Pregame: Illinois vs Rutgers, Saturday, February 9th, 3:00pm CT, BTN

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I remember Bruce Weber used to say something about the goal being "winning all your home games and half of your road games in the B1G." Oh the days when winning all your home games seemed like an acceptable goal.
 
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I think every team in the B1G knows every conference game is going to be a tough one.

If we end up losing this one, it won’t be because we aren’t taking Rutgers seriously. It will be because we have a very young team that is inconsistent, as most young teams are.
Clearly Ayo is trying to tamp the team down and get them to forget the last game. Hopefully now that Trent and Ayo both seem to be producing and have settled into feeding each other, AND, now with Dre and Jones, we have a few more offensive bodies to pull us out of a shooting slump. Against Rutgers, I would hope we can kill any drought by pushing the tempo and getting to the rim quickly for an easier shot.
 
"They're the only team that plays that way the whole time. They're so difficult to play against. I felt like [Feliz] was there the whole time. He never leaves, and you can't get past him."
And he said it sounding like he was drained mentally and physically with a pretty shell shocked look on his face. He was still rattled. I bet he had nightmares about Feliz.
 
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Clearly Ayo is trying to tamp the team down and get them to forget the last game. Hopefully now that Trent and Ayo both seem to be producing and have settled into feeding each other, AND, now with Dre and Jones, we have a few more offensive bodies to pull us out of a shooting slump. Against Rutgers, I would hope we can kill any drought by pushing the tempo and getting to the rim quickly for an easier shot.
I agree wholeheartedly, we have a much better toolbox recently, and we haven't got into foul trouble lately, so we can decide our rotations as the game evolves.
 
When was the last time we had so many guys capable of scoring in double digits?

Ayo, Trent, Giorgi, Feliz, Jones, Nichols, DLR, Jordan, Griffin(?) have all scored in double figures in conference. If 3-4 of those guys shoot the ball well we are very hard to beat.
 
https://www.stltoday.com/sports/col...cle_03def195-d5c4-56f5-a528-0129521ecb0a.html

Though the stakes aren’t the same, the point stands that Illinois (8-15, 4-8) can move its winning streak to three games in a row and build momentum in the back stretch of the conference season. Or it can have a letdown against the much-improved Scarlet Knights (11-11, 4-8).

Coach Brad Underwood and the rest of the coaching staff have been quick to put the win behind them. After the loss to Iowa earlier this season, he thought his team “drank the poison of success” after beating Minnesota in the game before. While the game against Iowa and the later loss to Minnesota don’t stick with Dosunmu as much, how the team prepared after the first Minnesota win and things that could have been tweaked stick in his brain.
“Michigan State was one of 20 regular season conference Big Ten games,” Underwood said. “Now, it was a great win — there’s no doubt. Now it’s about the next one and we put that to bed pretty quick as a staff.”

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I think the Illini have taken their lumps early this season and have grown as players and TEAMMATES to the point where we are now a dangerous team to play by anyone....We still are a team that , IMHO, plays up or down to the level of the competition...I see strains of that killer attitude that we need to overcome certain deficiencies against certain opponents, but it still boils down to us playing 40 minutes of pressure D and hitting our shots....

Sounds simple, but a team of mainly underclassmen will sometimes regress and it only takes 2-3 plays a game to decide the outcome, especially in the B1G this year...


Illini 78
rutgers 71
 
The best thing about the Illini playing well and making a little run is that I'm finally getting interested in other BIG games and paying attention to how it affects our position in the league. It's been many years since I could say that. I'm really hoping we can continue to win games and really shake up the standings. I'm going to the Thursday afternoon BIG tourney session, and I NEED to see the Illini play in one of those games.
 
I remember Bruce Weber used to say something about the goal being "winning all your home games and half of your road games in the B1G." Oh the days when winning all your home games seemed like an acceptable goal.
Yeah, then he set us on a course away from those days at 100 mph, LOL. Your patience will be rewarded, Brad’s got this. :)
 
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