Championship – The Illini (9-4) had no drawback downing Bethune Cookman on Thursday in an 85-52 win to shut out of non-conference play.
Brad UnderwoodHis workforce cruised to a 10-0 lead earlier than the primary media timeout and by no means regarded again. Eleni scholar Sensor Harris He sparked his workforce early in his school profession. He flied defensively, hitting the glass and standing on three factors through the opening minutes.
Illinois had contributions throughout the board in opposition to the outclassed Wildcats. All 9 gamers who noticed the sector within the first half scored a bucket and the general level distribution was very balanced.
The Illini went on an 18-2 lead late within the first half to open up a lead of over 30 factors. The deficit by no means fell under 27 alongside the way in which.
Dane Dinga He led the Illini with a season-high 22 factors, whereas taking pictures 8-for-10 from the sector throughout his first begin of the season. Terrence Shannon Jr (13), Harris (12), Coleman Hawkins (11) and Jayden Epps (10) All of them scored in double digits as nicely.
Illinois shot 49 from the sector. Bethune-Cookman went simply 29 % from the sector with 20 turnovers.
Underwood has made some changes to his beginning lineup and recreation plan (unfold offensively, much less defensively swap), after shedding Mizu final week. Eleni is a freshman and place to begin guard Sky Clark He sat out because of a shoulder harm he sustained in observe. RJ Melendezwho was affected by a sore shoulder, was additionally ignored of the beginning line-up. He nonetheless performed 24 minutes off the bench, however was solely 1-for-8 from the sector.
what do you imply: Little or no…and that is okay. Bethune-Cookman is likely one of the worst D1 groups within the nation. No excellent news, which is a welcome change for this workforce. The Illini did a greater job of working and sharing the ball offensively, as they doubled down on Underwood’s patented offense run within the half space. We’ll see how they fare subsequent week in opposition to Northwestern, who’ve been one of many higher defensive models in school basketball thus far. It is encouraging to see Harris proceed to progress and make his mark on this workforce.
Sport star: Dane Dinga Devours the primary antagonists like Kenneth Freed As soon as at OVC. He can do no matter he needs in these video games. Clearly, the Baylor deal has labored in opposition to higher opponents as nicely, however his minutes noticed him dip earlier than a stable displaying in opposition to Missouri (9 factors and 6 rebounds). With the Illini needing a extra constant attacking method and a extra concerted effort to get the ball to the paint, he positioned Dainja within the beginning lineup on situation. He continues to be tremendous environment friendly across the basket. Dainja got here out taking pictures 74 % of two-point discipline targets, which was fifteenth highest within the nation.
- Illinois received on factors within the paint battle, 42-22.
- Illinois had 17 assists in 29 made.
- The Illini went 8-for-28 in three, which places them in 27 % (29-for-109) of depth over their final 4 video games.
- Weapons worn by Illinois managers: 1.
- Earned free nuggets: all of them.
Do not overlook: The Illini can nonetheless decrease their turnover. That they had 15 in opposition to an opponent that ranked 349th in adjusted defensive effectivity. They’ve solely gone underneath 15 turnovers as soon as of their final 5 video games (Penn State).
What then: The Illini will bounce again into Massive Ten play subsequent week after they journey to Evanston to tackle Northwestern (10-2, 1-0) on January 4th. since then, Chris CollinsThe workforce has received 5 straight instances. This included a 70-63 upset win at Michigan State Stadium within the league opener. Northwestern does it on protection. The Cats are ranked eighth within the nation in adjusted defensive effectivity ranking on KenPom, of which Northwestern is projected to be a one-point favourite in opposition to Illinois in the intervening time.