Everyone who said six games ago that the Illini would win 5 of next 6 please step up on the stage. (total silence)
What can you say. They did not shoot out of their minds...but everyone contributed in at least an even or positive way. Even Griffin made up for some poor shooting by rebounding and defending. And he attempted 7 shots which he must do...but not rushing them. He will learn. Would love to know why Tevian got nothing but splinters in the second half. This team won a game against an upper level B1G team without playing well.....but their tenacious defense was the deciding factor. I was afraid OSU would keep Giorgi bottled up all night and that was the case for a half. But he took what was available in the second half and stopped forcing things. He has to trust his teammates to look for him and he did when it counted. He is unstoppable 1 on 1, but must learn to play double teams positively. Feliz made up for some bad decisions with his usual aggressive play and Ayo could not be kept down all game...even after missing a gimme.
This team is doing exactly what I hoped to see. Too many new faces and youngsters to handle the early schedule but also too much talent, hard work, and tenacity to not get better in Feb. and Mar. Outside the B1G top 4, you gotta like this team better than any. What is sad, their schedule will likely keep them out of post season play and that is a tragedy. I sure hope all will return next season....every one of them....and continue to enjoy having each other's back no matter what and working towards a season or two that will provide them with tremendous memories for the rest of their lives. They are not the Flyin' Illini....but the epitome of the Fighting Illini! If they all get on the same page next year, it could be B1G Champions Fighting Illini.
I'm more pleased that we won and had several missed opportunities between Griffin being cold and Aaron missing a three at the top of the key that's a layup for him along with the free throw shooting. Dang on shame we didnt win at least 4 more games in the pre-conference season because I'd think we could make a strong case for the tourney.
Well, the base point is that it (ball handlers losing track of defenders while looking at BU for direction) needs to stop … and I do think that our guards should be able to listen with their ears rather than their eyes (none of Trent/Ayo/Feliz should be expected to have problem with that).
It also could be that BU is overdoing it from the sideline -- kind of hard to tell in the moment that these things are happening, because I didn't see/hear what BU was doing. I've said a few times that I think BU and the players have a good relationships, so I don't think it's a matter of players being distracted by BU out of fear of him, but maybe others see something different.
This run should really do wonders for recruiting. What a blast this has been. After the dissapointments of the past several years, this team makes me really happy for the future of IL basketball. Well done, guys.
Couldn’t figure out how to make entry pass against the zone. Needed to either bring Giorgi up the high post or try to drive to collapse the zone. Otherwise only thing zone was going to give us was outside shots.