UI grade vs. Penn State: A

Player of the game
Kendrick Nunn, Illinois
He was a winner in high school. All of the time. Now, he knows what it’s like to lead a college team to a victory. Illinois wouldn’t have been close without his career-high 19 points. It looks like he is just getting started.

Backcourt
Illinois B-, Penn State B
John Groce has shown he will shuffle the lineup if it helps win games. That could be bad news for Rayvonte Rice and Tracy Abrams, who were way off against the Nittany Lions (2 of 13). D.J. Newbill was good (19 points), Tim Frazier wasn’t (4 of 12 shooting).
Frontcourt
Illinois B-, Penn State C
Nnanna Egwu didn’t do much for the Illini offense (two points), but he was a beast on defense with four blocked shots. Penn State was hurt by Donovan Jack’s foul problems. Brandon Taylor was effective (eight points, five boards) before being DQd.

Bench
Illinois B-, Penn State D
Coming off the bench suited Jon Ekey well (nine points, 2 of 3 on three-pointers). But it didn’t work as well for Joseph Bertrand, who was 0 for 4 and didn’t have a rebound. Penn State reserves were held to seven points.

Overall
Illinois A, Penn State C
Why such a high grade? Because John Groce’s team won on the road in a building that has been historically difficult for Illinois. Put a couple wins together and the NCAA tournament talk can kick back up. Really. Maybe the Illini should have put the freshman in the starting lineup sooner.

Comments

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illinifaningeorgia wrote on February 09, 2014 at 6:02 pm

The last place team beats the 11th place team (barely) and shoots 39%.  That is worthy of an "A"?  I wish I had teachers that graded on your "curve" when I was in college.  Sheesh!!!

Mikeydamouth wrote on February 09, 2014 at 7:02 pm

A, B, C, whatever. We won the dang game and ended the streak. Co-Player of the game: THE ORANGE KRUSH! Thanks ladies and gentlemen for sacrificing yourselves to make that long haul out east!

IlliniMike05 wrote on February 09, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I was wondering who the first jackass would be to spew out the "derp, dur, you gave that an A? *drools on self, poops in pants*"

They aren't real grades, idiot. And the writer basically acknowledged it was silly in explaining why he gave it, anyway.

illinifaningeorgia wrote on February 10, 2014 at 8:02 am

Oh, lighten up, you idiot.  Of course it's not real grades.

Bwp 5P wrote on February 10, 2014 at 4:02 pm

In the immortal words of the great group WAR: "Why can't we be friends"?

I can't understand the "fans" on this site constantly ragging on each other.

We won....enjoy it......they played pretty good. It was encouraging!