The Illini and the Tar Heels entered the break tied at 35, and the most interesting statistic from that was the Tar Heels scored 30 of their 35 points from inside the paint, and they had yet to hit a three point shot on the contest. The Illini's three point shooting was not much better, but what they needed to work on in the second half was slowing down the Carolina interior players, especially star freshman Tyler Hansbrough. The Illini came out of the gate in the second half and quickly built up a 9 point lead with their starting lineup, and the game went back and forth until the final buzzer. The interior defense did pick up, but it was still not at a very high level.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Player 4||Player 5||Differential||Time on Floor|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||11||11:07|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Rich McBride||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||4||3:30|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Warren Carter||Shaun Pruitt||3||0:48|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||James Augustine||1||3:30|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Warren Carter||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||1||1:52|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Calvin Brock||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||0||2:02|
|Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Warren Carter||James Augustine||0||1:22|
|Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||Calvin Brock||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||0||0:05|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Brian Randle||Warren Carter||James Augustine||-1||0:27|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Brian Randle||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||-2||2:34|
|Dee Brown||Chester Frazier||Jamar Smith||Warren Carter||James Augustine||-2||2:15|
|Dee Brown||Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||-2||1:02|
|Dee Brown||Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||-2||0:56|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Warren Carter||James Augustine||-2||0:50|
|Dee Brown||Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||-5||7:40|
Illinois' Best Five Man Unit: Dee Brown, Rich McBride, Brian Randle, Shaun Pruitt, James Augustine
Illinois' Worst Five Man Unit: Dee Brown, Chester Frazier, Rich McBride, Marcus Arnold, James Augustine
- It is interesting to note that while Dee Brown was taking his short rests (a total of 1:27 on the game clock) in the game, the Illini were able to keep the score even.
- The two lineups that played the most, were also the two lineups that were on the opposite ends of the effective spectrum for the Illini. The starting lineup was the most effective, and they did a good job getting the Illini off to a fast start at the beginning of the game, and at the start of the second half (+10 combined).
- The other lineup had four stints on the floor, including a run in the first half that lasted just over 3 minutes, and resulted in North Carolina picking up five points on the Illini. This same lineup was also in the game from the 5:20 mark to the 4:00 mark in the second half when the Illini lost 3 points on their lead. This included a stretch where Illinois went scoreless for almost six minutes in the contest.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Differential||Time on Floor|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||12||12:45|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Rich McBride||2||10:01|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||1||1:52|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Calvin Brock||0||2:02|
|Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||0||1:22|
|Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||Calvin Brock||0||0:05|
|Dee Brown||Chester Frazier||Jamar Smith||-2||2:15|
|Dee Brown||Chester Frazier||Rich McBride||-9||9:38|
Illinois' Best Guard Combination: Dee Brown & Rich McBride
Illinois' Worst Guard Combination: Dee Brown, Chester Frazier, and Rich McBride
When looking at the guard combinations, it appears Illinois was much more effective when they were in a two guard set, versus the three guard set that was made so popular last season by Dee Brown, Luther Head, and Deron Williams. The two guard sets combined were a +13 on the evening, while the three guard sets were a combined -9.
Why would that be? Simple, Illinois is a better team when Brian Randle is manning the wing forward position, than when a guard is forced to shift over there. Last season the three guard lineup was a thing of beauty, but this year, Illinois has more movement on offense, and is a better team when Brian Randle is the wing forward, and there are just two guards on the floor.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Differential||Time on Floor|
|Brian Randle||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||9||13:41|
|Warren Carter||Shaun Pruitt||3||0:48|
|Brian Randle||James Augustine||1||3:30|
|Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||-1||13:17|
|Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||-1||2:48|
|Warren Carter||James Augustine||-2||2:15|
|Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||-2||1:02|
|Brian Randle||Warren Carter||James Augustine||-3||2:39|
Illinois' Best Forward Combination: Brian Randle, Shaun Pruitt, and James Augustine
Illinois' Worst Forward Combination: Brian Randle, Warren Carter, and James Augustine
- There were two forward combinations that saw the most time against the Tar Heels, the "best combination" of the starting lineup, and then Marcus Arnold and James Augustine in the post together while Illinois was playing three guards.
Illinois' Best Player: Shaun Pruitt (+11)
Illinois' Worst Player: Chester Frazier (-11)
- All five of the Illinois starters were plus for the game, with Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle being +10 and +11, respectively. The only Illinois bench player to contribute to a positive run for the Illini while they were in the game, was freshman shooting guard Jamar Smith, who was a +1 in his 14 minutes of game time.
- James Augustine recorded a double double, and was a terror on the offensive glass as he pulled down 6 offensive rebounds, to go along with his 7 defensive rebounds. Despite having a double double, James was not used enough by the Illini on Tuesday night, his usage rate was only 12.24, the second lowest among the starters. James needs to touch the ball more for Illinois to be at its best, and based on the Xavier game (the Box Score Breakdown for Saturday's game is coming soon) this is going to happen.
- Dee Brown struggled with his shooting on Tuesday night, as his PSA was only 0.69. Last season, Dee had one of the best PSAs in the Big Ten, but this season his jump shot has not been going down due to a number of different circumstances including: (1) him getting back into true game shape after taking the summer off with his broken ankle, (2) him trying to do too much on the offensive end of the court, so he is forcing shots, (3) him not setting his feet up before he shoots, so he is fading away as he shoots (this is something that plagued him during his freshman and sophomore years, but was avoided last season, and he seems to have fallen back into the same bad habits he previously had), and (4) Dee being the go to guy on the team, and the only player who will take a shot for the Illini as the shot clock expires.
- Jamar Smith continued his stellar shooting from the outside as he made 3-for-4 from behind the three point line for a true shooting percentage of 82.72% and a PSA of 1.65. The freshman shooting guard is becoming a consistent deadly threat from behind the three point line, and it will be interesting to watch how he plays once more and more teams are able to scout for his shooting, and run defenders at him. A quick pump fake to get his guy in the air, and then a step in could make him a very dangerous player, more so than just a three point shooter. The one thing that was upsetting, but not all together shocking because he is a freshman, was him missing the front end of the one and one at the end of the game.