Pregame: Illinois vs Maryland, Wednesday, January 7th, 8:00pm CT, BTN

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I feel like when IU came to town a few years ago, it was a similar feeling. Though it was a rivalry game, people sort of thought Illinois was down and out. The Rice news really seals that feeling this time around, but it could be one where Illinois surprises.

For the optimists out there, you could make an argument that Ray wasn't all that great during conference play last year anyway, and that as a result, maybe his absence won't be as missed as we think?
 
This is Maryland's third road game of the year after playing @OK State and @MSU. They played pretty well in those games, although I honestly don't think OSU or MSU are very good teams.

Road wins are something Illinois obviously struggles with this season, but it is our court in front of our fans on our rims. Hopefully we shoot as well as we have earlier in the season on the court.
 
I have not attended a losing game so far in Groce's tenure. There's a first for everything but I'm hoping tonight is not the night!
 
I think we will come out and play really well, feeding off of emotions over the news about Rice. Get up early in the 1st half. Unfortunately, 2nd half I think we'll falter and Maryland will take this one. Hope I'm wrong tho.
 

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For the optimists out there, you could make an argument that Ray wasn't all that great during conference play last year anyway, and that as a result, maybe his absence won't be as missed as we think?
No. But I do think the others can step up their games, and may be more motivated to do so without Ray around to take charge. Talking to you Cosby, now is the time to show what you can do.
 
Bloomington
Going to take an optimistic spin on this one.

Illini Return Triumphant to State Farm Center: Defeat #11 Maryland Despite Sparse Crowd.

"The Illini combined to make fourteen 3s last night, led by Aaron Cosby with 5. Cosby picked up the slack left by injured Illini star Rayvonte Rice, scoring 21 on the evening. Sophomores Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill also scored in double digits, as did senior center Nnanna Egwu, who pulled down some crucial rebounds in the final minutes on his way to a double-double. Despite allowing Maryland to exceed 70 points, scorching hot shooting allowed the bruised and battered Illini to sneak away with a late upset in the final minutes."

Illinois 78
Maryland 74
 
This is Maryland's third road game of the year after playing @OK State and @MSU. They played pretty well in those games, although I honestly don't think OSU or MSU are very good teams.

Road wins are something Illinois obviously struggles with this season, but it is our court in front of our fans on our rims. Hopefully we shoot as well as we have earlier in the season on the court.
The road has not been kind to conference teams across the conference or the league in general. Let's hope it stays that way tonight.
 
M tipping over
Pdx
I have not attended a losing game so far in Groce's tenure. There's a first for everything but I'm hoping tonight is not the night!
You must attend every game then... :D
 
Not Ideal
San Diego
Really intriguing game. This game is the fork in the road IMO.

How will our team respond without Rice?
Will anyone step up?
Is Maryland overrated?
How much will the extreme cold affect the crowd?
Can we avoid our 2nd half swoon?

Hoping answers are: With extreme energy and focus; Yes (Nunn); Yes; The fans there will be the most loyal and loudest; We'd better.
 
Orange Crush '89
Northern Illinois
I have not attended a losing game so far in Groce's tenure. There's a first for everything but I'm hoping tonight is not the night!
Good for you Newman, keep up the good work. After watching the Oregon crapshow my 8 year old son asked me "Dad, why does Illinois lose every time we watch them play?"

I told him "There's always next time!"
 
Really intriguing game. This game is the fork in the road IMO.

How will our team respond without Rice?
Will anyone step up?
Is Maryland overrated?
How much will the extreme cold affect the crowd?
Can we avoid our 2nd half swoon?

Hoping answers are: With extreme energy and focus; Yes (Nunn); Yes; The fans there will be the most loyal and loudest; We'd better.
Nothing against your post but I personally never understood why people in general mention (or chant for that matter in games) that a team is overrated.

If they are overrated and they beat you, that looks bad....if they are overrated and you win, then it deminishes your victory.

How about we chant "underrated" instead for our Illini if we beat an "overrated" team instead?

Can we start a trend? :alma-mater:
 
Not Ideal
San Diego
How about we chant "underrated" instead for our Illini if we beat an "overrated" team instead?
I never liked the "overrated" chant either. But I'm hoping we're not really facing the #11 team in the country tonight because if they are that good, I don't think the game will be close.
 
pick for tonights game against maryland

With the loss of Rice this one is going to be tough Maryland 79 Illni 65
 
Champaign, IL
I never liked the "overrated" chant either. But I'm hoping we're not really facing the #11 team in the country tonight because if they are that good, I don't think the game will be close.
I've watched the Terps play a few times and I think they're slightly higher in the polls than they should be. Having said that, they're a very good team and Melo Trimble is a lot of fun to watch. We'll need to bring our A+ game tonight.
 
With the loss of Rice this one is going to be tough Maryland 79 Illni 65
Without Rice, I think we struggle to get 60. Our best chance is with defense which sadly has underperformed this year. I think a lineup of:

1. Tate
2. Nunn
3. Cosby
4. Hill
5. Egwu

Gives us the best chance on D and O. I hope Black, MM and Starks provide a spark off the bench and Colbert gets some minutes.
 
Line is ILL +1.5. Wow. With Rice out I would've thought Maryland would be giving more than that. I hope Vegas is right. Big character game tonight. Glad it's at home. First game without Rice on the road wouldn't be pretty.

Go Illini.
 
Nothing against your post but I personally never understood why people in general mention (or chant for that matter in games) that a team is overrated.

If they are overrated and they beat you, that looks bad....if they are overrated and you win, then it deminishes your victory.

How about we chant "underrated" instead for our Illini if we beat an "overrated" team instead?

Can we start a trend? :alma-mater:
 
I might be forced to watch the game on BTN 2 Go tonight, I was wondering what kind of experience if any, anyone might have with it? Is the feed and picture okay? or does it lag behind and get caught loading a lot?
 
Quad-Cities, IL
Bottom line is that the bench is going to have to produce tonight. That means MM is going to have to rebound and score. Cobert if he gets in has to have his best game ever as an Illini and both Cosby and Starks have to be on fire. Extra pass and smart shots should be the plan.
 
I keep telling myself that I should stop watching live for a while. Maybe tape it and watch later so I can see it more quickly when we lose, but I can't resist.

I know that a lot of people have been seeing cracks in Groce's foundation lately, and I do not blame them at all. However, two coaches who I respect, Bielein and Turgeon, both had struggles their first three years at scUM and MD.

I hope that trend plays out with JFG, and we see a positive turn around soon. This year will be a struggle without Tracy and then Ray, but the other guys will get a chance to step up, and I am excited to see if they can.
 
Decatur, IL
Ill be at the game tonight. I've been to 2 games in my life and we won both. Vandy game several years ago and the tOSU game 2 years ago. Let's make it 3-0 tonight.
 
Clark County
Without Rice, I think we struggle to get 60. Our best chance is with defense which sadly has underperformed this year. I think a lineup of:

1. Tate
2. Nunn
3. Cosby
4. Hill
5. Egwu

Gives us the best chance on D and O. I hope Black, MM and Starks provide a spark off the bench and Colbert gets some minutes.
I agree with bolded. We will have to play faster or get really hot. While there were times when RR would force shots or play "hero ball", several times a game he would create his own shot or get fouled. We're going to miss that. We need Hill to get 15-20 points tonight, but if they've done their homework they will lock him down.
 
Orlando, FL
Cosby and Starks need to step it up tonight or we go 0-3!! This Maryland team is good. Egwu's match up tonight should be interesting.
 
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