Illini grade vs. Northwestern: F

Illini grade vs. Northwestern: F

Our breakdown of another Illini breakdown: Northwestern 68, UI 54

Dave Sobolewski, Northwestern. The point guard controlled the game, scoring 10 points to go along with six assists before fouling out in the last two minutes.

Illinois D
Northwestern A

Brandon Paul put up numbers (21 points) but defensively, the Illini backcourt struggled as Reggie Hearn added 20 points for the ‘Cats.

Illinois D
Northwestern C

The Illini got no production on the inside as Nnanna Egwu was limited to four points before he fouled out. Sam McLaurin got six points and five boards in his first start.

Illinois D
Northwestern B

Joseph Bertrand was held scoreless for the first time this season while Tyler Griffey added six and tied a season-high with six boards.

Illinois F
Northwestern B

The soldout crowd started clearing out of the Assembly Hall with about five minutes left and the outcome already decided. In a loaded Big Ten, losses like these are unforgiving.

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Bwp 5P wrote on January 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Start up the bus Marcus........This team has ZERO fight and competitive spirt for some reason!

Perhaps they can get admitted to the Bricklayers Union?

UNFORGIVEABLE guys.......Fans pay good, hard earned $$$ to see you COMPETE......that's the least you could do!

JimOATSfan wrote on January 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Now Coach Groce knows what the fans are talking about.  It's the players not the coaches.  Make your shots, you can win.

I'd like to see Bertrand start with Shaw and Mike Henry getting starters minutes.  The future needs playing time now.  Cheers!

tmh2196 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

no doubt.  Bench the soft quitters and give someone who is hungry a chance!

FloridaIllini wrote on January 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Same players- different coach- same outcomes- who is it on? Players? Coaches?  I think Groce is the right guy for us but evidently he can't motivate this group- can anyone?- I switched over to the Michigan-Minnesota game and thought I went from a high school game to a real college game- sure not the level of talent or effort we used to see-sad and disappointing at the same time- Illinois sports are just plain bad

eastsideexp wrote on January 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm

IlliniHQ - Don't lay this all on the players....

Northwestern Coach A
Illinois Coach F

What is your plan when a team extends their defense and pressures the 3 point line? Just give the ball to Brandon and try to let him do it all? Why didn't you change things by the second media time out of the first half?

How do you adjust your defense to limit the other team?
Do your players get in the flow of the game or are you subbing too often?

Where is your composure when the calls are not going your way?

Welcome to the big show Coach Groce. Time to earn some respect -- all you have to do is compete and win in conference play.

OKOMIS wrote on January 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

I agree 100%!!!! This game  especially… either a senior or 2 are un-coachable or our coach isn’t that good.

JDG613 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I'm sorry, but I don't think you can lay this one entirely on the coaches.  How many times did the Illini come down the court with the ball, only to have 4 guys watch one guy dribble, spin, stop, get stuck, and force up a bad shot, only to have NU get the rebound (IF the shot even hit the rim, that is), and head the other way?

This doesn't appear to be a TEAM. It's 5 guys who all think they can get a basket all on their own, only to fail when the other team plays together and stops us.

We don't have a point guard who sets up the other 4 guys, we have 3-4 guards trying to score, a big trying to somehow anticipate where the wild shot is going to go, so he can maybe get a rebound, and 5 guys looking at each other (while heading back on defense), trying to figure out why we are falling farther behind.

I do think Groce is a better coach than we had last year, but it seems we need more focus on teamwork and hustle, and maybe some actual plays to CREATE an open shot.

OKOMIS wrote on January 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

either these guys are un-coachable or our coach isn’t that good. no other answer... Minnesota beat us… Wisconsin, even Purdue..OK maybe we just aren’t that good, and they were better,  even though we’re the team with the national player of the year candidate… maybe the best 6th man in the B1G… a former B1G freshmen of the year..… but we just got spanked by a not too good, depleted Northwestern team at home in a MUST win game…. We CLEARLY have a better, more athletic, longer, team… my guess it's a bunch of un-coachable guys.

illini4fan wrote on January 18, 2013 at 6:01 am

I am ready to start looking forward to next year! Bring on Groces recruits! Mav Morgan looks to be an animal inside, he is a huge upgrade in the post! If Egu improves more they could copliment each other nicely Hill, Nunn, Tate, etc. they are all upgrades. We will get better and keep getting better under Groce I do believe!!!! P A T I E N C E !!!!

tonyjb37 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 9:01 am
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Coach Bollant has his girls playing at a much higher level than Coach Groce has his little boys playing at, I think that I will watch the girls play from now on until these little boys leave and better players come in here that want to win. But I still maintain that it is not Coach Groces fault that we suck again, these are Weber's terrible recruits. Coach Groce is the right guy, these players that he inherited just flat out suck and can not play ball. Bunch of freaking sissies, just like the football team, only difference being better coach!    

AJF-WBBFan wrote on January 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Yo tonyjb37,

Glad you like to watch the othe Illini Basketball players, but give credit where it's due; the other Illini team is the WOMEN's team, not the Gir'ls team. Give them the respect they are due, they are not grade school players, they are playing at the Big Ten collegiate level, so they deserve to be referred to as young Women, not little girls! Girls would likely have folded at Nebraska instead of getting a double digit win!

Having said that, Go Illini Women, beat Northwestern, again!

Moonpie wrote on January 19, 2013 at 11:01 am

Hate to agree with illinihimey, but how do Ds add up to an F? It should have been all Fs across the board for this greatly overrated team. The Sleepy Gazoo just can't stop trying to cushion the blow whenever it can.Stop cheerleading for this team.

Maybe better time are coming when Groce's recruits show up. Some of them might even offer an inside game, something this team lacks completely.

That and substance between the ears.