Illini grade vs. Northwestern: A

Illini grade vs. Northwestern: A

Our breakdown of a beatdown: Illini 62, Wildcats 41

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Illinois’ Tracy Abrams
Apparently, coming off the bench doesn’t bother the point guard. He sparked a run by Illinois in the first half that turned a close game into a blowout. Does he keep coming off the bench? We’ll see.

BACKCOURT

Illinois B

Northwestern D

Suddenly, D.J. Richadson is Illinois’ go-to guy. Brandon Paul wasn’t hitting his shots (2 of 6), but made up for by hitting the boards (six rebounds) and passing the rock (five assists).

FRONTCOURT

Illinois C

Northwestern F

“Point guard” Sam McLaurin showed his value with a crosscourt pass to Richardson for a three before the halftime buzzer. Ho-hum, Nnanna Egwu fouled out. That’s a problem.

BENCH

Illinois A minus

Northwestern C minus

Tyler Griffey couldn’t get the lid off the basket in the first half, but kept firing away after intermission and finished with seven points. And five rebounds. He is officially the X factor.

OVERALL

Illinois A

Northwestern F

Postgame complaints from John Groce: “The Orange Krush didn’t get good seats.” “The deep-dish pizza was a bit soggy.” “Whoa, is that purple nasty.” That’s about it as the seed improves.

Comments

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JDG613 wrote on February 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Gotta admit that I've not been a big Abrams fan....but he has actually been playing the role of point guard much better, lately.  He used to look for his own shot first, and then try to set up others...  He's turned that around, and that seems to be a big reason for the team's improvement in the last few games.


It's good to have a point guard who can score, in case everyone else is shut down, but it's even better to have a point guard who is looking to create opportunities for his teammates to score, first.


Nice job, Tracy!!!!  Keep it up, and lead us to the Big Dance!!!