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12/17 News & Notes

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Old Dec 17, 2012, 06:21 AM   #1
Dan
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Illinois 66, Eastern Kentucky 53: Egwu 'all over the place'

"I thought that Egwu was all over the place defensively," Illinois coach John Groce said. "His stat line doesn't do him justice. He switched ball screens, he guarded perimeters and posts and covered up drives, blocked four shots; he was all over the place.

"He was really locked in, as were all of our guys for most of the night on the defensive end."

The Illini (12-0) needed that kind of effort from Egwu and the entire team as they were cold from the outside (6 for 23), and Eastern Kentucky (9-1) was causing all kinds of havoc of its own on the defensive end. The Colonels coaxed the Illini into a season-high-tying 20 turnovers and scored 17 of their points as a result.

Marcus Jackson
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Illinois dials up defense, whips Eastern Kentucky

Illinois coach John Groce wore a bright orange suit jacket for the first time in his career Sunday, but nothing stood out more in Assembly Hall than the Illini's defense.

After preaching for most of the week about designing a complete game and touching up the defensive effort, Illinois held Eastern Kentucky to 36.2 percent shooting in a 66-53 victory.

"I thought our effort for 40 minutes was outstanding," Groce said. "We had a nastiness about us on the defensive end."

Shannon Ryan
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Illini hang on to beat Eastern Kentucky

Paul said practice sessions leading up to this game focused specifically on elevating the intensity in the Assembly Hall, especially on defense.

"We can make all the shots in the world, but if we don't guard it doesn't matter," Paul said. "We have to make them take tough 2s, then capitalize when we get stops.

"The message was to play harder than we have in the past at home."

Tupper
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Illinois stays perfect at 12-0 with 66-53 win over Eastern Kentucky

Like Henson, who spends a big chunk of his year in Las Cruces, N.M., the fans also are coming back. No. 10 Illinois was supported by a crowd of 15,029, its largest of the season and one of the biggest walk-up crowds at Assembly Hall.

The Illini rewarded Henson and their growing bandwagon by defeating previously unbeaten Eastern Kentucky 66-53 to improve to 12-0.

"I told coach Henson for his first game back that I'd wear the orange coat out of respect for him," Groce said. "He was here 21 seasons. He was a terrific coach. He's been a great sounding board for me. And he's an even better person. You can tell by the response he gets from people. He loves people, and he loves the Fighting Illini."

Herb Gould
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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Audio: First Word With John Groce 12-17-12

http://www.wdws.com/audio/2012-12-17...-12-17-12.html
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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My apt workers just called to tell me a drunk kid got ahold of a fire extinguisher and all the cars in the parking garage were sprayed

Actually I'm not even mad, that's impressive (Ron Burgundy voice)

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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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Several Illini references in ESPN's "Back to the Basket" column.

http://espn.go.com/ncb/notebook/_/pa...ege-basketball
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