UI grade vs. Ohio State: D
Player of the game
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Foul trouble cost him some time in the first half, but when the senior guard was on the court, he disrupted the Illini at both ends. His 14 points came on 5 of 6 shooting. And he had three steals, three rebounds and two assists just to make sure.
Ohio State B, Illinois C
Craft didn’t get much scoring help from Lenzelle Smith Jr., but the Zion-Benton product contributed five rebounds. Rayvonte Rice and Tracy Abrams both hit double figures, but it took them 22 shots to do it.
Ohio State C, Illinois B+
Buckeyes big guy Amir Williams drew the ire of coach Thad Matta when he got outhustled by the Illini for a loose ball. If his team had won, Nnanna Egwu would have been a cinch Player of the Game after his career-best 14 rebounds.
Ohio State B, Illinois F
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Marc Loving showed a lot of heart for the Buckeyes with eight key points. Illini subs combined to hit only 1 of 14 shots. In a word: yuck.
Ohio State B, Illinois D
Offensively, the game might have set basketball back a few years. Dreadful shooting kept the Illini from having more than a three-point lead at halftime. It should have been closer to 12. While the Buckeyes are a lock for the NCAA tournament, the Illini are one step closer to a losing season.