Illini make the grade

<p> The Fighting Illini were impressive Saturday afternoon with a solid victory over the Temple Owls. It was the Illini's first road test and they passed it with ease. With a 75-60 victory over the Owls, the Illini must immediately look to their matchup with North Carolina. Here are the grades for the Illini:

Backcourt- Deron Williams and Dee Brown set the tone for this game from the outset. Deron was consistently knocking down 3's all night long and moving the ball crisply to open men. Dee was a sparkplug as well. He hit a few critical 3's just as Temple would make a run. Dee also had a highlight spin dribble layup that is sure to make ESPN highlights. The Illini welcomed back Luther Head but he struggled offensively shooting 1-6 from behind the arc. His defensive pressure and presence however was a factor. Look for Luther to play much better on Tuesday night. Grade A

Frontcourt - Roger Powell played a great game with a double double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Roger only missed one field goal. Unfortunately Roger is still a defensive casualty. James Augustine had a typical game of 9 points and 9 rebounds. Nick Smith did not score but was still a difference maker in the game. Brian Randle looked very timid today. Hopefully as he gets more comfortable and those nerves will go away and he'll just play. Aaron Spears was a non-factor and Jack Ingram did not play well. Grade B

Bench- This game was not a good indicator of how good the Illini bench will be. The starters carried the team all day. The bench did what it was supposed to do basically by giving the star players some rest. Grade C

Coaching- Coach Bruce Weber seemed to have his guys very prepared for the well known Temple zone defense. They had no trouble with it whatsoever. Once again Weber had his troops prepared from the outset as they jumped out to an early lead. Also after timeouts Weber drew up great plays for easy buckets. So far his coaching has been superb.

Grade A Overall this is a nice win on the road for a young Illini team. The North Carolina game will be the true test of this teams character. Look for Dee and Deron to come out firing and trying to get everyone involved just like today. Tuesday will be a great college basketball game.

Dee Brown will be ready Tuesday night AP photo

#5 Deron Williams impressed the NBA scouts yesterday


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