Wisconsin 74, UI men 68: Just the facts

Wisconsin 74, UI men 68: Just the facts

What happened
John Groce shook up the lineup, bringing Brandon Paul off the bench for just the third time in 55 games, but the Illini allowed 70-plus points for the third straight game — all losses.

What the Badgers said
“Any win in the Big Ten on the road (is big). Other conferences will say the same thing, but the way this league is going now, you look at the ranked teams we’ve played — I still consider Illinois a ranked team, because they were ranked and they beat a lot of good people.” — coach Bo Ryan

What the Illini said
“One thing I will say about following this league over the years and being in it previously, if you don’t guard, you’re going to be very ineffective. You have to defend in this league. We have not done that well the last couple of games. We have a lot of holes in our defense right now that we’ve got to patch.” — coach John Groce

What it means
Another opportunity for a quality win slipped away and Illinois can’t beat Bo Ryan. The Badgers have beaten the Illini in 12 of the last 16 meetings, including five straight.

What’s next
Illinois, which has lost four in a row at home for the first time in five years, will have its hands full ending the slide when Indiana visits Thursday, likely as the No. 1 team in the country.

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SEMOIllini wrote on February 03, 2013 at 7:02 pm

This team's only way to win is to make 3's--lots of them.  They did it early against less physical defenses than those in the Big 10--but cannot do it now when they are getting mugged and pushed around.  They have no other way to win but shoot 3's, so when they can't make 40% or more of them, they lose.  No point in beating them up, they're  trying, but they are what they are.  Meyers Leonard leaving didn't help, but Bruce Weber didn't either by not having anyone ready to semi-fill his spot.  Coach Groce will get things going--just not with this group of seniors.