Illinois 72, Northwestern 67 POSTGAME

Worse than the type of shot is the timing. Too often he jacks one without anybody else getting a touch in the front court. It deflates the other four guys and the opponent often ends up with an easy bucket on the other end.
This results in a an effective turn over since we rarely have someone in position to rebound when he does this.
 
Frustrating point #2: Egwu constantly coming up on defense to double team the PG and leaving Olah deep in the paint unguarded. Most of the points from Olah came with Egwu trying to rush back in position (too late) from the high double team. NW kept on exploiting that and we made Olah look like a college all-american.
It also resulted in several mismatches through the night with smaller guys guarding their bigs. Egwu was able to get back soon enough on a lot of plays and he had a reasonably solid night. I just see so much more potential from him if he were to stay down low. Somehow these mismatch and lost player situations need to get figured out. Teams more talented than NW will eat us alive.
 
Watching his shots for a second time on the highlight, it seems like the shots he made were considerably less flat than usual. His form was the same, but instead of the Kobe line drive shot, he had a little arc in them.
Maybe he's changed his shot for more arc, or maybe he's broken through some kind of conditioning barrier with his legs. So many shots have been online but short, and just a smidge too little lift could cause that. Groce mentioned in the presser that he gave them all much more rest the last couple of days than usual, so maybe fresher legs resulted in better lift and the ball going in? Or maybe a goofy theory, IDK. Hope AC's shot is here to stay; we're definitely going to need it the rest of the way.
 
rockford, il
Starks and Tate both have their flaws but I am satisfied with our point guard play. Also, I love these guys who imply Groce has somehow made a mistake when Starks takes a contested shot.
I mean, seriously, think about it. Starks is a foot shorter than everyone, playing out of position and more time than he was slotted to play, and his shot isn't falling. Which is more likely: He is suddenly a terrible shooter or that the game is somewhat different in the B1G (read bigger and better). I think he's doing fine, that he will start to get more used to the speed of close-outs, and that his shooting average will revert to his mean (who was the person who said "what do numbers mean?".... a lot to anyone who has graduated high school.) I think he is a nice change of pace from Tate.
Tate on the other hand can't shoot at all, and I would say 50% of that is mental. He shot never looks the same. That said he applies pressure to the opposing defense always, pushes the ball, and doesn't turn it over. He has occasionally got to the rim and has hit his free throws.
 
4th & Chalmers, a few years ago...Now? Weeki Wach
Maybe he's changed his shot for more arc, or maybe he's broken through some kind of conditioning barrier with his legs. So many shots have been online but short, and just a smidge too little lift could cause that. Groce mentioned in the presser that he gave them all much more rest the last couple of days than usual, so maybe fresher legs resulted in better lift and the ball going in? Or maybe a goofy theory, IDK. Hope AC's shot is here to stay; we're definitely going to need it the rest of the way.
And tired legs will cause that...
 
Great home win by our Illini, and 2 days after my birthday :). I was at Welsh-Ryan tonight. There had to be at least 3,000 UI fans cheering on the O&B and maybe more. Seemed like at least a 40-60 split between UI and NW fans, and the UI contingent was quite loud, for good reason -- a lot to cheer for.

I sat 20 rows behind the UI bench. JG was absolutely ecstatic with the win. After time ran out, he high-fived nearly everyone on the team before joining the sportsmanship line. After the radio interview, he got a big ovation from a bunch of us as he walked by on the way to the locker room. He pumped one fist in the air, clapped a few times, and shouted out "Thank you!" for supporting the team tonight. He kind of looked like he was getting a bit misty-eyed. He was beaming for sure. One of the fans (may have been me :) yelled out "Proud of you, Coach!" and he flashed a quick thumbs-up sign before disappearing out of view.

I know he's made his share of mistakes as coach and has his flaws, like any coach. But, having talked with him a couple of times during his first season here (nothing close to what freebird6 has done, but enough to get a decent sense of the man), I feel confident in saying he's the real deal and cares deeply about the school, the program, the players, his staff and the fans. No one wants to take our program back to the success of the Self days more than JG. He's giving it everything he's got on the recruiting trail, in Ubben, on the road, at SFC and in the locker room.

For the $ he's getting paid, it's all about results, and if he doesn't turn things around in the next couple of years, he'd be the first to tell you he deserves to be canned. But he's also human. This victory was critical for the program, the team's postseason hopes this season and JG's own sanity!

I've never seen him so excited about a win in the 12-13 wins I've attended in person the last 2 1/2 years. Excited and relieved. You could see how big this game was to him and to the team beforehand, during the game and afterwards. They knew the team's NCAA tourney fortunes were on the line tonight and that JG and the guys would face more questions than ever if they lost this game. Even we as fans were nervous. I've attended games since 1968. My first UI game in person was at age 13 in a game at NW, ironically. A loss today would have been crippling to the team's postseason and morale. But to JG's credit, he had the guys playing aggressive and focused. They didn't seem flustered or tight at all and were clutch at the foul line.

As a former HS soph coach, I thought JG coached a brilliant game. The offense flowed smoothly, some great sets gave KN opportunities to score, the ball was frequently hopping, the guys ran deeper into their various sets and options, and the defense kept Cobb, Demps and Olah from going off. NW is a pretty mediocre club, but a B1G road W is hard to come by anywhere, and our rotation is pretty thin right now. The KN run-out, catch and FTs was an excellent OOB play. AC coming alive tonight was huge. If he struggles like he has all season tonight, we lose by double figures.

And, ahem, no comment on Starks :).
2% :thumb:
 
Kirksville, MO
Watching his shots for a second time on the highlight, it seems like the shots he made were considerably less flat than usual. His form was the same, but instead of the Kobe line drive shot, he had a little arc in them.
Cosby had a pair of FT's at the end of the first half.
The first was a line drive -- and a miss.
The second had nice arc and touched nothing but the bottom of the net.
He needs to get his mechanics ironed out before we'll see consistency from him.
 
Substitutions

Did anyone notice that the substitutions last night were based on the game and not predetermined? Previous criticism has been that the subbing appears predetermined and arbitrary. I noticed that just before the end of the half Nunn and Cosby had played almost the entire first half. This I would assume was a result of their in game performance and not predetermined. Being able to be flexible in subbing seemed to help the offensive flow also.
 
Well he's shooting 92% FT this year so yeah, I still want him shooting free throws.
No arguing that, but Tate is shooting 80% on twice at many attempts, so you are not really hurting yourself in that statistical area by leaving Tate in there. The Illini regulars are all shooting really good from the line, with only Colbert & Black under 75%.
 
I'm glad Finke is red-shirting but man there is no way he could be worse than Mav right now. Mav does not help any on defense, and Finke could at least help on the offensive end.
 
Kirksville, MO
I'm glad Finke is red-shirting but man there is no way he could be worse than Mav right now. Mav does not help any on defense, and Finke could at least help on the offensive end.
I'd settle for Mav guarding his man over helping out on someone else.
I'm really rooting for that kid, but he is really frustrating to watch -- on both ends.
 
Louisville, KY
it feels so good to have northwestern back where they belong in football and basketball... the little brother.
 
Louisville, KY
I'd settle for Mav guarding his man over helping out on someone else.
I'm really rooting for that kid, but he is really frustrating to watch -- on both ends.
Mav could really be a good senior, but it's the fact that we would use three years on a scholarship to develop him into his one good year. His post moves have (rarely) shown promise on offense, and he has the ability to shoot the ball at times (mid range). defensively he's made good plays at times, but he looks so nervous and lacks aggressiveness.
 
Washington, DC
Did anyone notice that the substitutions last night were based on the game and not predetermined? Previous criticism has been that the subbing appears predetermined and arbitrary. I noticed that just before the end of the half Nunn and Cosby had played almost the entire first half. This I would assume was a result of their in game performance and not predetermined. Being able to be flexible in subbing seemed to help the offensive flow also.
I've been noticing this for several games now, and have been pleased to see it. I wonder if the pre-determined stuff came from a desire to give everyone some tick in the pre-B1G season, or if he really has changed his coaching philosophy in the face of all these injuries.
 
Kirksville, MO
I've been noticing this for several games now, and have been pleased to see it. I wonder if the pre-determined stuff came from a desire to give everyone some tick in the pre-B1G season, or if he really has changed his coaching philosophy in the face of all these injuries.
The past couple of seasons we have run out of gas down the stretch run.
I'm sure the scheduled substitutions were more about personnel management over the course of the season.
Now we are to a point of must-win, so the plan kind of goes out the window.
 
New York
Welcome back, Boolah.

One nice thing about Egwu's foul trouble last night - it limited him to 26 minutes. It hurt when he wasn't in, but we got the win and he got a bit of a respite after playing 35 against Neb and 38 against Maryland. to the extent we're able to limit him to low 30s or less, it will be good for his season long endurance, although I suspect that most nights he'll be playing around 35 barring Morgan/Black showing major improvement.

Hill Nunn and Cosby at 35, 37, 38 last night. Going to be a grind on them until Ray is back.
 
Scottsdale, AZ
Welcome back, Boolah.

One nice thing about Egwu's foul trouble last night - it limited him to 26 minutes. It hurt when he wasn't in, but we got the win and he got a bit of a respite after playing 35 against Neb and 38 against Maryland. to the extent we're able to limit him to low 30s or less, it will be good for his season long endurance, although I suspect that most nights he'll be playing around 35 barring Morgan/Black showing major improvement.

Hill Nunn and Cosby at 35, 37, 38 last night. Going to be a grind on them until Ray is back.
I am thrilled with Egwu right now. THRILLED. I have no idea why it took this long, but somehow, some way, someone drilled into his head the fact that he doesn't need to shoot every time he gets a post touch. He's been actively looking to pass out of the post, and has done it surprisingly well the last couple games. His catch and swing to Nunn to open the game was a thing of beauty, and not a play he makes a month ago.

He's going to have a couple moments each game that make you shake your head, but I've learned to live with those as long as he keeps covering up shots on the defensive end and shows some patience on the offensive end. Oh, and very little 3 point attempts, except when wide open. He's been great, and the drop off after him is... Alarming, at best.

As for minutes, Egwu is going to have to play 30+ for seemingly the rest of the season. Luckily, he and Nunn seem conditioned enough to do it, although Egwu does appear gassed at the end of some of these games. Tate strikes me as another guy that could play 35 mpg without breaking down, but that's another discussion I've already beaten to death.
 
I'm glad Finke is red-shirting but man there is no way he could be worse than Mav right now. Mav does not help any on defense, and Finke could at least help on the offensive end.
He actually looked like he was making progress for a few games. He played some good defense there for 2-3 games, although his offense continued to be shaky. But last night, he looked completely lost on both ends. And, I can't understand why he is so timid offensively. He has very nice touch out to about 8 feet, and has looked far more polished offensively than Egwu in the past. Right now, I cringe whenever he has the ball.
 
I am thrilled with Egwu right now. THRILLED. I have no idea why it took this long, but somehow, some way, someone drilled into his head the fact that he doesn't need to shoot every time he gets a post touch. He's been actively looking to pass out of the post, and has done it surprisingly well the last couple games. His catch and swing to Nunn to open the game was a thing of beauty, and not a play he makes a month ago.

He's going to have a couple moments each game that make you shake your head, but I've learned to live with those as long as he keeps covering up shots on the defensive end and shows some patience on the offensive end. Oh, and very little 3 point attempts, except when wide open. He's been great, and the drop off after him is... Alarming, at best.

As for minutes, Egwu is going to have to play 30+ for seemingly the rest of the season. Luckily, he and Nunn seem conditioned enough to do it, although Egwu does appear gassed at the end of some of these games. Tate strikes me as another guy that could play 35 mpg without breaking down, but that's another discussion I've already beaten to death.
Agreed. Last night, I even (gasp) wanted him to take a 3 that he passed up.
 
New York
I am thrilled with Egwu right now. THRILLED. I have no idea why it took this long, but somehow, some way, someone drilled into his head the fact that he doesn't need to shoot every time he gets a post touch. He's been actively looking to pass out of the post, and has done it surprisingly well the last couple games. His catch and swing to Nunn to open the game was a thing of beauty, and not a play he makes a month ago.

He's going to have a couple moments each game that make you shake your head, but I've learned to live with those as long as he keeps covering up shots on the defensive end and shows some patience on the offensive end. Oh, and very little 3 point attempts, except when wide open. He's been great, and the drop off after him is... Alarming, at best.

As for minutes, Egwu is going to have to play 30+ for seemingly the rest of the season. Luckily, he and Nunn seem conditioned enough to do it, although Egwu does appear gassed at the end of some of these games. Tate strikes me as another guy that could play 35 mpg without breaking down, but that's another discussion I've already beaten to death.
Agreed about Egwu. Passing very well lately - playing much smarter on offense. If only Starks could take a lesson.

Re minutes - the good news in terms of Nunn, Cosby, Hill is that their stretch of 35+ minute games hopefully won't last longer than mid-February. Heavy reliance on these guys may pay dividends - it seems to be paying dividends already with big games from Hill, Nunn, and Cosby - and if this heavy reliance on them in terms of minutes and offensive production lets them find their confidence/assertiveness, well at least when the minutes start catching up with them in February, Groce will be able to dial their minutes back down to high 20s/low 30s and can save their bodies for a late season/possible postseason run.

Egwu's minutes - hopefully we'll be able to limit them here or there to preserve him long term, but my sense is that we'll only be able to do when there a blow out one way or another or when he's in foul trouble and we're forced to.
 
Kirksville, MO
Egwu's minutes - hopefully we'll be able to limit them here or there to preserve him long term, but my sense is that we'll only be able to do when there a blow out one way or another or when he's in foul trouble and we're forced to.
I think Egwu has the mental toughness to push himself past the fatigue.
The only thing that will stop him will be fouls.
I think he'll puke when the buzzer sounds on his season.