Big Ten Power Rankings: Illinois #3

3. Illinois. The biggest question in college basketball the past week -- well, besides who gets to keep the kids in the Big East divorce, I guess -- is this: Is Illinois really real? Like, Kendrick Lamar-epiphanic, I'm "really really really real" real? I think so! They are probably not going to make 3s at this clip forever; the frequency and accuracy of Illinois' 3-point shooting is the most easily identifiable key to its success thus far, and that kind of reliance can wax and wane. But Brandon Paul, once an inefficient chucker, has totally bought in to John Groce. When he said so at Big Ten media day, even his enthusiastic tone couldn't sell me. I'd seen enough. But here he is, playing efficient basketball and carving defenses up on pick-and-roll sets and D.J. Richardson is playing well, and Tyler Griffey is shooting 43.6 percent from 3, and the whole thing really is clicking.

I don't think Illinois can sustain this all season. I don't think it's better than Ohio State now, and I think Ohio State will clearly be the better team by the end of the year. But I'm sorry, when you start 11-0, and you beat Gonzaga on the road, you're going to get serious power rankings love. Deservedly so.

espn.com





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2014-2015 Illini Basketball Schedule

Home: 9-1 | Away: 1-5 | Neutral: 3-2
Record: 13-8 (3-5)
DateOpponentTime/TV
Fri, Nov 14Georgia SouthernW 80-71
Sun, Nov 16Coppin StateW 114-56
Fri, Nov 21Austin PeayW 107-66
Mon, Nov 24BrownW 89-68
Thu, Nov 27Indiana StateW 88-62
Fri, Nov 28BaylorW 62-54
Tue, Dec 2at Miami FLL 70-61
Sat, Dec 6AmericanW 70-55
Tue, Dec 9VillanovaL 73-59
Sat, Dec 13OregonL 77-70
Wed, Dec 17HamptonW 73-55
Sat, Dec 20MissouriW 62-59
Sat, Dec 27Kennesaw StateW 93-45
Tue, Dec 30at MichiganL 73-65 (OT)
Sat, Jan 3at Ohio StateL 77-61
Wed, Jan 7MarylandW 64-57
Sun, Jan 11at NebraskaL 53-43
Wed, Jan 14at NorthwesternW 72-67
Sun, Jan 18IndianaL 80-74
Wed, Jan 21PurdueW 66-57
Sat, Jan 24at MinnesotaL 79-71
Sat, Jan 31Penn State12:00pm BTN
Tue, Feb 3Rutgers8:30pm BTN
Sat, Feb 7at Michigan State11:00am
ESPN or ESPN2
Thu, Feb 12Michigan8:00pm
ESPN or ESPN2
Sun, Feb 15at Wisconsin12:00pm CBS
Sun, Feb 22Michigan State6:30pm BTN
Wed, Feb 25at Iowa8:00pm BTN
Sat, Feb 28Northwestern6:00pm BTN
Wed, Mar 4Nebraska9:00pm BTN
Sat, Mar 7at Purdue3:30pm BTN
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