-W in a big way. They weren't perfect by any stretch, but they were solid contributors, and we would not have won this game without them. Sam and Nnanna didn't have great stat games, but they did what was needed on defense to allow our perimeter players to dominate. We ended up outrebounding GT 36 to 30, so that was a big plus.

6. Tyler Griffey was uber solid in this game. It is great to see him playing not only well, but consistently well, which we absolutley need from him. As usual (ho hum), our four returning seniors (well, Joe is a redshirt junior, but he was in that 2009 class) provided the bulk of our scoring. I guess the 2009 class turned out to be a pretty fair group after all. With all they have been through, it couldn't happen to a more deserving group of guys.

7. Devin Langford had an unimpressive stat line with just two rebounds in his 7 minutes, but he actually played quite well and gave us key minutes when we were in serious foul trouble. He was able to deflect or tip quite a few balls that helped us survive having multiple guys on the bench with fouls.

8. Missing free throws doesn't matter when you win -- or at least that's what Coach Groce said after the game. Of course you know that those misses are killing him, but contrary to what so many gurus have claimed over the years, every team practices them and it only helps so much. Coach Groce routinely minimizes our bad free throw games because he doesn't want to create a mental block. That is probably as good a strategy as any. I do agree that Brandon is not going to go 3 for 9 at the line very often.

9. Well, we survived and the B1G gets to keep the Challenge trophy because we tied 6-6. Now Coach Groce can get what he really wants, a chance to get some work done in practice. We are very much a work in progress, but the amazing athleticism and shooting of our core players has gotten us to 8-0. Congrats to our players and coaches! Now get to work!
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:55 PM   #122
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Bertrand took off from way out there
Went all Flying Illini on us there! He played a terrific second half. 12 second-half points and at key junctures. And who would have guessed that BP could run the point this effectively after looking so terrible at it for brief stretches last year? JG and JW have done an excellent job of vastly improving his handles, passing, decisions and shooting form, surprisingly poor FT shooting notwithstanding.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:56 PM   #123
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Wisconsin (85%) over Virginia [Wed]
Michigan (83%) over N.C. State [Tue]
Indiana (84%) over North Carolina [Tue]
Penn State (78%) over Boston College
Illinois (77%) over Georgia Tech [Wed]
Northwestern (76%) over Maryland [Tue]
Michigan State (64%) over Miami [Wed]
Minnesota (55%) over Florida State [Tue]
Virginia Tech (55%) over Iowa [Tue]
Duke (64%) over Ohio State [Wed]
Clemson (67%) over Purdue [Wed]
Wake Forest (68%) over Nebraska [Tue]

http://kenpom.com/blog/index.php/web..._ten_challenge

Pomeroy math was 2-4 today, and his closest predicted games were at 64%. That doesn't happen often. It's still early, but the guys we suspected to be overrated (9-5 combined) sure got punked tonight.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:57 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by RockfordIllini View Post
W/r/t Griffey, defense will never be his strong suit. But, to be fair, he was going up against a very mobile and athletic 7 footer most of the night tonight, which I am sure he has never done before. Bad match-up for him, but he created the same match-up problem on the other side. I think he got more than he gave up, which is all you can really ask from any player.

Egwu's lightbulb just hasn't quite switched on yet, but he looked better today that he has in previous games. With his work ethic, length, and high motor, he will get there. I think he could be actually be a key contributor for us down the stretch. Other than Zeller, no one in else in the BIG with his kind of length. He will be able to shoot over just about anybody.

Good win against a solid team. 8-0 is a great way to start. Lets keep it up and keep getting better!
I really like how both Griffey and DJ are now willing to put the ball on the floor and either take it to the hoop or drive and shoot the short jumper. Prior to this year I don't think they did anything other than catch and shoot from 3. It is good seeing guys moving, involved and confident.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:57 PM   #125
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One aspect of the game I appreciate this year is when we have hot player, we not only actually keep him In the game, we run plays for the hot player. Big difference from last couple of seasons.
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