Nebraska 53, Illinois 43 POSTGAME

Scottsdale, AZ
Cosby has been really bad, but at least his shots are typically in the flow of the offense and he contributes elsewhere on the floor.

We won't win a single game when Starks goes 1-7. And he will be lucky to even make 1 when all 7 are all ill-advised and well-defended pull up jumpers from 25+ feet.

in fact, not only is he missing nearly all of his shots, he's actually destroying any opportunity to run a designed play or offensive set. Funny, since that's one thing everybody is really picking on Groce for.

Long story short, Ahmad may single-handedly drive me to drinking in one of these games. We might beat Northwestern, but we're going to get shelled by Indiana.
Completely agree. He makes it nearly impossible to maintain any flow on offense.

That play where he looked off a wide open Nunn at the top of the key to fire an off balance airball 3 that WENT OUT OF BOUNDS it was so off target was one of the worst plays I've seen from Illinois in a long time.
 
Wilmette, IL
It is 100% absolutely a player problem. And Nebraska played really good D tonight, so give them credit.
But when all of these players (aside from Leron) have been practicing with our coaching staff for two years, and still haven't developed the skills necessary to make baskets, make good decisions, and work together as a team, it becomes a coaching problem, too.
 
Wilmette, IL
Ahmed Starks attempted 7 FGs tonight. 7 of them were 3's. One resulted in points.
And he ONLY shoots those threes off the dribble, usually moving to his left. He is SO predictable, he'll never get a good look against decent defense. At one time, he drove and shot pull-ups, and even floaters. If he doesn't do that, he becomes less than useful -- he actually hurts the team. Why doesn't the staff drill that into his head? When players become one-dimension, they make it too easy on the defense. It's the same reason Tate has to shoot -- threes if they're wide open, drives if they come out on him or he gets the ball on a cut.
 
The Transfer Portal
That play where he looked off a wide open Nunn at the top of the key to fire an off balance airball 3 that WENT OUT OF BOUNDS it was so off target was one of the worst plays I've seen from Illinois in a long time.
That play nearly gave me an aneurysm.
 
Wilmette, IL
Yeah the January stat means very little to me. Yes, it sucks to get off to bad starts in conference, but the improvement shown in February and March needs to be taken into account as well.
I asked this before but didn't see a reply. Do we have any objective measure that shows we're playing better ball in February and March than we have in November or December, during Groce's time at Illinois? Sure, compared to January we've seen them get better in February and March, but I'm honestly not sure if they got "better" or just went back to normal for that season.

If the whole season is plotted out, by how good you're playing, you'd like to have the line angling up, even if there is this massive dip in January. And the line for the program should also be angling up, even if there are dips for individual seasons. Do we see each season's line angling up?


And yes, I know Tracy and Ray's injuries muddle the data a lot this season. I'm not saying Groce is definitely NOT getting it done as a coach, but there's not a lot of evidence that he IS, either.
 
And he ONLY shoots those threes off the dribble, usually moving to his left. He is SO predictable, he'll never get a good look against decent defense. At one time, he drove and shot pull-ups, and even floaters. If he doesn't do that, he becomes less than useful -- he actually hurts the team. Why doesn't the staff drill that into his head? When players become one-dimension, they make it too easy on the defense. It's the same reason Tate has to shoot -- threes if they're wide open, drives if they come out on him or he gets the ball on a cut.
Ahmad played his best game by far against Missouri, and he was one of the main reasons we won that game. He used floaters and mid-range jumpers, and I haven't seen him play like that since. His production in the Missouri game was similar to what I expected from him consistently all year, but it just hasn't happened.
 
No one could produce good offense with this group , true. Better absolutely not true. John Groce, IS NOT putting this team in the best position to score. He's running an offense that needs guys who can shoot and drive the ball, and for the most aprt he has neither. And he won't change things up. This team needs to screen and move; motion offense. This is clearly not working!
He hasn't reigned Starks and Cosby in which is clearly on him , also. Can we some more of Black, and give Colbert and LaTulip a shot. Will he have to lose 5 or 6 in a row li9ke last year before he tries something different. As I said last week, can't count on Malcolm, for 28 a night, gonna need more scoring.
Great win, but I see so many posters get caught in the euphoria of a win and didn't really see what happened offensively that night.
 
The Transfer Portal
No one could produce good offense with this group , true. Better absolutely not true. John Groce, IS NOT putting this team in the best position to score. He's running an offense that needs guys who can shoot and drive the ball, and for the most aprt he has neither. And he won't change things up. This team needs to screen and move; motion offense. This is clearly not working!
He hasn't reigned Starks and Cosby in which is clearly on him , also. Can we some more of Black, and give Colbert and LaTulip a shot. Will he have to lose 5 or 6 in a row li9ke last year before he tries something different. As I said last week, can't count on Malcolm, for 28 a night, gonna need more scoring.
Great win, but I see so many posters get caught in the euphoria of a win and didn't really see what happened offensively that night.
 
Vermont
The stat line I read had Nana taking 4 shots! Not going to win many games that way. IMO Nana needs to be more assertive on the blocks and the guards need to do a better job of getting him the ball. Were a much better team offensively when we work inside out, not just taking the first long shot we get. Just my opinion :chief::usa:
The guards hit him a number of times, but he continued to pass off.
 
No one could produce good offense with this group , true. Better absolutely not true. John Groce, IS NOT putting this team in the best position to score. He's running an offense that needs guys who can shoot and drive the ball, and for the most aprt he has neither. And he won't change things up. This team needs to screen and move; motion offense. This is clearly not working!
He hasn't reigned Starks and Cosby in which is clearly on him , also. Can we some more of Black, and give Colbert and LaTulip a shot. Will he have to lose 5 or 6 in a row li9ke last year before he tries something different. As I said last week, can't count on Malcolm, for 28 a night, gonna need more scoring.
Great win, but I see so many posters get caught in the euphoria of a win and didn't really see what happened offensively that night.
In the Maryland win the team was screening and moving. The offense had flow for once.
 
It's clear that Groce is freezing Colbert out. There's no way Colbert doesn't deserve some sort of a chance out there, given that each player in the regular rotation tends to look awful at one point or another. You can't tell me that Colbert isn't worthy of at least a look out there. Not saying he'd be a huge help, but the talent level between him, Morgan and Black isn't all that different right now. He's clearly in the doghouse.
 
Scottsdale, AZ
The guards hit him a number of times, but he continued to pass off.
On a positive note, Egwu actively passed out of the post and seemed acutely aware of the double team, which was somewhat of a shocking revelation. He was tremendous defensively, but I found myself wanting post touches, which is not something I've experienced before.
 
I didnt actually watch the game so take this for what its worth, but looking at Pmeroy.com I am going to try not to make too much of this game - our shooting was near historically bad - an aberration, even for this team. Looking at Efective Fild goal percentage and Pomeroy's offensive efficiency numbers, there are literally 6 games in teh past 10 years where one of those stats was worse than it was last night. Last night eFG was 32.7 and offensive efficiency was an abysmal 71.6 (against a top 10 defense). one or both of those numbers has been worsted twice last year (OSU, NU) twice in 2009 (PSU, Minny), and once each in 2007 (OSU) and 2006 (Iowa).

Dont get me wrong, Cosby and Starks shooting are really hurting the team, but they apparent;y all sucked last night. Groce has to find a way to make Kendrick an effective second option after Hill...If Hill is out or well guarded, the next guy shooting the ball is often Cosby.
 
Ugly game. I hate that we have to watch more chucking from Starks for the rest of the season. He's an undersized 2 and over half of his shots are just terrible shot selections.. At least Cosby is getting decent looks on some of his attempts. I know that Tracy is more of a 2, but at least he plays really good defense and can get to the line, which gives me hope for next year. When the shot isn't falling, we have to get to the line. Hill should touch the ball on every possession if we're going to be successful.
Cosby also had his share of rebounds tonight, I would like to see Cosby play some pg...not because I think he is a great pg, but because last time he played pg it appeared he could shoot...maybe changing it up would help him find his game & without Rice we absolutely need him to step up.
 
Kicking it with Fat Lever
Champaign
Cosby also had his share of rebounds tonight, I would like to see Cosby play some pg...not because I think he is a great pg, but because last time he played pg it appeared he could shoot...maybe changing it up would help him find his game & without Rice we absolutely need him to step up.
Agreed that might get him going.
 
For years it seems as if we are the team to play when you are struggling. We find ways to lose. Defense last night was ok. I believe we lost the 50-50 battle plays. We always seem to be a step slower than other teams.

Starks is becoming a cancer with his shot selection, as I can tell you everytime he is going to shoot. This team shoots no better than last years team. We rarely go on scoring runs and have way to many droughts. Done with my negative Nelly rant.
 
Depends who the 9 wins are against.
I don't think so...the hardest games left on the schedule are at Wisc, @MSU. win those with only 9 total & it just adds losses to teams above 50 in RPI. Our schedule & accomplishments to date aren't very impressive, I think it may take 10, plus a big win or 2, plus some luck.
 
Love this quote on the Yahoo sports review of the game:

''A big part of our offensive struggles, Nebraska deserves a lot of credit for that,'' said Illinois coach John Gross.
 
Ditch the season goals. Use the rest of the schedule as teaching moments. Let the young guys have action all day and teach from there.
no.
...bad Januarys are becoming a bit of a pattern & one bad game does not a season make. We are coming off a very big win against MD...we aren't MD good, but we also aren't NE bad
...We have some winnable games, but without Rice it will be tough, this stretch will either kill us or make us as a team.
...for the most part the young guys are playing Tate, Hill, Nunn, Starks is playing less, the only other Sr is Egwu, the time has been there for Morgan/Colbert, but they need to show something and earn it. Time is there for Black as well now, but he has been in the rotation.
 
Behind Enemy Lines
For years it seems as if we are the team to play when you are struggling.
Man, I'd love to be able to play Illinois right now. Doesn't it seem like if we played Illinois, we'd just put everything together?

...So long as Austin Colbert doesn't shoot 10 threes in the first half against us.
 
But when all of these players (aside from Leron) have been practicing with our coaching staff for two years, and still haven't developed the skills necessary to make baskets, make good decisions, and work together as a team, it becomes a coaching problem, too.
Rayvonte Rice is better than he was 2 years ago. Malcolm Hill is better than he was 2 years ago. Nnanna Egwu is better than he was 2 years ago. Kendrick Nunn is better than he was 2 years ago. And our defense is picking up the intensity just like it did last year. These guys can coach.