Pregame: Illinois vs Maryland, Friday, February 7th, 7:00pm CT, FS1

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"Every time Illinois needed a steal and a bucket to stop the clock in those final frantic three minutes, Williams, Head and a big kid off the bench named Jack Ingram seemed to come up with one or both. And the partisan crowd, which has been so despondent, began to roar again, that deep desperate guttural sound of a crowd connected to the team and the moment. To the Wildcats' credit, they cut a six-point overtime deficit to one. And they had the final shot, which Adams missed. And in the bedlam, everybody knew they had seen something not just rare, but admirable, the tournament at its best, March at its absolute Maddest. The band played, the tears flowed. Explanations be damned." Washington Post, March, 2005.

2005 Regional Final - Arizona vs. Illinois 3/26/05 (entire comeback)
“Illinois showing THE HEART OF A CHAMPION!”

--Jay Bilas
 
Smith is playing well. He has, however, problems with physical big men. MD got Garza in foul trouble early, which is why they beat Iowa by 10. Had he played the entire game the outcome might have have been a different story. Smith is a prodigious shot-blocker and has a sweet J. Bang him around, however, and he gets rattled and ineffective. He also failed to add enough muscle in the off-season. Still a gangly guy Kofi and even Giorgi (if he chooses) can push around.

My two cents based on watching him here in DC all season, including in person a couple times (ND & Purdue.) I like our chances of containing him at home given our aggressive D and grit.
I just looked it up and in the first game they "banged him around" to the tune of 14 pts, 13 rebs (including 6 offensive) and 3 blocks. On the season he is averaging 15.2/10.0/2.5. So while he might have gotten rattled, doesn't look like the was ineffective. Now hopefully some home court aggressive D does the job.
 
Likes: altgeld88
Maryland not very deep, put Smith in ball screens all night, if he plays on the perimeter let G guard him if he goes inside Kofi has him. With Maryland struggling to hit 3s a little zone would be wise and keep Cowan out of the lane and off the ft line
 
This is really random but any multimedia people on here know what font the "Illinois" and "Maryland" are in on Illinois Basketball's tweet about game day? Love that look Art Deco-y look, wish they'd use it more often rather than basic big block letters.
 
Likes: altgeld88
Chevy Chase, Maryland
I just looked it up and in the first game they "banged him around" to the tune of 14 pts, 13 rebs (including 6 offensive) and 3 blocks. On the season he is averaging 15.2/10.0/2.5. So while he might have gotten rattled, doesn't look like the was ineffective. Now hopefully some home court aggressive D does the job.
My recollection is that neither K nor G played as effectively as they should do this evening. Kofi has learned a lot in a couple months. He has a ways to go but he's improved more in nine further BT games than Jalen Smith has. That and the boys' increased defensive aggressiveness should make this a different game than the one in which they led for 39:55 out of 40:00 on the road.
 
Chevy Chase, Maryland
This is really random but any multimedia people on here know what font the "Illinois" and "Maryland" are in on Illinois Basketball's tweet about game day? Love that look Art Deco-y look, wish they'd use it more often rather than basic big block letters.
I looked up those old late '70s script ILLINI unis earlier in the season online and saw that '79 promo poster. Sweet. Lettering, AH background, unis, everything.
 
Maryland not very deep, put Smith in ball screens all night, if he plays on the perimeter let G guard him if he goes inside Kofi has him. With Maryland struggling to hit 3s a little zone would be wise and keep Cowan out of the lane and off the ft line
Don’t remember a zone all year. Have we used it?
 
Trent Frazier has been picking up cheap fouls recently and Cowan is the best in the league at drawing fouls. Going to be a key matchup.
 
Likes: haasi
For whatever reason it feels like we've played better on the road this year. Probably our best home game was vs. Purdue, but we only shot 45% overall and something like 36% from 3. I feel like we are due for a home game like Purdue vs. Iowa where we can't miss. I hope it is either tonight or vs. Michigan state. Hope they don't come out too excited and then tighten up. Should be a good one. Go Illini!
 
I get (a little) that ESPN isn't featuring the MD vs. IL game on it's NCAAM "homepage" because it's not broadcasting on their network, but c'mon....no mention....no subheadline, no tiny article to say a little something about the ONLY game featuring ranked opponents and a game that has 2 teams vying for 1st place in the BEST CONFERENCE in the land?

RIDICULOUS and SHAMEFUL.... and professionally irresponsible.

GO ILLINI!!!!
 
Well in one year. Wow...Thats awesome I saw Rick Schmidt, Neiel Bresihan, Spoon, my friends brother and Urbana Tiger Ken , , got Perry Range, Mark Smith, James Griffin, Rob Judson and Eddie Johnson got all the Autographs in my man cave from back in the day as a Urbana Tiger . . Was there when Eddie hit the Jumper and here now n was there at the hall for most of it after that for 35 years and we started n C n ended n A section. .So I bleed O n B . now I'm stuck in P-Town in my man cave and I make it when I can. So yell loud, get the W and create a memory for us all where evercwe are! GO iILLINI!

Fir what uuh ts worth Harper was my favorite player but Dre is getting close. He is a warrior
My first Illini game was in 1970 against Minny. Saw the two Nicks, but the most memorable part of the game was Bob Shapland diving and sliding across the floor after a ball and disappearing over the edge of the raised floor. He wasn't done though. When he got back on the floor, he stole the ball from the referee, dribbled half the length of the floor and made a layup. Crowd went bonkers.
 
Likes: chiefini
It's been too long since I've seen a pre-game sight like this!
I was going to say the exact same thing Daniel. By my senior year in 2010, the lines started to form so late and were so small compared to my freshman year. This looks a lot more like 2006-07 lines 75 minutes before game time and it gets me so pumped up!!!
 
Illini optimist
Charleston
A while back you predicted 3 losses the rest of the year. Some didn't believe at the time, but you can check my response.....
So, Iowa was #1. Where are #2 & #3? Are you voiding your previous prediction?
Oh, no. Iowa was 1. I’m not voiding anything. I have been 8-0 over the last 8. 9-0 after tonight. I don’t like to predict more than one at a time, but, if forced to, we will go through a 1-3 stretch, then win out.
 
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