UI MBB grades: B+ against Boise State
Player of the Game: Illinois' Tracy Abrams
The sixth-year guard did a bit of everything for the Illini, leading the team with 18 points (on 55 percent shooting) to go with four rebounds and a pair of assists. A dagger three-pointer —one of a couple late for Illinois— helped, too.
Backcourt: Boise State C, Illinois A
Abrams was joined in double figures by Malcolm Hill (13 points), while Te'Jon Lucas at least flirted with a triple double with seven points, seven assists and six rebounds. They also contained the Broncos' guards in the second half.
Frontcourt: Boise State C, Illinois B
Leron Black notched his second double-double in the NIT with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Maverick Morgan — like the rest of the Illini veterans — came on late. Nick Duncan among the Boise State players going 0 of 14 from three-point range in the second half didn't hurt the Illini.
Bench: Boise State B, Illinois C+
Alex Hobbs gave the Broncos a spark off the bench with 10 points, leading to Boise State's advantage in bench points. Jalen Coleman-Lands knocked down a couple three-pointers for Illinois, but it was a relatively quiet night for the Illini reserves.
Overall: Boise State C, Illinois B+
Interim coach Jamall Walker has repeatedly said the Illini's success at this point of the season will be driven by the veteran players. For the second straight game — and second straight win — the Illinois seniors have responded the way Walker has wanted.