Without '9 observations' how the heck do I know how well we played?
1. JCL's a tremendous 3-point shooter. Just gotta take the next step now and develop the ability to put the ball on the floor. That'll be next offseason's project.
2. MM had another solid offensive outing. He just had no help whatsoever on the defensive glass.
3. Can't win giving up so many offensive boards. Hoping we see MF and MM play more together like they did at MN.
4. KN was off all game. Poor shot selection and didn't play with much energy. The injury, new fatherhood, a draining 3-OT win at RU and ?? were a bad mix.
5. MH was OK today, but he struggles against more athletic frontlines like MSU and Iowa.
6. Our PG production again was nearly nonexistent. Two combined points from KL and JT, and KL's propensity for missing easy shots and taking the occasional ill-advised shot is frustrating.
7. Iowa has good talent but great team chemistry. They have a nice mix of talent in the starting lineup with wings who can shoot from 3 and drive, good big men who can post up and crash the boards and quickness, savvy and good handles in the backcourt. This has to be McCaffrey's best coaching job because I don't think this is close to the most talented team in the country, though it's now one of the best.
8. DJW had his best showing as an Illini IMHO. He has something that we sorely lack: a nice combo of length and athleticism. He played 15 mins today. Hope that trend continues.
9. We never seemed like a serious threat to Iowa today for obvious reasons, but the guys continued to fight till the last couple of minutes. On to NW, where despite our injuries we seem to have plenty of talent to snag a win in Evanston. But it won't happen unless KN rights his ship and put together a more concerted effort on D and the boards. We'll also need MH to play well offensively. We have six days between games, so that'll give time for MF, KN and others to rest up and heal up for this one and for the staff to put together a game plan for slowing down McIntosh and Demps. Fortunately we seem to match up pretty well with the Cats. They aren't a dominant inside team like Iowa. Hopefully we come away with a W to give the program a bright spot in a disappointing season. Go Illini!