No. 2 Michigan 74, Illinois 60 — FINAL
CHAMPAIGN — There will be a new No. 1 in college basketball when the new polls are released Monday. By virtue of its 74-60 win against Illinois on Sunday at the Assembly Hall and top-ranked Duke’s loss earlier in the week, Michigan will be the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since the beginning of the 1992-93 season.
The Wolverines (19-1, 6-1 Big Ten) got 19 points from National Player of the Year candidate Trey Burke and 14 from Glenn Robinson III while moving into a tie with Indiana atop the conference standings.
Illinois(15-6, 2-5) got 15 points from Brandon Paul, 12 from D.J. Richardson and 10 from Tracy Abrams.
Robinson III 5-7 0-0 10, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0, Burke 7-19 4-7 19, Hardaway Jr. 5-9 0-0 12, Stauskas 7-11 0-0 16, Albrecht 0-0 0-0 0, McGary 3-7 0-0 6, Horford 3-3 1-2 7, LeVert 0-1 0-0 0, Bielfeldt 1-2 2-4 4. Totals 31-59 7-13 74.
McLaurin 3-5 1-1 7, Egwu 3-9 0-0 6, Richardson 4-15 2-2 12, Paul 5-12 2-2 15, Abrams 4-10 1-2 10, Bertrand 2-4 0-0 4, Henry 0-1 2-2 2, Griffey 2-6 0-0 4. Totals 23-62 8-9 60.
Halftime—Michigan 35-27. 3-Point Goals—Michigan 5-15 (Hardaway Jr. 2-4, Stauskas 2-5, Burke 1-5, Robinson III 0-1), Illinois 6-26 (Paul 3-9, Richardson 2-9, Abrams 1-4, Bertrand 0-1, Griffey 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Michigan 35 (McGary 8), Illinois 36 (Egwu 10). Assists—Michigan 13 (Burke 5), Illinois 7 (Abrams 3). Total Fouls—Michigan 12, Illinois 14. A—16,618.
More later on HQ.
No. 2 Michigan 52, Illinois 39 — 11:44 second half
Illinois ran a nice play to start the second half for Sam McLaurin. He got it to the basket, but tried an ill-advised pass to Nnanna Egwu. It resulted in a turnover and an easy bucket for Michigan.
Jon Horford started the second half for the Wolverines in place of the injured Jordan Morgan. Morgan has a right ankle sprain. We’re told he’s probable, but I’m guessing he won’t play the rest of the way.
Max Bielfeldt getting extended minutes in Morgan’s absence. He shot an airball from the free throw line. He was a great free throw shooter in high school.
After missing two and not even being close, Bielfeldt drilled a pair a minute later.
The Peoria Notre Dame product has been pretty good tonight.
When John Groce called Tyler Griffey into the game he said “Tyler, let’s go, babe!” Dustin Ford followed up with an encouraging “Let’s make some shots!”
Griffey passed up a look that may or may not have been contested. I say he’ll make one from long range before the night is over.
Nik Stauskas buried a three from the corner just before the first media timeout and he took time to stop and tell the Orange Krush about it on his way back down the floor.
The Illini turned it over five times in the first five minutes of the half which allowed the Wolverines to extend the lead to 13.
Ford sat Myke Henry down on the fllor beside him at the 13:35 mark and had a nice long chat with the sophomore. Henry checked in shortly after.
Myke had a nice jumper out of the post that he missed then got an offensive rebound.
Orange Krush chanting “We want (JaQuan) Lyle!”
No. 2 Michigan 35, Illinois 27 — Halftime
The Illini hit a few three-pointers and that’s why they’re in this one.
Illinois went 5 for 15 from deep. Brandon Paul has three of those. Richardson and Abrams each have one.
Trey Burke’s three just before the halftime buzzer was a killer.
The Wolverines went 3 for 10 from deep
Two little guys named Beau and Tony did a promotion where they had to get dressed in oversized Illini gear then make a layup. Not sure which one won, but the crowd got into it.
Tyler Griffey continues to be vicious. He had a nice tip dunk midway through the half.
Michigan’s Caris LeVert committed to John Groce and his staff at Ohio. He decommitted when Groce took the Illinois job.
Centennial’s Michael Finke is also here to watch his future program. Finke will be here in 2014.
D.J. Richardson has now made a three-pointer in 27 straight games.
“That’s a long two, we’ll take that.” — One of the Illinois coaches after Trey Burke hoisted a jumper.
The crowd went nuts when McGary was called for a foul on a rebound with Tracy Abrams. It was Mitch’s second foul.
We haven’t seen Jordan Morgan since he went down with that injury at the 18:30 mark.
Illinois shot 34.4 percent (11 for 32) in the half. They had 17 rebounds (seven offensive). Michigan grabbed 22 boards (eight offensive).
Each team turned it over six times in the half.
Brandon Paul scored nine points to lead the Illini. Griffey, Egwu and McLaurin each had four.
Stauskas and Burke each had nine for Michigan.
No. 2 Michigan 17, Illinois 10 — 10:12 first half
Brandon Paul’s alley-oop to Nnanna Egwu on the first play of the game got the crowd going early. That’s two games in a row with a dunk on the first possession for the Illini. Sam McLaurin did it at Nebraska.
John Groce went nuts.
Egwu got caught on a switch guarding Trey Burke on the first defensive possession and kept the guard in front of him. John Groce about slit his pants again.
Jordan Morgan limped off the floor a minute and a half in. He’s in serious pain. Mitch McGary replaced him.
John Groce is wearing orange and blue Air Force Ones with “Illini” stitched on them.
Dustin Ford active as always on the Illini bench. He had the scout today.
The crowd was ready to absolutely erupt on Tyler Griffey’s first three-point attempt. He missed it long.
John Groce went absolutely bonkers when an Illinois shot was blocked that he and 16,618 folks thought was goaltending.
Nik Stauskas is killing the Illini. The freshman has nine points midway through the half.
Brandon Paul has buried a couple of three-pointers after going 0 for 6 from deep at Nebraska.
Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate have made their way to seats near the Illinois bench.
Kenny Battle is also in the house.
No. 2 Michigan (18-1, 5-1) at Illinois (15-5, 2-4) — Tipoff (BTN)
Good news, Tim Hardaway Sr. was able to find the Heat-Celtics game when he got back to the hotel. He says the Rajon Rondo injury is really going to hurt the Celtics. He said that might be the single-most devastating injury an NBA team could have. He runs the entire show for that team.
Larry Austin is here. He says he’s unsure of when he’ll make a decision. He’s very laid back.
Special assistant to the coach Brandon Miller and video coordinator Andy Etheridge delivered a chalk talk to the Rebounders today. I’m guessing they talked a lot about slowing down Trey Burke.
Illinois is going with the same starters today: Tracy Abrams, D.J. Richardson, Brandon Paul, Sam McLaurin and Nnanna Egwu.
The No. 35 jersey of former Illini Govonor Vaughn was just raised to the rafters in a ceremony.
A video featuring highlights (very D.J. Richardson heavy, obviously) was shown to get the crowd fired up. It was pretty cool The players mobbed D.J. in the locker room after the win.
Former Michigan guard C.J. Lee is on the Michigan staff as an administrative assistant. He’s sitting behind the team’s bench.
The officials today are Gene Steratore, Jim Schipper and Pat Driscoll. Steratore is an NFL referee, too.
John Beilien went down the line and shook hands with all the Illinois coaches.
John Groce just gave Nnanna Egwu a nice little pep talk before the lineups and shared a hug and a high-five with D.J. Richardson.
Brandon Paul's dad is wearing an orange shirt with a blue tie. He's in the spirit, too.
Groce shook Sheirka Ellison’s hand after she delivered an awesome rendition of the Nation Anthem. Beiliein did, too. She’s really good.
The younger brother of Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III is here. Gelen Robinson is on a recruiting visit to Illinois. He’s a defensive end.
Great crowd. It's already loud in here.
No. 2 Michigan (18-1, 5-1) at Illinois (15-5, 2-4) — 30 minutes before tipoff BTN
Matt Daniels caught up with JaQuan Lyle a few minutes ago.
This is his first time in Champaign to see the Illini under the new staff. He really likes their style of play, says it fits him well. Lyle met with John Groce a little while ago.
Lyle is also a big fan of Brandon Paul.
I just saw Larry Austin making his way to his seats a short while ago.
Doug Gottlieb weighed in on Twitter about today’s game. He says Michigan will win, but it won’t be easy. Says the Illini matchup favorably.
Dick Vitale earlier today picked Indiana to beat Michigan State by five. The Hoosiers won 75-70. He picked Michigan to win here by four. We’ll see if he’s correct.
The Orange Krush seats on the floor are full. The students rushed to their seats when the doors opened. Expecting them to bring it today.
The Krush students on the north end of the Assembly Hall are having some fun with the Michigan players. They told them they wanted to see some of Michigan’s white players dunk. For some reason they get excited about that.
Peoria Notre Dame product Max Bielfeldt is making his first appearance at the Assembly Hall as a member of the Wolverines. Bielfeldt’s family has deep Illini roots. The athletic administrative building on campus is called the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building.
A woman just fell down the steps making her way to seats in the A Section. Paramedics are offering to help, she’s trying to refuse. Looks like she’s going to be all right.
Former Illinois head student manager Chet Bandy just stopped by with his wife Shannon just stopped by with their young son Deklin. Good people.
D.J. Richardson is warming up with the team wearing an orange t-shirt with a necktie painted on it.
No. 2 Michigan (18-1, 5-1) at Illinois (15-5, 2-4) — 60 minutes before tipoff BTN
Just visited with Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas and his wife Jeni. Jeni is nervous. She’s a wreck during games.
While we were watching the guys shoot, Jeni told the story of one of the first times she and Mike were out together. She though he was a wrestler because of his build. But it turns out he’s a great shooter. We went around the key (before the three-point line) and hardly missed. She was impressed.
When the Thomases were at Cincinnati, the Bearcats were shooting near 50 percent from the free throw line. Durin one shootaround, Mike took off his jacket and challenged one of the players to a free-throw shooting competition in his shirt and tie. He blew the guy away, making 24 of 25. Another player challenged him and Mike made 24 of 25 again.
Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin used it as an example of how easy free throws are.
Matt Daniels told me that JaQuan Lyle is in the building. Larry Austin Jr. and 2015 guard Jalen Coleman will also be here today.
The Orange Krush is expecting a big turnout today. The student cheering group was planning to meet over at Memorial Stadium at about noon today and make their way over here with a new Krush Walk shortly before the doors opened.
“We did it for Northwestern in the cold temperatures and I think our members really loved it. It gave us a chance to be inside, out of the wind. We had our speakers set up, beanbags and it was a great environment,” Vice president McKennon Biers said.
Biers told me yesterday he’s had this game circled on his calendar for a while. It’s a big game for the players and the cheering section.
It’s Coaches vs. Cancer weekend around college basketball and you’ve likely seen coaches across the country wearing sneakers with their suits this weekend. All except for Tom Crean, of course. The Indiana coach always does his own thing and wears sweats.
Illinois coaches and players will wear a special tie today and they’ll be auctioned off with proceeds going to Coaches vs. Cancer.
Orange t-shirts with ties are being sold, too.
“We’ll have cups, coozies, pens and rally towels provided by an apartment group on campus,” Biers said. “We’ve got pizza for the first 150 members and also in conjunction with the suits and sneakers game, we’re suggesting all our members wear a tie.”
No. 2 Michigan (18-1, 5-1) at Illinois (15-5, 2-4) — 90 minutes before tipoff BTN
Good afternoon and welcome to another HQ Live Report. Big day for the Illini on and off the court.
On the court, they’re looking to add another big-time win to their NCAA tournament resume. Off the court, they’re hoping to make an impression on 6-foot-4 point guard JaQuan Lyle from Evansville, Ind.
The 2014 five-star lead guard will be in the building today for the game.
Matt Daniels, who has been our recruiting blogger for a while now, is here with me today. He’ll try to catch up with Lyle. Matt is also the newest full-time member of The News-Gazette and HQ staff and he’ll be with me from time to time throughout the season. We’re lucky to have him.
Tim Hardaway Sr. will also be here today. I sat next to the five-time NBA all-star and father of Michigan star Tim Hardaway Jr. at lunch today. He thinks Illinois will be real tough today.
Tim is more excited than anyone about the fact that the Wolverines are on the verge of moving up to No. 1 in the polls with a win today.
“I feel like it’s me who’s No. 1 and I don’t have anything to do with it,” Senior said. “Shoot, I’m proud of being No. 2. I was never even No. 2. We got in the Top 10 (at UTEP). I’m walking around sticking my chest out.”
Tim Sr. doesn’t have much to do with the Wolverines’ great season, but his kid does. Tim Jr. is having an all-Big Ten season and he just might be headed to the NBA after this year. Dad is a scout with the Miami Heat. He couldn’t believe the Heat-Celtics game wasn’t on down here. It was preempted by a telethon. He called his hotel to see if they would have it there when he got back from lunch. No such luck.
I heard Rajon Rondo tore his ACL in the game. I don’t like Rondo, but he’s a great player. Tough blow for Boston.
Tyler Griffey and Mike LaTulip beat me to the arena today. I got here two hours before tip and they were already well into their shooting routines. I'm projecting Tyler will breakout today.
Brandon Paul, Joseph Bertrand and Kevin Berardini joined them on the floor shortly afterward. The Illini will wear their white uniforms today.
I’m hopping on the radio with Steve Kelly and Loren Tate in a little bit. I’ll be back soon with another update.