Illinois 81, Northwestern 56 Postgame

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#201      
I absolutely agree that effort is key. But I think fans often just see a lack of effort and ignore the opponent and execution factors. Even if you are playing with effort, you still have to execute your game plan (and lack of execution is not always a function of lack of effort or focus) against an opponent that is trying to stop you from doing what you’re trying to do. An example from the first half last night was Ayo’s attempted lob over the zone to Kofi, which NU deflected away. I think Ayo made the right read and decision, but his pass was just a little lower than it needed to be and NU made a good play. If it was a few inches higher, Kofi gets a dunk. I don’t think the turnover was a result of lack of effort from Ayo. On defense in the first half, there were probably several breakdowns, but NU also made a lot of shots off of good offensive execution where there was little our defenders could have done differently given our defensive scheme.

We did clearly need to play with more focus than the first half last night. But I’d imagine that the coaching at halftime involved more than just instruction to play harder. Good coaching is about pointing out the specific breakdowns in execution, tweaking the game plan to address the opponent, and communicating this effectively to the players. Without this, imploring players to simply play harder doesn’t do much good.

I guess my point is that while the Illini had some mental lapses in the first half, the halftime score was probably as much a function of NU playing well as it was UI’s lack of effort. In the second half, we clearly picked up the intensity. But a lot of the difference also came from making some shots, offensive rebounding (which does involve effort but also involves luck in how the ball comes off the rim) and poor execution from NU (which probably resulted in part from UI effort but also in part from tweaks to our offensive and defensive schemes and to NU just having a bad half).
I couldn't possibly agree more. Great analysis!
 
#202      
St Paul, MN
It was a crafty play, but I’d like the play more if it didn’t happen with less than a minute left with a 22 point lead or if he had pulled it out after making the steal.
Northwestern was yappin a lot while they were ahead, that play was simply Curbelo saying "FU, why arent ya talkin now?" and puttin the mushroom stamp on NU's collective foreheads...maybe not appropriate for little guys basketball but this is big boys hoopin.

I LOVED it. I want us to get as far under the other teams skin and as deep in their heads as possible and STAY there.
 
#203      
Springfield
Holding NW to only two made field goals in a half is the most impressive stat I've seen in basketball in maybe my entire lifetime. That's insane.
Well...I did not see it, but my Dad played in a game, around 1930 or so, a high school game, where Paris lost 4-2 against Marshall. He scored half the points for Paris with a free throw....so no field goals for the Tigers. At that time, the games were played in a gym that had, I believe, six permanent support posts in play and a ceiling that was no more than 20 ft. and may have been less. Many a player left the game stone cold from a solid "post screen" that did not move an inch in those days.
 
#204      
Hope Curbelo cot his worst game of the season out of his system . We will need him to be a lot more with it as the season goes along. Great comeback victory but I would prefer us to play 2 good halves and not just one.
 
#205      
North Bethesda, Maryland
How is it a stretch? It's literally the FIRST definition for the noun, break.

Your post was more of a stretch.

We're all adults here. I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch about someone's tone on the internet.
I think it depends on what the definition of “is“ is.
 
#206      
Texas
I think it depends on what the definition of “is“ is.

Parks And Recreation Reaction GIF
 
#210      
Yeah, it’s really not even close- I know we beat Wake Forest by 19 in the first half, not 40, but Wale was #1 in the country, it was at the Hall and it was rocking- not comparable from an emotional level

the last 5 minutes of the Arizona game obviously is tops for me from a pure emotional stand point
Yep. This and 2016 game 7 are the two times sports have really overwhelmed me
 
#211      
Well...I did not see it, but my Dad played in a game, around 1930 or so, a high school game, where Paris lost 4-2 against Marshall. He scored half the points for Paris with a free throw....so no field goals for the Tigers. At that time, the games were played in a gym that had, I believe, six permanent support posts in play and a ceiling that was no more than 20 ft. and may have been less. Many a player left the game stone cold from a solid "post screen" that did not move an inch in those days.
I always wondered where Dean Smith started his career.
 
#212      
Winged Warrior
If we somehow lose one of these games during our so called "break"........the "we were on a break!" schtick could get real traction!
 
#214      
North Bethesda, Maryland
I was looking at the schedule thinking that if we came through this stretch before MSU without a loss, held home court and split our 6 road games, we should be in good shape to win the conference. Honestly, after that second half it looks very doable...well...if we don’t have that same first half against better teams.
 
#217      
It wasn't as big of a comeback - we were down 12 at the half and won by two - but still a fun one for sure and highlight of the season no doubt. Another great second half, though would be 2009 when we came back from 23 down early in the second half to beat #18 at the time Clemson at their place 76-74. Epic comeback led by freshman BP3, freshman DJ Richardson, Tisdale, and Mike Davis.
Also: Illinois' rally against Arizona in 2005 voted the top March Madness moment ever | NCAA.com
 
#218      
How is it a stretch? It's literally the FIRST definition for the noun, break.

Your post was more of a stretch.

We're all adults here. I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch about someone's tone on the internet.
I need a "Break" from this discussion
 
#222      
It was a crafty play, but I’d like the play more if it didn’t happen with less than a minute left with a 22 point lead or if he had pulled it out after making the steal.
I agree. I'd liken that play to running a trick play in football when you are up 42-0 with 1 minute left in the game. It feels unnecessary, and stat padding-ish. I understand compete to the final whistle. But that was bush league what he did. It's kind of like a junior high team continuing to press up 80-50 with 1 minute left in the game. If there were fans in the stands he'd have been booed out of the building.
 
#223      
I completely agree. Was really cheap. Ayo got pissed earlier this year when someone went for a steal on Curbelo in the waning seconds of a blowout.
 
#224      
Chicago, IL
I completely agree. Was really cheap. Ayo got pissed earlier this year when someone went for a steal on Curbelo in the waning seconds of a blowout.
Ayo was upset because it didn't look like a play on the ball from his angle, and that player had been trash talking all game (and even last season). He wasn't mad at the steal attempt and let's not pretend he was.

It was a clean play on the ball. Was it needed there? Probably not, but it wasn't unsportsmanlike either.
 
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