Illinois 74, Ohio State 55 POSTGAME

Seattle Area, WA
Groce: "I thought we competed with much more toughness & grit & passion."

Groce: "It's not automatic. You've gotta make a conscious decision to be tough."

Groce: "Phenomenal crowd."

RT @kentbrown biggest #illini win vs top 10 Big Ten opponent since a 74-51 win at #10 Iowa on feb 20, 1954! #ILLvsOSU
Didn't we beat #1 WF by a bigger margin at AH in 2004?
Champaign, IL
Very good win for us! Would like to see the turnovers go down, as great as we played today we still haven't played to our full potential yet. Stay hungry guys:illinois:
9 Observations from the tOSU game:

1. I don't want to sound overly negative, but it's about time. We finally put away a cupcake. I was afraid we were going to do another Gardner-Webb, and not get so lucky at the end this time. You gotta beat the weak sisters soundly or you'll get killed against the good teams!

2. Well, you live by the three, you die by the three. We were only 8 of 27 for 29.6% from three. We just can't expect to win against tOSU when we shoot under 30% on 27 three-point attempts (out of only 58 attempts total). If we keep doing this, we may not win another B1G game this season.

3. OK, now let's get a little serious. Can the drama queens on this board finally come to the realization that Coach Groce is right. Each game is a world unto itself. Our win against tOSU last season didn't mean we were going to have a great B1G season, and this win doesn't mean we will have a great B1G season. Take it one game at a time. Don't worry about where we are "ranked" until the season is over. Wherever we are ranked on Monday, our season will be determined by what we do in EACH game from here on out.

4. Let's all realize that it was our defense that was the key to this game. We were up 12 at the half because we held tOSU to 25 points in the first half, their lowest total of the season. They even had us down by a rebound at the half, but our defense was great.

5. No, Nnanna Egwu is not likely to play this well in every game from here on out, but can we PLEASE stop the know-it-all pronouncements that he isn't very good and will never be very good. He isn't at the Jujuan Johnson level yet, be he shows clear signs that he can get there. When he stumbles at times during the rest of his SOPHOMORE season, can we please show a little patience and humility as "experts" deciding how good he can become? Coach Groce really likes him, and perhaps Coach has more insight on this than we do as message board experts (OK, that sounds silly, but you know what I mean ;-).

6. There are so many heroes for Illinois in this game, but my next spotlight goes on Tracy Abrams. He got us launched right out of the gate, and tOSU never quite recovered. He is a super tough, very talented young man who is going to lead UI to a LOT of victories. Maybe some posters can find it in their hearts to forgive Tracy for being recruited by the previous staff. If you can't root for Tracy, you have serious problems quite frankly.

7. I mentioned our defense, and it was TEAM defense out there. Even the guys who didn't have stellar offensive games fought hard and contributed on defense and on the boards. DJ, Tyler, and Sam played big parts in this win even if their stats don't show it. We fought as a team, and outrebounded tOSU by 10 boards.

8. Joe B had a nice game, and Brandon had a nice game. Neither guy was dominant, and both guys made some mistakes, but they played within themselves, and the results are pretty darn impressive when those two do that. OK, let's be a little negative -- we do need to work on some of those turnovers late in the game. We are getting better with our ballhandling against pressure, but we aren't there yet.

9. This is a great victory to enjoy. It is hard to judge, but tOSU is probably not as good as they were last season. Still, I have every expectation this will be another "resume" win come selection time. Now the only game that matters is Minny next week. If we relax because of this one, they will probably clean our clocks. One game at a time. Enjoy the journey!
#illini Groce: Proud of effort. Knew he'd learn a lot about guys after Purdue game. Responded well.

Groce: We beat a really good and well-coached Ohio State team that is going to win a lot of basketball games.

Groce: The great thing about this basketball league is we have to stay in the middle. Can't get too high or too low. Minn on Wed.

Paul: "We fought hard." ...We continued our practice habits. defended and rebounded better.

Paul asked what toughness drills were. Groce says, "Don't get me in trouble, Brandon."

Paul said knee just got banged up. Said they had better pride on defense. Forced DeShaun to take a lot of shots (21) to get pts (24)

Egwu: Game-by-game. You learn things every game, what to do and what not to do. Keep learning

Paul: I think we just needed this game in general. I don't know why but people got crazy after the last loss. It's just one game

Paul wore same shoes as he did during 43-point game last year. First time he's worn them since.

Paul: Joe stole my three on lob dunk that probably would've gone in hoop without Bertrand.
Groce- Really proud of the effort. Good practices the last 2 days. Thankful for character of guys.

Paul-Lot of tougness drills in practice. Players had better carryover in the game.

Paul-Better pride on defense tonight. Want Thomas to take a lot of shots (21 for 24 points). Every guy contributed.

Paul wore same shoes as the 43 point game a year ago. Hadn't worn them since.
#illini Groce: practices were really physically demanding.
Groce: "Beat a really good and well coached Ohio State team that's going to win a lot of basketball games." #illini

Brandon Paul said toughness drills in practice carried over to the game. "We defended and rebounded better." #illini

Nnanna Egwu on his season high 16 points:"The guards did a good job of finding me & making good passes." Said he's more comfortable #illini
What a win for the #Illini. Egwu had a career game with 16 p and 8 r and Brandon Paul added 19 p and 11 r.
Eating my bowl of crow and happy to do so. Lets hope this can carry over. Tough games no matter where or who you play
We are 14-2 with two wins against Top Ten teams. If you aren't absolutely ecstatic, then that's on you.

There will be more lows like Purdue and there will be more highs like today. But I will continue to enjoy this team and this season! Bring on the Gophers!

What a fun game to watch. I know we'll lose several more games, but as long as we bounce back with a performance like this, I'll have no complaints!
Things that stood out today was when you hustle you make your own breaks. Also didn't shoot that well from three and still managed to score in the 70's. If they can average about 9 threes a game this team could be very dangerous

I can't be happy about this win because I know we will lose at some point. This win doesn't mean much because we beat them last year, too, and look how that turned out. Egwu had a career day and we can't expect that very often. OSU must be overrated because we beat them so easily, so it's not such a great win.
Our PGs had 11 TO's, can't win that way. :laugh:
Rapid Reaction: Illinois 74, Ohio State 55

Turning point: Illinois came out motivated after losing to Purdue. The Illini used a 12-2 run early in the first half to go up 25-11. Ohio State was able to cut to the lead to eight at one point, but the Illini wouldn’t give in any more than that. Illinois led by 20 points throughout most of the second half.

Key player: Illinois sophomore center Nnanna Egwu appears to improve by the game. He scored a career-high 16 points Saturday and added eight rebounds, one block and one steal.

Key stat: Ohio State was averaging 10 turnovers heading into Saturday’s game. The Illini forced the Buckeyes into 10 turnovers in the first half alone. Ohio State finished with 16 turnovers.

Scott Powers
Paul: People want to compare this year to last year but we're just focused on this year.

Groce: I think (Big Ten) is as deep as I've ever seen it. Play one way one game, doesn't mean it's going to happen next game."

Groce: I was disappointed with toughness Wednesday for first time all year. Put guys on "front street" and they responded
Paul - Craft is a great defender. They got a little lazy with the ball. Have to do better. (6 to's for Abrmas, 5 for Paul)
Big or more like HUGE win after a disappointing loss! Not to "poop on the parade", but I wonder why Griffey continues to get as much tick as he does.

Griffey: 23 minutes; 1-7fg/0-6 3PFG; 4rbs; 2pts
Henry: 10minutes; 1-2 3PFG; 2rbs; 3pts

I am not sure how to translate Henry's game into Griffey's minutes, but maybe someone better at statistics than me can complete it (my guess 6-7pts, 4-5 rbs)

Again not trying to kill the energy, but Griffey has struggled a LOT lately.
I like Henry as much as anyone, but he went in for a few minutes in the second half and seemed to play extremely sloppy. He had 2 turnovers in short succession including getting baited into a steal trying to back Craft into the post. So, Henry will see more minutes if he plays smarter and tightens up his game, perhaps you could call it 'court sense' or soemthing. Those turnovers are like 4 point swings when the other team scores. It totally made sense when Groce sat him after that.
Si vis pacem, para bellum
To all the fair weather fans take this win as a in your face :illinois::chief::illinois:
I don't think anyone who was upset over the purdue game is a fairweather fan. If you didn't think they played like poop against purdue, you might want to put down the kool-aid.

Anyway you put it, today was awesome. This is the type of stuff that will make the upcoming work week a little easier to take.:chief:
I don't think anyone who was upset over the purdue game is a fairweather fan. If you didn't think they played like poop against purdue, you might want to put down the kool-aid.

Anyway you put it, today was awesome. This is the type of stuff that will make the upcoming work week a little easier to take.:chief:
There's a difference between thinking we played like crap and saying we won't win more than 4-6 conference games.

That said, let's not get too high based off this game. Never get too high and never get too low.

But damn this win felt great!!!:illinois:
Long and the short of it was, we played stellar defense and rebounded the ball the best we have all year to limit second chance points. Also we denied them in their transition game.
Thanks! Glad to hear we were able to rebound and defend. That's definitely a pleasant surprise. Awesome that they stepped up today.
Very strange of you to focus on this after a Great team victory, but just to the fact straight here are Griffey's shooting lines from the last 4 games, 61% from the field and 54% from 3, he also is leading the team in 3pt% on the year. That is why he is getting minutes. Pretty simple.
Henry also had 2 TO's in his 11 minutes and got lost a few times out there.
He's coming along, though, I think and he's going to be great next season if not by the end of this one, IMO.

We get both of them playing well and we'll be a really good team in the dance.