Purdue Thoughts, Prediction Standings, & Ohio State Predictions

Purdue Thoughts, Prediction Standings, & Ohio State Predictions

Blog PhotoIn the words of Ron Burgundy…boy, that escalated quickly.  I mean that really got out of hand, fast.

Yes, it seemed like the Illini were back to their old shooting ways at Mackey last night, hitting 41% of their shots in the first half, including five treys.  But a 20-4 Boiler run in the second half was the death knell for the orange and blue.  This is a tough one to swallow, as it means this senior class is still yet to get a win against the gold and black.  It also serves as an example about how tough each B1G game will be this year, although, that’s really no different than any other year.

Gotta admire the intensity of Coach Groce after the game…

Other things that stood out to me from last night:

  • No second half points from Brandon Paul until the 3:15 mark.  Note sure if he was stymied by the Purdue D or if he just wasn’t getting the touches he needed, but either way it’s tough to win if your best player isn’t scoring when you need him to.
  • BTN color man Shon Morris had this to say about Joe Betrand:  “When this kid comes in, good things happen.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself…14 points, 7 rebounds for JB last night.  He’s been very steady for the Illini this year.  Gotta wonder if he’ll ever crack the starting lineup…maybe slip into DJ’s slot if he continues to slump.
  • Nnanna Egwu almost outblocked the entire Purdue team with five swats.  That’s the type of stats you want to see from your big man.

Blog PhotoOK…let’s take a look at the prediction standings (click the photo at left)…

Congrats to penniless, sunnyd503, and Reillini.  You folks went out on a limb and it paid off.  Reillini picked the score most accurately, though, so he/she is in first place after game one.  Illiniearl, tough news for you, as you predicted a big Illini victory, so your RSDT puts you in last place.  No one should fret, though, as there is still plenty of time to make up ground.  Click here for a reminder of how we're running things.

On to the next one…

We all remember what happened the last time that the Ohio State Buckeyes came to the Assembly Hall.  That game definitely goes in my top 10 Illini basketball moments…maybe even the top 5.  What many might not remember, though, is that OSU made like Stone Cold Steve Austin and opened up a can of whoop you-know-what on the Illini around a month later when the team visited Columbus.

And this year’s OSU team is rolling as well, with a 11-2 record and a number eight ranking.  I had a chance to catch last night’s OSU vs. Nebraska game on TV before the Illini game came on, and, granted, they were playing Nebraska, but they still excelled in pretty much every aspect of the game.  One thing I saw that worried me is that the Bucks capitalized on second chances (14 second chance points), and the Illini gave Purdue plenty of second chances last night.  It also helps when DeShaun Thomas outscores the opposition on his own in the first half (18-17)…and when Sam Thompson has OMG dunks like this one.

One thing to keep an eye on with OSU, though, is their free throw shooting.  They shot 48% vs. Chicago state, 39% vs. Nebraska, and are at 68% for the season.  If Saturday’s game comes down to FTs, the Illini might be able to take advantage.  Alas, I can’t in good conscience pick the Illini in this one.

MY PREDICTION:  Ohio State 85, Illinois 74

Blog PhotoSo you know the drill by now.  Leave a comment below or e-mail me (tditman@wdws.com) with your score prediction for the OSU game.  Predictions are due by 1:15 Saturday.  A reminder that whoever is the best prognosticator at the midway point of the Big Ten season wins tickets to the Indiana game.  The top criteria for choosing a winner is number of games correctly picked.  The more you pick, the better chance you have to win…so if you’re on the fence, get in the game now!  Also be aware that a correctly predicted score could be used as a tiebreaker, so it’s in your interest to pick a reasonable outcome (i.e. picking a 100-2 score, as much as we’d all love to see it happen, isn’t going to do you any favors).  So get pickin’…and tell your friends.  This blog’s previous curator Tom Young told me that we had 80 pickers at one point.  I’d love to get that type of participation…and so does Buck I Guy over there.

Other random thoughts…

  • Just when you thought things were dying down at Penn State, the Pennsylvania governor brings a lawsuit against the NCAA over penalties from the Sandusky scandal.  Conveniently, federal judge in Illinois Mike McCuskey made an appearance on WDWS today to talk about how silly the whole thing is.

  • Has anyone figured out why Big Ten football teams flop in the postseason?  The B1G was 2-5 in bowl games this year and is 15-28 going back to the 2007-08 season.
  • One of my favorite things about this time of year are the “year in review” video packages put out by ESPN.  They are always very well done year in and year out.  Check out a couple examples here and here.


COMING UP NEXT TIME:  Ohio State Thoughts, Prediction Standings, & Minnesota Predictions

[Burgundy photo via IMDB, Thompson audio via ohiostatebuckeyes.com, Buck I Guy photo via elevenwarriors.com]


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IlliniLuther wrote on January 03, 2013 at 6:01 pm

OSU 71    ILL 64

Railsplitter wrote on January 03, 2013 at 6:01 pm

If BP doesn't get out of control and DJ sits 20 minutes ILLINI77 OSU 76

geriatricillini wrote on January 03, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Since February 1, 2012 up to this Saturday, January 5. 2013, my alma mater has won exactly one conference game in men's bball (a home 1 point cream job of Iowa...one of the worst teams in the conference then and who beat our butts the next week in the B10 tournament first round!) and  zero in football this fall...a 1-18 showing. Is there any one in the B10 that can match that accomplishment? It's disgraceful and the rest of the league has to be laughing at us for this silliness. They know we can be had when we get smacked around because we quit. I have not completely given up on these guys, but I ain't pickin' them to win any more until I see some fight in 'em.

Buckeyes 81

Illini   70

I hope I am wrong about all this..I really do...

BleedOandB wrote on January 03, 2013 at 8:01 pm

O man who knows after that last game. Part of me sees last year starting all over again....... but live and die by the 3 and the Illini will live.... After watching how intense the Purdue game was someone is goinig to get a technical.


74 Illini 


71 OSU 

jruss62 wrote on January 03, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Groce was in a foul mood and should of been.( after the diaster at Purdue) The boys bounce back and play with a purpose like we have seen in the passed.


OSU 68 

walker wrote on January 03, 2013 at 9:01 pm

ILL  64  OSU  60    

Pickin' with my heart instead of my brain.

Bwp 5P wrote on January 03, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Well.....just RATS! Like I said in my PU prediction.......that was a HUGE game and we really needed to prove we were who we were "supposed" to be!

I dearly hope I'm wrong on this one.........but until the Gang proves to me they can fill it up in the hall...........


Buckeyes 82

Illini 77

C'mon Team......make a dummy out of me........PLEASE!

teachdacc wrote on January 04, 2013 at 5:01 am

ILL 86 OSU 83

Eric 22 wrote on January 04, 2013 at 6:01 am

I sat next to the Texas Buckeye once during a gameday in Madison, cool guy rooting for the wrong team!  I have a bad feeling that the one that got away (Sam Thompson) has some explosive plays and the Illini have no answer.

OSU - 84, Illini - 71

IlliniwekMerica wrote on January 04, 2013 at 9:01 am

DJ hits 5 of 8 trey bombs, count it.

Illini - 79

OSU - 74

illiniearl wrote on January 04, 2013 at 9:01 am

Man, fool me once...

Illini 65

Ohio State 75

fool me twice...?

stumblefoot wrote on January 04, 2013 at 10:01 am

This team can score in a hurry when it has too.  But, with our inability to stop penetrating guards and our difficulty in doing the same will lead to another painfully scary game that goes down to the wire.

Illini win on an under 10-second clank from the OSU free-throw line and a final time-out from Coach Groce who draws up a masterful play that feeds super-sub Joe B for the victory.

ILL - 78

OSU - 76

mvoelke2 wrote on January 04, 2013 at 10:01 am

Illini 73

Ohio State 65

Still believe that we are a good basketball team.  Good teams find a way to bounce back from adversity.  Expecting Coach Groce to rally the team and put in a solid effort.  When this team is hitting their 3's we can beat anybody.  I'm hoping we prove that on Saturday.

Mike Goebel wrote on January 04, 2013 at 11:01 am

Buckeyes 85, Fighting Brandon Pauls 70

aaeismacgychel wrote on January 04, 2013 at 11:01 am

I think we can beat OSU- they certainly haven't played with the intensity and fire of OSU teams in recent years. Aaron Craft will be guarding Brandon Paul unless Thad Matta accidentally misplaces his brain right before gametime, so that should effectively neutralize BP, and the only way Illinois wins this one will be if Tracy Abrams, Joseph Bertrand, and DJ Richardson consistently take the ball to the hoop every chance they get. Illinois will need another huge night from Tracy especially, and force Matta to make a decision on whether to put Craft on Abrams or Paul in the second half. Now, I had this game down as a decent loss before B10 play began, but the loss to Purdue and OSU's blowout of Nebraska should both work in Illinois' favor even though the odds are against them. I see an Illinois loss, but this one will be closer than it should be:

OSU: 78
Illini: 72

penniless wrote on January 04, 2013 at 11:01 am

Its hard to get out toughed at home,but it will happen again and again.No Ilini Bangers equal back to back loses to OSU and UM at home.   OSU 73   Illini   67

tmh2196 wrote on January 04, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Illini 83 OSU 79

sunnyd503 wrote on January 04, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Sometimes I hate being right. I hope I'm wrong this time.

OSU 81 Illini 74

OSU moves the ball better in their offense. Thomas is a tough matchup and I don't know who will stop Craft's penetration into the lane. I also think we'll commit many TOs. For some reason we haven't been playing that great at home this year despite our perfect record. 

buckhunter2 wrote on January 04, 2013 at 4:01 pm

OHIO ST     81

ILLINI          75

touchdown_illinois wrote on January 04, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I don't think this game is going to be pretty. But then again BP3 went crazy against them last year... My prediction:

OSU 74

Illini 68


isitoveryet wrote on January 04, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Will this year end up as a "Weber Moment"? Last year after a 10+-0 start and a Loss against Mizzou and a tough game at the United center, we fell apart. I believe strongly in Groce, though.



BP3- 25+ pts for a win.

mchen18 wrote on January 04, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Illinois 78   Ohio State 75

wincer_85 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 12:01 am

That was a  BIG loss at Purdue. Winning on the road is tough, but there is a real possibility illinois could start B1G play 0-4 (i don't think we will, think we will beat minny) but it is still a decent possibility. The defense was BAD for about 30 mins of the purdue game. Letting Johnson get into the lane at any time he wanted, even when playing zone, is not good. I think a good shooting team (i.e. NOT purdue) would've put up 80+ Wednesday.

Onto Ohio State. It is basically Deshaun Thomas and see if someone else can score points on offense. Deshaun is going to get his points. We won't stop that. We just cant let him get 30+ and can't let the role players (sam thompson, lenzelle smith, etc) get into a good rhythm and feel comfortable on the offensive end. I think Illinois plays well but Ohio State still has a little too much.

Hope i'm wrong and start 0-2 in this little prediction game!

Ohio State: 77

Illinois: 71

DQ11 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 8:01 am

Ohio State - 85

Illinois - 68

Green Shirt wrote on January 05, 2013 at 8:01 am

Illinois 75

Ohio State 70

krervin2 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 8:01 am

I never know what to expect with this Illini team. They always do the opposite of what I think will happen. That being said:


Illinois 70

OSU 59


mbelcher wrote on January 05, 2013 at 8:01 am

Ohio State   74

Illinois   68

Reillini wrote on January 05, 2013 at 9:01 am



Unless someone on this team goes BP3 on them, The Buckeyes are just a better Team and will win. I know I've been picking against our Illini but I beleive we now have a coach who will get us back to where we belong in this league.

Hope I'm wrong and as always Go Illini

illinifan1280 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 10:01 am

Illinois 63, Ohio State 61

illiniphil85 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 10:01 am

OSU 74

UI 72

walko wrote on January 05, 2013 at 11:01 am

Ohio State 73

Illini 70

Illini could win by one ifsic the ball bounces their way...expect them to be very competitive in this game.  Ohio State is not as good as they're cracked up to be.

uhs504 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 11:01 am

OSU 71

ILL 66

bluk5 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Illini 74

Ohio Sate 69

smills89 wrote on January 05, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Ohio State 75

Illinois 71

Reillini wrote on January 05, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I'll have my crow with BBQ sauce please and enjoy every bite... What a gutsy performance from our Illini

Tim Ditman wrote on January 05, 2013 at 5:01 pm
Profile Picture

Me too!  I'm updating the prediction standings as we speak.  Look for a new blog post later tonight!