Our Second Winner and Basketball Predicting Begins!

Our Second Winner and Basketball Predicting Begins!

First of all, I want to thank everyone for taking time out of your day to read my blog.  I am by no means an expert on Illini sports.  I just want to provide something fun for the fans and hopefully you've enjoyed it.  We had a grand total of 128 different people make at least one prediction during the Illini football season. You've definitely kept me busy. 

Dave1956 was the only person to correctly predict the winner in 10 games, and won our first pair of tickets to any Men's Illini Basketball Big Ten game of his choice.  But now it's time to give away our second pair of tickets.  Twenty-seven people qualified for a chance to win these tickets because they made a prediction in every single game this season, or they predicted a correct score. 

Elizabeth Hess from the WDWS Morning show picked our winner out of the Illini Hat, and it's smccaw!  Congratulations!  You have won a pair of tickets to any Illini Men's Basketball Big Ten game of your choice.  Please get a hold of my via e-mail (tyoung@whms.com) so we can set you up with the tickets.

Now it's time to start basketball predicting.  This will work the same way as football did, where we are looking for a score prediction.  I will put the standings together as the season goes along.  Since games happen at a much more frequent clip,  the standings probably won't be updated after each and every game.  I will try to keep it up to date for you guys as much as possible.  Illinois is off to a good 7-0 start, but things are about to get tougher, starting with Saturday's matchup against #19 Gonzaga.  We will start here with the basketball portion of the prediction season.  Let us begin!

MY PREDICTION

#18 GONZAGA  73         ILLINOIS 70

I'm not going to lie.  I haven't watched much Illini basketball this season.  I saw a little bit of the Illinois-Richmond game and that's been about it.  I've been hooked on the Chicago Bears and Battlefield 3.  Most of what I know about this Illini team comes from what I see in box scores.  Two things that stick out to me as issues are two many threes and too many fouls, especially down low.  Meyers Leonard has looked good in a few games, but he still has a tendency to get into foul trouble.  I see this happening on Saturday because good old Robert Sacre is back.  As you may recall, he had a double-double against the Illini in a loss last year, but couldn't keep up on defense because the big guy he was guarding, Mike Tisdale, was busy acting like a guard and drilling threes left and right.  This time around he will likely be dealing with Leonard.  This will be a legit test for Meyers, and a good performance can really increase the confidence level.  

Illinois fans have been wanting a big man that acts like a big man, and now they got one.  It might just take some time for him to get use to the college game since he made the biggest possible jump coming from 1A ball in high school.  We've seen what he's capible of and hopefully soon we will see it on a consistant basis.  

Looks like Sam Maniscalco is playing well, and Brandon Paul has had his moments.  These guys, along with D. J. Richardson, will need to play strong if the Illini want to get back to the NCAA tournament.  I think they will.  Just not in this game.

What do you guys think?  Do the Illini beat Gonzaga or do the Bulldogs give Illinois loss #1?  Let me know with your predictions below.  Talk to you guys after Gonzaga.

Once again congrats to dave1956 and smccaw on winning basketball tickets.  Please send me an e-mail so we can hook you up.

I-L-L...

Comments

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illinizeeman wrote on November 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

Seeing Orange.

Zags - 63

IL - 66

 

nikeguy1618 wrote on December 02, 2011 at 11:12 am

The zags haven't played anyone worth noting yet neither have we. Leonard and Egwu will be good Leonard may even be a first round pick when all said and done but at this point they are not disciplined enough or strong enough to handle skilled big men. They won't be able to handle Sacre or Harris on O or D and we will resort to heavy mediocre 3 pt shooting as a result.

Zags-72

ILL-63

ax474 wrote on November 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

Illini - 76


Gonzaga - 72

mvillini wrote on November 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

The Illini haven't looked too bad so far, but beating up on tht Zags at this point is asking too much forv this young squad. Gonzaga 77, Illini 68.

JoeK82 wrote on November 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

 


ILLINI: 74


Zags: 71

wincer_85 wrote on November 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

I am very pleased we are carrying the predictions over to college basketball. College basketball is, by far, my favorite thing to watch on tv. That being said, I probably won't do any better than I did in the football predictions. haha.


As for the Gonzaga game, Zaga is pretty tough. They have at least 2 NBA players on their roster (Sacre and Elias Harris) and possibly a 3rd (freshman pongos or whatever his name is.) Illinois has at least 1 future pro too: Meyers Leonard. I will be the 1st to admit that I rode Meyers Leonard hard last year because he was a turnover machine and looked completely lost in all but about 4 minutes he played last year. As disappointed as i was in him last year, he is that important to our team this year. Very pleased with the progres he has made so far.


 


Gonzaga has not looked great so far this year. If our guards can get into their freshman backcourt, Illinois has a good chance to win. In the end, I think Gonzaga pulls it out. This illinois team is still trying to figure out how to totally play together and  they will only get better with time. If this game is played a month or so later, I probably take Illinois. Zags: 72  Illinois: 66

dealmaker21 wrote on November 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Gonzaga 65

Illini 61

bubba2hype wrote on November 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Illinois 70 zaga 64

bubba2hype wrote on November 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Illinois 70 zaga 64

mbelcher wrote on November 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Illinois  68


Gonzaga  63

Bwp 5P wrote on November 30, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Illini 72

 

Zags 69

bookworm24 wrote on November 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Gonzaga  74


Illinois  63

rtrott wrote on November 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Gonzaga 68-Illinois 61

tstephens7 wrote on November 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Gonzaga 68


Illinois 65

Tom Young wrote on December 01, 2011 at 5:12 am
Profile Picture

A couple of predictions sent to me via e-mail.

CARPET -  Gonzaga 74    Illinois 65

smccaw - Illinois 66    Gonzaga 63

 

wilson577 wrote on December 01, 2011 at 7:12 am

Illinois 65

Gonzaga 68

Eric 22 wrote on December 01, 2011 at 7:12 am

Zags-66

Illini - 61

smills89 wrote on December 01, 2011 at 10:12 am

Illinois-68

Gonzaga-63

geriatricillini wrote on December 01, 2011 at 11:12 am

Might be a little too young for this one right now, but we will get better later....

Bulldogs  74

Illini    67

cevans wrote on December 01, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Illini-62

Gonzaga-73

 

gordonbacon15 wrote on December 01, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Illini- 71

Gonzaga- 64

buckhunter2 wrote on December 01, 2011 at 6:12 pm

gonz  69

ill       72

illinois52 wrote on December 01, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Gonzaga- 73

Illini-69

afan wrote on December 01, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Illini 76 - Gonzaga 63

Inexperienced guards are Gonzaga's downfall, and the Illinois bench contributes at home to an easy win.

Reillini wrote on December 02, 2011 at 7:12 am

INI


Illini-74


Zags-69


I like this team, there fun to watch and they play hard...But I expect a bit of a roller coaster ride this seasin as they mature.


I think we win this one just because they are at home.


Tom, Thanks for doing this, it's fun

Foo_G wrote on December 02, 2011 at 9:12 am
Profile Picture

ILLINI  76

Zags  64

aaeismacgychel wrote on December 02, 2011 at 9:12 am

I have a feeling the Zags will be a bit too much for these young Illini.  They're physical inside and can stroke it from three.  If Gonzaga plays smart and goes inside early to get us in foul trouble, we could be in for a very long night.  So long as we play hard though, and don't give up, I'll be pretty happy.


 


Gonzaga: 71


Illinois: 64

oskeewowwow wrote on December 02, 2011 at 9:12 am
Profile Picture

Tough game. Should have a great crowd. Got a feeling this one's going to OT, but this year's team has shown they can finish tough games and not buckle like last year's team.

Illini 82

Zags 79

walker wrote on December 02, 2011 at 11:12 am

I think our crowd & our defensive play will hold them off.


 


ILL 63  GONZ  59

river wrote on December 02, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Zags      67

Illini        65

uofiisu wrote on December 02, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Gonzaga 62


Illinois 65

illinifan1280 wrote on December 02, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Illinois 74, Gonzaga 72

ICB36 wrote on December 02, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Illinois:71

Zag's:66

 

illiniearl wrote on December 02, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Illini 87

Zags 71

drcc4 wrote on December 02, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Illini win in a high scoring affair:  ILL 89, Zags 78

dave1956 wrote on December 03, 2011 at 6:12 am

Illini     70


zaggs 66


 


 

JeremyH wrote on December 03, 2011 at 8:12 am

Illinois 68

 

Gonaga 66

 

House of 'Paign gets it done today!

sunnyd503 wrote on December 03, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Illini 71

Zags 70

They get blinded by the orange!