Pregame: Illinois at Ohio State, Sunday, January 3rd, 4:00pm CT, BTN

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Unless Groce is doing something drastically different in the first half of every game I'm having trouble with coaching as the main reason for second half collapses. After all the advanced scouting in the B1G is among the best around. So the other teams are very prepared for what we do in the first half as much if not more so than the second half aren't they?

So that coaching and prep is working very well given our first half success against more talented teams I think?

I have never coached so I may very well be showing how much I don't know-I'm wrong a lot-but I'm wondering how many different adjustments are made at halftime of games. And if the team is good in the first half of the next game were those adjustments finally made but after the fact?

I agree on the coaching front. To me it just seems like teams are getting good looks in both halves and hitting more of them in the second half after cold starts. On offense we've been just as likely to have cold spells in both halves. So I don't think the issue is with some mythical adjustment in strategy at half time by opposing coaches, just lack of winning game plan catching up to us by the end of the game.


One game ahead, ESPN story says Valentine expects to be back on 10th for MSU.


John Groce teleconference


Groce: Didn't play with enough toughness in 2H against Michigan. Film showed that.

Groce: Toughness has been bulk of what we talked about last 2-3 days. Practiced well. Kids really responded.

Groce: Defensively Ohio State is ranked 27th in efficiency. Great size, athletic, block shots, great length on perimeter, great reb

Groce: Enjoy watching Je'Sean Tate play. Tough, physical, competes. Stands out from competitive toughness standpoint.

Groce: JaQuan Lyle makes their team better. Loving, Diop, Kam Williams provide them with shooting.

Groce: We're looking forward to getting back out there, especially coming after that 2nd half on Wednesday.

Groce: A lot of firsts for young guys. Came off first Braggin' Rights, B1G game, now first B1G road game. Youth not an excuse though

Groce: Talking to newcomers quite a bit about consistency. In this league, it's required.

Groce: Lyle is unique because he's 6-foot-5 and big and strong. Haven't played a PG with that size and body.

Groce: Khalid Lewis is feeling better. Worked out this morning. Doesn't have quite normal energy level. Lost some weight.

Groce: At this point, our plan is not to use Khalid Lewis tomorrow. Want him to get to full energy.

Groce: Jaylon Tate did some good things Wednesday night. One of the guys with consistent energy.

Groce: Tate has grown. He's gotten stronger. He's gotten better. Still not 100 percent back prior to finger injury. Getting closer.

Groce: Mike Thorne feeling a little bit better. Starting activity in incremental steps. Don't know how that will work out.

Groce: Seeing how much Thorne's knee can handle in terms of soreness and swelling.

Groce on Thorne: The knee's feeling a bit better but there's a lot of things that need to be tackled before he returns.

Groce: Still asking for more from leaders. You have to build habits like that. Tate has it. Trying to get Hill, Nunn more vocal.

Groce: "We need not only great leadership but great followers."
Hope I'm wrong but just can't see this one going our way. Just hope it's close.


also, missed what going on with Black?? been out of the loop. little help plz
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His knee is shot

He's been out for the last several games.
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