Northwestern 58, Illinois 56 POSTGAME

#77      
Downers Grove, IL
This group has been together for roughly 8 weeks. I have seen individual improvement, but they haven't made any strides as a team. At some point, Groce had to improve how the team is playing. He needs to start with self evaluation and his sub patterns, along with his players following instruction. This isn't the first time we've heard of him frustrated with execution of a play he had called.
 
#78      
Fairfield, IL
Watched the game via DVR. Thought Demps and Lindsey hit their shots which hurt the Illini.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Olah and the impact he had in that game. I was concerned about him going in. I thought he had a solid first half that sparked NW and making the players believe they can get the win. Seemed like he was the spark and Lindsey and Demps were the fire. If Olah didn't provide that spark, I don't think NW would've won. I also thought his defense in the paint was good and Mav was able to score off of him which was good to see.

Just a perspective outside the box.
 
#80      
Southern Illinois
One thing that I'm struck by is the positive reviews of Morgan. I thought he was average at best. He missed a few passes that would have been easy buckets. Those should be added to the list of little things that could have swung this game in our favor.

Morgan is a positive for the team this year. He has been consistent and taken a big step up from last year. MM is not the reason we lost this game. You point out he missed a couple of passes, yet basically everyone else on the team had more opportunities than he, where they couldn't convert, missing FT's, easy lay-ups, TO's, etc...
 
#81      
Was in C-U this weekend and watched the game from the bar in Houlihans, next door to AH. A somewhat sad comment from that experience is that it appeared that I was about the only person in the bar who was paying any attention to the game.

I think Groce's post-game comment was right on -- so many "little" things were messed up, any one or two of which would've avoided the embarrassment of losing to Evanston's B1G team. A killer to me was DJW's two missed FTs, but the worst was his attempt at a one-handed slam that he blew. Let the ball hit your palm and simply drop in to the hoop, and we have two points we had to have. Instead he tried for the spectacular play and blew it. I'd be all over his arse for that play, and I'd have him shooting FTs 'til he dropped. He's earned his PT lately but that type of stuff is what could lead him back to more pine time.

Thought the foul call before the shot on Malcolm's would-be game tying shot was legit. The bump to me was clearly on the floor. It's on us for not being in bonus.

Thought Mav had a pretty good game. Those who say bigs take longer to develop usually point to the middle of the third year, so he's on track with that. He'll be serviceable for us next year but obviously will need another 5 for help. MF has quite a ways to go to defend the post adequately.

As to the end-of-game scenarios I for one am getting tired of just giving the ball to Malcolm at the top, winding the clock down and hoping he'll be Michael Jordan. I know he's probably our best one-on-one player, and I know it depends on the amount of time left, who is guarding him etc., but jeez run some kind of offense a bit once every other leap year.

Go Illini.
 
#82      
Southern Illinois
As to the end-of-game scenarios I for one am getting tired of just giving the ball to Malcolm at the top, winding the clock down and hoping he'll be Michael Jordan. I know he's probably our best one-on-one player, and I know it depends on the amount of time left, who is guarding him etc., but jeez run some kind of offense a bit once every other leap year.

Go Illini.

Same here. I don't have a problem with him having the ball in his hands with 10 seconds to go, but drive and dish when the defense collapses. I haven't seen him look for the pass in that situation yet this year.