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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:09 AM   #1
Dan
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Illini cap memorable week with win at Minnesota

"Guys made big plays," Groce said after the Minnesota victory. "Guys have a really good spirit about them right now. There's great toughness, great togetherness and they're starting to trust the system better now.

"We can still get better. We have a couple days leading up to the Purdue game at home on Wednesday. We have kind of set the standard for how we want to play, with passion, togetherness and trust and we have to play like that Wednesday night."

Tupper
Quote:
Let's Talk Seeds

I just can't stress enough how important 5 -- FIVE -- RPI Top-25 wins are. Some team will have two all season and get a 5 seed. And we have five. With only one 100+ loss (Purdue).

http://alioneye.com/2013/02/10/lets-talk-seeds/
Quote:
Illinois 57, Minnesota 53: 'We're having a lot of fun'

"We're having a lot of fun and it's not just because we won a couple of games, I think it's because we're playing together as a team," said Paul, who scored 10 points to move into 10th place on Illinois' career scoring list. "Coach (John Groce) talked about getting back to that."

Marcus Jackson
Quote:
Illinois rallies to upend No. 18 Minnesota

"We're different from last year's team," Griffey said.

"We're just trying to get to the tournament," Richardson said. "That's our goal."

Shannon Ryan
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:15 AM   #2
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Sports Illustrated Fast Break

Quote:
A Few Minutes With ... Illinois Coach John Groce

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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:15 AM   #3
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Seth Davis has some good stuff on Illinois:

Quote:
Team of the Week: Illinois
Yes, the Illini turned everybody's heads with that thrilling last-second win over No. 1 Indiana last Thursday night. But I was actually more impressed with their win at Minnesota on Sunday. In the first place, that one came on the road, and we all know how hard it is to win on the road in your conference. (Especially against a team in such dire need of a win.) And second, that game came three days after the big Indiana upset. A less tough, less mature team would have been primed for a letdown, but these veteran Illini know just how precarious their NCAA tournament resume was heading into this week. Even though they are still three games under .500 in the Big Ten, as long as they don't go in the tank over the next five weeks, I fully expect the Illini to be in the field of 68. Go figure.

A Few Minutes With ... Illinois Coach John Groce
SI.com: Heading into your game last week at home against Indiana, you guys had lost six out of your last seven. Then you're down by eight points with three minutes to play against the No. 1 team in the country. How did you pull off that win?
Groce:
It was interesting because Indiana shot over 50 percent from the field, over 50 percent from three, over 90 percent from the foul line. So they made shots. It was a heck of a game. From Day 1 I've been talking to our guys about staying engaged, even though we've had a couple of three-game losing streaks. Even when we were losing, I thought we were playing well. We did some good things against Michigan State and Wisconsin -- we just didn't win. Everyone around us was like, "Man, they're struggling." Trying to put almost a cloud over us. We refused to allow that to happen, and I think that's a big reason we were able to play as well as we did.

SI.com
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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Audio: First Word With John Groce 2-11-13

http://www.wdws.com/audio/2013-02-11...e-2-11-13.html
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:25 AM   #5
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Robert writes the best columns. I love his style. I love that he's confident enough to talk about seeding. I wish I was. I really don't want that 8/9 seed though. If we can get the chance to face a 2 seed in the round of 32, It won't be IU or Mich though. That was my only quibble with his article.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:27 AM   #6
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Groce continues to win me over. I'm glad to have him in charge of this team, what a leader.

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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:33 AM   #7
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Great pic of only 2 #Illini to take down #1 on #buzzerbeater. Tyler Griffey @tylergriffey & Eddie Johnson @Jumpshot8 http://pic.twitter.com/NbxLe3lO



http://twitter.com/IlliniHoops
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:38 AM   #8
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That's an awesome picture!!!
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cjcastan View Post
Groce is awesome. Every time I see him quoted or hear him talk I feel great about the long-term health of our program. If I can go there without "going there" so to speak, he's the anti-Weber in that regard.

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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:57 AM   #10
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ESPNU Crunch time ran the end of the Indiana game this morning. Nice to be covered in that media.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 09:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by IlliniRunIn07 View Post
Robert writes the best columns. I love his style. I love that he's confident enough to talk about seeding. I wish I was. I really don't want that 8/9 seed though. If we can get the chance to face a 2 seed in the round of 32, It won't be IU or Mich though. That was my only quibble with his article.
In that section of the article he was talking about seeding for the Big Ten Tourney, explaining that he won't project more than one BTT win due to facing one of those teams in round 2.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 09:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ILLSauce View Post
That's an awesome picture!!!
Love it, glad to see Tyler get some cred for all his hard work.

Side note not that it matters question:
Is Eddie really taller than Griff like it seems in that pic?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JaxIllini1 View Post
In that section of the article he was talking about seeding for the Big Ten Tourney, explaining that he won't project more than one BTT win due to facing one of those teams in round 2.
Whoops, my bad.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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"A less tough, less mature team would have been primed for a letdown, but these veteran Illini know just how precarious their NCAA tournament resume was heading into this week."

Who thought we'd ever hear that about this squad?!?

I really hope this team has learned how important tough consistent good defense is. We we're only able to win last night because when we came out shooting flat and couldn't get a FG for 8 minutes we grabbed our sacks and played tough D. We kept it an 8 or 10 point game and like tough minded teams do: we waited for the shots to fall. Low and behold we got hot with about minutes left in the half made some huge shots and we're winning going into the locker room. That's EXACTLY what the great teams do.

Hopefully something has clicked with our guys on the defensive side. If we play solid defense and shoot decent from 3 we are incredibly tough to beat.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by UIUC2008 View Post
"A less tough, less mature team would have been primed for a letdown, but these veteran Illini know just how precarious their NCAA tournament resume was heading into this week."

Who thought we'd ever hear that about this squad?!?

I really hope this team has learned how important tough consistent good defense is. We we're only able to win last night because when we came out shooting flat and couldn't get a FG for 8 minutes we grabbed our sacks and played tough D. We kept it an 8 or 10 point game and like tough minded teams do: we waited for the shots to fall. Low and behold we got hot with about minutes left in the half made some huge shots and we're winning going into the locker room. That's EXACTLY what the great teams do.

Hopefully something has clicked with our guys on the defensive side. If we play solid defense and shoot decent from 3 we are incredibly tough to beat.
Coming back from 14 down to #1 ranked Indiana and from 12 down against #18 ranked Minny, starts strictly at the defensive end. Holding IU and Minny to 5 pts in the last 5:30 of the game is just crazy.

Last edited by TCTORNADO; Feb 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ILLSauce View Post
That's an awesome picture!!!
Tyler also needs to get a Pic w Nick Anderson!
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UIUC2008 View Post
"A less tough, less mature team would have been primed for a letdown, but these veteran Illini know just how precarious their NCAA tournament resume was heading into this week."

Who thought we'd ever hear that about this squad?!?

I really hope this team has learned how important tough consistent good defense is. We we're only able to win last night because when we came out shooting flat and couldn't get a FG for 8 minutes we grabbed our sacks and played tough D. We kept it an 8 or 10 point game and like tough minded teams do: we waited for the shots to fall. Low and behold we got hot with about minutes left in the half made some huge shots and we're winning going into the locker room. That's EXACTLY what the great teams do.

Hopefully something has clicked with our guys on the defensive side. If we play solid defense and shoot decent from 3 we are incredibly tough to beat.
This team has effective leadership to guide them.
As much as this staff has been on them and pushed them in practice, John Groce always offers words of support and works to instill confidence at the same time.

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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:26 PM   #18
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The Illini live and Die by the three

First off, I want to say how much I have enjoyed hearing the Illini beat Minnesota and Indiana. I am out of the country, but still get the feed for the games.
secondly, I want to repeat what I stated at the beginning of the season. The Illini live and die by the three pointer. Last year, Bruce Weber would not have put up with a team based on the three. He advocated driving the bucket and playing hard on offense.
When DJ, BP, Tracy, or Griffy can make threes great things happen, I can't deny that. 14 straight wins early in the season, the past two games. but what happens when we aren't hitting? Embarrassing games like Purdue, and Northwestern.
Another thing is that the Illini need to play hard and aggressive on defense. Our offense can be playing lights out, but if we don't get back, its no good. And relying on Nanna to be the solo defender is making him foul out.

let me close by saying I love when the Illini win, but the way they win is like walking a tightrope.

Chief forever, and Go Illini!

-Irish Illini
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:28 PM   #19
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From the Davis interview - simply an awesome quote that shows you how ridiculously prepared Groce is:

Quote:
SI.com: The thing I loved about the play is that you didn't call time out beforehand. That's because you didn't have any left. If you had a time out, would you have called it?

Groce: Maybe, because we had that in our package. I have a sheet, like a football offensive coordinator, that says, here's what we'd like to run from zero to 2.9 seconds fullcourt. Here's what we'd like to run from three seconds to 4.9 fullcourt. All the way up to about 10 seconds. Since I didn't have a time out, I felt like I just wanted to give them something they know that they felt comfortable with.
Little things like this kind of preparation make me even more confident in the long-term future of Illini Basketball.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by andy5757 View Post
Last year, Bruce Weber would not have put up with a team based on the three. He advocated driving the bucket and playing hard on offense.

-Irish Illini



I'm pretty sure the teams of the last 2 years led the galaxy in long 2 pointers, basically the worst shot in bball.

It's ok BW can't hurt us anymore.

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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cjcastan View Post


I'm pretty sure the teams of the last 2 years led the galaxy in long 2 pointers, basically the worst shot in bball.

It's ok BW can't hurt us anymore.
I'm doubly confused considering:

1.) Bruce Weber coached teams literally only shot jump shots, ever. DJ could sorta drive to the hoop before BW got his hands on him.

2.) We only shot 36% from 3 against Indiana, while they shot over 50% from 3. I wouldn't call that living by the 3.

3.) Both of those games were clearly won with defense.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by andy5757 View Post
Last year, Bruce Weber would not have put up with a team based on the three. He advocated driving the bucket and playing hard on offense.
What games were you watching the last two years? I saw a lot of possessions where the ball never even entered the paint.

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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:52 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by lstewart53x3 View Post
I'm doubly confused considering:

1.) Bruce Weber coached teams literally only shot jump shots, ever. DJ could sorta drive to the hoop before BW got his hands on him.

2.) We only shot 36% from 3 against Indiana, while they shot over 50% from 3. I wouldn't call that living by the 3.

3.) Both of those games were clearly won with defense.
While the defense was one key factor there were others Indiana shot lights out. To me huge factors one in both games were turnovers and not making as many stupid fouls. Our lack of turnovers and our ability to get them from our opponents. I also think that a huge huge factor being overlook is that other than Egwu we are committing much fewer fouls and did not let our opponents get to the line as much as in the previous games. Stupid fouls and dumb passes always get the Illini beaten and they have clearly been addressing those areas as well.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by PeoriaIllini1 View Post
While the defense was one key factor there were others Indiana shot lights out. To me huge factors one in both games were turnovers and not making as many stupid fouls. Our lack of turnovers and our ability to get them from our opponents. I also think that a huge huge factor being overlook is that other than Egwu we are committing much fewer fouls and did not let our opponents get to the line as much as in the previous games. Stupid fouls and dumb passes always get the Illini beaten and they have clearly been addressing those areas as well.
Yes I agree with you.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 01:05 PM   #25
Alfonz24
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Originally Posted by IlliniFan95 View Post
Tyler also needs to get a Pic w Nick Anderson!
photoshop.
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