Illini grade vs. Wisconsin: C-

Illini grade vs. Wisconsin: C-

Player of the game
Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ
Happ put up 27 points on 12 of 20 shooting. The rest of his teammates? They were just 13 of 27 from the field. Then there was the rest of Happ’s production — eight assists and six rebounds for another do-it-all game.

Wisconsin: C
Take away Trent Frazier and the bottom drops out of the Illini backcourt. The freshman guard set a new career high with 32 points and was the sole reason Illinois stayed in the game.

Wisconsin: B
After getting crushed on the boards at Ohio State, the Illini — Leron Black in particular — fared significantly better against the Badgers. Stopping Happ was an entirely different story.

Illinois: C-
Wisconsin: C
Limited minutes from Da’Monte Williams shortened the Illini rotation, and nine points and five rebounds from Aaron Jordan accounted for about all of the production outside the starters.

Wisconsin: C+
Even with Happ getting whatever he wanted, this was a winnable game for the Illini. Another one, actually. But it ended like nearly all of the rest — with Illinois on the wrong side of another Big Ten matchup.

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beekay wrote on February 09, 2018 at 1:02 am

Grade is a little too high.  Against a weaker opponent, we should be able to perform better.  We were horrible defensively.  And if not for Frazier putting the team on his back, we were poor offensively as well.  The game would have looked far worse if not for Frazier.  I'd go D+ so your grade isn't far off.  But this is a bad opponent who has a very long winning streak against us.  Given those variables, this effort just wasn't inspiring enough to grade that close to a C.  Kipper didn't show up (they said he was ill).  Finke wasn't prepared to play at all.  I wish we could get a couple of solid big men and then get Finke about 10-12 minutes a game like he should be getting.  But with no bigs, we have to play him.

Bwp 5P wrote on February 09, 2018 at 9:02 am

I agree with beekay. Terrible game. Zero flow, pretty much no defense for Happ, limited excitement. I never give up, but we left with about a minute and a half remaining. Trading baskets when you're behind doesn't work! Frazier was Spectacular, Black played solid, Jordan made some shots............but other than that.............

Finding it hard to muster the energy to come back Sunday and watch another beat down from a Team seriously better than the Badgers!

Moonpie wrote on February 09, 2018 at 4:02 pm

But, it was another moral victory!

What was it the latest coaching instament said about the Big Dance? Oh, yeah -- why not us.

Why not us? Let me count the ways.