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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2015-2016 Illini Basketball Results

Home: 4-6 | Away: 2-5 | Neutral: 5-3
Record: 11-14 (3-9)
DateOpponentTime
Fri, Nov 13North FloridaL 93-81
Sun, Nov 15North Dakota StateW 80-74
Wed, Nov 18@ProvidenceL 60-59
Sat, Nov 21ChattanoogaL 81-77
Mon, Nov 23Chicago StateW 82-79
Fri, Nov 27UABW 72-58
Sat, Nov 28Iowa StateL 84-73
Wed, Dec 2Notre DameL 84-79
Sat, Dec 5Western CarolinaW 80-68
Wed, Dec 9YaleW 69-65
Sat, Dec 12UICW 83-79
Sat, Dec 19South DakotaW 91-79
Wed, Dec 23MissouriW 68-63
Wed, Dec 30MichiganL 78-68
Sun, Jan 3@Ohio StateL 75-73
Thu, Jan 7@Michigan StateL 79-54
Sun, Jan 10PurdueW 84-70
Sat, Jan 16NebraskaL 78-67
Tue, Jan 19@IndianaL 103-69
Sat, Jan 23@MinnesotaW 76-71 (OT)
Thu, Jan 28Ohio StateL 68-63 (OT)
Sun, Jan 31WisconsinL 63-55
Wed, Feb 3@RutgersW 110-101 (3OT)
Sun, Feb 7IowaL 77-65
Sat, Feb 13@NorthwesternL 58-56
Tue, Feb 16Rutgers8:00pm BTN
Sun, Feb 21@Wisconsin6:30pm BTN
Thu, Feb 25Indiana8:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Feb 28Minnesota7:00pm BTN
Thu, Mar 3@Maryland6:00pm ESPN/2
Sun, Mar 6@Penn State11:00am BTN
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