Illini grade vs. Indiana: A

Illini grade vs. Indiana: A


Here's the scoop from the UI's 64-54 win against Indiana at the Big Ten tournament (check out the N-G cover here):

 

Player of the game

Tracy Abrams, Illinois

Junior picked the perfect time to have his best game of the season. After recent offensive struggles, he finished with 25 points. His offensive run midway in the second half helped Illinois overcome a deficit and sparked the Illini to a quarterfinal berth.

 

Backcourt

Illinois A, Indiana D+

Rayvonte Rice didn’t let foul trouble cause him many problems. The Centennial product finished with 13 points and three rebounds. Kendrick Nunn continued his solid recent play with 10 points.  Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson missed 14 of 18 shots from the field.

 

Frontcourt

Illinois B, Indiana B

Nnanna Egwu struggled with his shooting, missing 7 of 8 shots. But he was a force on defense with five blocks and pulled down seven rebounds. Noah Vonleh missed 3 of 9 shots an d couldn’t give senior Will Sheehey enough help.

 

Bench

Illinois C+, Indiana D

John Groce used a short bench, with Jon Ekey the only sub to score. His two three-pointers were big. And he did the little things that he has become famous for, tipping loose balls to teaammates and hitting the court to try to gain a possession. Hoosiers got just four points from their backups.

 

Overall

Illinois A, Indiana C

The all-time series is now tied 86-86. More importan for the Illini, they are 6-2 against the Hoosiers in the Big Ten tournament. Indiana did a poor job handling the ball and the Illini took advantage of the mistakes, which is why they live to play another day. Don’t be surprised if Illinois gives Michigan a game.

 

Comments

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Bwp 5P wrote on March 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Ekey's shot was HUGE....and besides that....he made several crucial plays to help. He was HUGE for us as a TEAM and deserves way better than a C+. When a player is on the floor and does things that help and don't hurt......what more can you ask or expect? Solid "A" young Man....solid "A"! I sure as heck appreciated your effort today!

aaeismacgychel wrote on March 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

I think the C+ was more because we didn't really use the bench much than actual performance.  Both Ekey and Morgan did a great job for the time they were on the floor.  I'd give them both A's for how they played.  Bertrand struggled again but that's small potatoes based on how well the team played as a whole.  Really great game for everyone from Illinois.  They were well prepared, played with a ton of energy and effort, didn't pout or get down on themselves when Sheehey made some tough 3s early to keep Indiana in the game, and they rallied after that slow start to the 2nd Half where nothing was dropping.  Great game from Illinois and a definite A for everyone involved.  Let's try doubling up tomorrow.

ERE wrote on March 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm
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I agree-c'mon Bob, C+ is a little harsh as Ekey had a great effort and contribution. 

Michigan and Lincoln are TIMBER-both are fallin' tomorrow! :)