Pregame: Illinois vs Michigan State, Tuesday, February 11th, 8:00pm CT, ESPN

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They have done it Tess!
Wildwood
We are not a good free throw shooting team & havent been for years. We have gone from a horrible free throw shooting team to an average one. I have asked before, & never received an answer: Which one of our coaches is in charge of free throw shooting? If anyone knows please respond.
 
Izzo has been on edge for about a month it all came to a head last week when he lost his cool, he knows he may be on the edge of losing this team. Sparty goes down hard tonight
 
Likes: haasi
For as dire as the last ten years have been, we have actually gone 5-3 vs. MSU at home, including winning two of the last three:

2019: Illinois 79, #9 Michigan State 74
2018: #6 Michigan State 87, Illinois 74
2017: Illinois 73, Michigan State 70
2015: Michigan State 60, Illinois 53
2014: #4 Michigan State 78, Illinois 62
2012: Illinois 42, #9 Michigan State 41
2011: #23 Illinois 71, #17 Michigan State 62
2010: Illinois 78, #5 Michigan State 73

By my count, beating Sparty tonight and then taking them out in the Big Ten Tournament when we're red hot would even up the all-time series, so let's do this! :clappy:
 
Both the Detroit Free Press and the Lansing State Journal have us winning by five. MLive does not have a prediction, but the comments section has an extended discussion of whether or not Sparty makes the NIT.
 
This is a MSU team that just lost to Michigan by 10, Penn St at home by 5, Wisconsin, and 2 weeks before to a struggling Indiana team. This is a MSU team that is reeling. Illinois is a team that lost to Maryland by missing 10 free throws (we are not that bad a free throw shooting team) and because Trent sat for 12 minutes when we had a 14 pt lead. The lead got away with a couple of turnovers off the press (without Trent at the point) and a lack of outside punch where Trent most likely would have made a difference. If the bottom falls out as you suggest, Illnois would be 20-11 going into the BTT tournament. 12-8 in what everyone agrees is the best conference in the country. That is not "bubbly".
 
WE have played much better. Also on the road this season MSU is 2-4. Losses at Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and a blow out loss to Purdue and with wins at NW and Minnesota. Since making the change to TF we defeated 3 of those common road opponents and do not play Indiana there. MSU hs a home loss to Penn State plus has yet to play Maryland. Maryland is the best team in the B10 IMO and i would not be shocked at all if MSU losses to them twice , is swept by PSU or if they finished the season with at least 8 losses or 9 or maybe even 10 losses in the B10 with what they have left. We can beat them. To state we "will" lose is a bit much when you look at what MSU has actually done instead of the name on the jersey. They are so dependent of Winston it is unreal.
 
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Likes: cuillini
Some folks will literally never buy into anything about this team. There will always be a negative tone in their assessments. Some people will literally never be critical. There will always be a positive tone in their assessments. The world needs both types of people to survive and be interesting.

But gosh darn it, when the Illini are still ranked in mid-February and I'm still reading about how bad we are and that we will barely make the tournament if we do at all...and how Rutgers is so much better than us. How do we have fans buying into what Rutgers has done...despite their recent history...but not buying into what we have done because of our recent history.

Sincerely,
A realistic optimist...I think...
 
Likes: That Guy
This game is a tossup. We showed we can play multiple times this year against tournament teams. Maybe a month ago I would've said this game is on MSU's side, but even after our most recent losses, MSU has been exposed multiple times, very recently, this year.

Mizzou, MSU, and Arizona were the only games we weren't in under 5 minutes. That's an exceptional considering how tough the B1G is this year. We are at minimum a top half team in the league, if not top 4.
 
Likes: KevinC
I still can't get out of my head the fact that Cassius Winston had 9 turnovers in our win over MSU last February.
 
Likes: haasi
I think one thing that hopefully will be evident is that Kofi is a lot more aggressive, better, and is playing more physical. He didnt do that in December vs MSU and I hope he plays big and uses his mass to as advantage against the skinny Bingham. We are seeing more and more of that out of Kofi and i expect that tonight.
 
Yes 4-4 is absolutely possible. So is dropping an opening round game of the BTT. If that happens, regardless of who those 4 wins are, we make the tournament. Fun fact, in 2018 only 4 B1G teams made the tournament. This year, the B1G probably send 10. Without looking, going 4-4 the rest of the way is most likely a top 6 finish. We make the tournament in that situation.
 
Wins at Wisconsin where no body wins, at Purdue and at Michigan, where MSU just lost, so no signature wins? That's ridiculous. Betting very few teams have 4 true road wins like we do.
Every common road opponent we have had thus far with Michigan State we have defeated. They lost to all three of them. and i do not expect them to defeat Maryland. We hope we can defeat NW. I was much more concerned about Maryland than i am MSU. I expect it to be a good game but i expect us to win at home when you look at this season and what has happened since December.
I hope Kofi is a completely different player than he was then. I expect him to be tonight and cause the skinny kid some issues. If i were him i would be waiting to redeem myself from that un-Kofi like performance.
 
South Carolina
I'm going pessimistic too. This is a brutal 5-game stretch and we've already lost the two easiest of those five.

If we can scrape 1 win out of the five, we'll still be on track for my end-of-January projection from a few weeks ago. 0-5, however, will put us two games behind that projection. Sure hope we can stop/prevent a big downward spiral. Unfortunately, the other bigs in the conference seem to be getting the better of Kofi of late.

MSU 74
ILL 67

Prove me wrong boys!
 
I'm going pessimistic too. This is a brutal 5-game stretch and we've already lost the two easiest of those five.

If we can scrape 1 win out of the five, we'll still be on track for my end-of-January projection from a few weeks ago. 0-5, however, will put us two games behind that projection. Sure hope we can stop/prevent a big downward spiral. Unfortunately, the other bigs in the conference seem to be getting the better of Kofi of late.

MSU 74
ILL 67

Prove me wrong boys!
Maryland at home is easier than MSU at home......nope, not this year. I would also say that @ Iowa is tougher than @ Rutgers, but I could see this two being equally tough.
 
I still can't get out of my head the fact that Cassius Winston had 9 turnovers in our win over MSU last February.
And something like 8 the year before right? We pressured the crap out of him the last two years with our deny and tight ball pressure D. We also tried to deny him getting the ball back once it was out of his hands. Hopefully we go back to some of that tactic this game. The problem will be that he uses his experience to get calls against his opponent that are sketchy - fake, jump into the player, pinning Giorgi's arm to make it look like GB is doing the fouling, etc.

Trent can contain him to some extent with his quickness, but the ball screens will be a challenge because he ate us up last game dishing to the screener. We were very green in understanding and passive in our new D the last time we played them. The team needs to come out with a grudge. We should also pressure him to play D to hope for some foul trouble, but I'd guess they'll put him on DMW to save his energy.
 
Maybe this is the night we see BU play a guy with 2 fouls in the first half. Last game Trent got 2 and was benched, but only finished with 3. 2 games ago Ayo was benched with 2 fouls and only finished with 3. Let 'em play coach! They're both smart enough to play with 2 fouls.
 
Let’s get this game! Come out firing!! Tough defense, low turnovers, make the free throws.
 
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