Illini grade vs. Chicago State: B

Illini grade vs. Chicago State: B

Player of the game
Illinois' Jon Ekey

A new rule for John Groce’s team: If a guy wants to transfer from the Missouri Valley, take him. Big second half by the former Illinois State standout helped Illini take control. His new nickname, Streaky Ekey.

Backcourt
Illinois B, Chicago State C-

Three Illini starters each scored 12 points. That’s good. Tracy Abrams missed 8 of 11 shots. That’s bad. Quinton Pippen isn’t the best basketball player in the family.

Frontcourt
Illinois B, Chicago State C

Nnanna Egwu couldn’t continue his streak of double-digit scoring games, but he was a beast on the boards and did some intimidating inside.

Bench
Illinois B-, Chicago State C+

More good work from Jaylon Tate, which is starting to become expected. Nice to see Malcolm Hill get on the board. Special praise to Clarke Rosenberg, who led his team with 16 points and also annoyed the Illini.

Overall
Illinois B, Chicago State C-

Yes, the Cougars were close for a while, but the Illini made sure they wouldn’t end their 0-for-the-Big Ten streak in Champaign. The Illini can win handily when they aren’t at their best.

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