As IlliniBoard.com has done with every game this season, we looked behind the numbers to see some trends as they developed on the floor for the Illini. This edition of the Box Score Breakdown focuses on these trends, and highlights how good of a game that Dee Brown really played en route to his season-high 26 points.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Player 4||Player 5||Differential||Time on Floor|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Rich McBride||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||17||8:46|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Brian Randle||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||12||5:34|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Brian Randle||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||5||4:16|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Warren Carter||James Augustine||5||2:38|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||1||7:25|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Warren Carter||Shaun Pruitt||0||2:03|
|Rich McBride||Jamar Smith||Calvin Brock||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||0||1:06|
|Rich McBride||Jamar Smith||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||0||0:41|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||0||0:23|
|Chris Hicks||Jamar Smith||Calvin Brock||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||-1||2:18|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||-1||1:39|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||-1||0:55|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Rich McBride||Warren Carter||James Augustine||-1||0:39|
|Rich McBride||Calvin Brock||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||-1||0:34|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Rich McBride||Brian Randle||Marcus Arnold||-2||0:12|
|Rich McBride||Jamar Smith||Brian Randle||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||-3||0:51|
Best Five-Man Unit: Dee Brown, Jamar Smith, Rich McBride, Marcus Arnold, James Augustine (+17)
Worst Five-Man Unit: Rich McBride, Jamar Smith, Brian Randle, Marcus Arnold, James Augustine (-3)
The combination of Dee Brown, Jamar Smith, Marcus Arnold, and James Augustine seemed like they could do no wrong when they were on the floor together. These four players were on the floor as Illinois built up their lead, and when they were on the floor together the Illini were a combined +29. When they were on the floor together, it did not matter if Bruce Weber decided to go with the three guard lineup, or with Brian Randle playing the wing for the Illini.
With Three Guards: +17 in 8:46 (or +1.94 points per minute)
With Two Guards: +12 in 5:34 (or +2.16 points per minute)
- Bruce Weber is obviously getting a better feel for the substitution patterns for this team as the season has progressed, even without back up point guard Chester Frazier. Just looking at the time on the court of the five-man groups that had Oregon outscoring them, only two were on the court together for over one minute, and one of those was once the game was already well in hand and Illinois' starters were on the bench, and walk on Chris Hicks was on the floor. Compare this to the length of time that the positive five-man groups were on the floor, a minimum span of time of 2:38 with every other group playing at least four minutes.
- As the season has worn on, Bruce Weber's rotation has tightened, and he is definitely more comfortable with the way the pieces interact with each other on the floor than he was earlier in the season. The progression of the substitution patterns for this team, especially without Chester Frazier is a testament to Weber's ability to manage a game.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Differential||Time on Floor|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||17||9:50|
|Dee Brown||Jamar Smith||Rich McBride||14||9:37|
|Dee Brown||Rich McBride||4||15:03|
|Rich McBride||Jamar Smith||Calvin Brock||0||1:06|
|Chris Hicks||Jamar Smith||Calvin Brock||-1||2:18|
|Rich McBride||Calvin Brock||-1||0:34|
|Rich McBride||Jamar Smith||-3||1:32|
Best Guard Combination: Dee Brown & Jamar Smith (+17)
Worst Guard Combination: Rich McBride & Jamar Smith (-3)
- Again, the importance of Dee Brown to the Fighting Illini is shown with how much better the Illini played when he was on the court. While Dee was on the court, the Illini always outscored the Ducks, whether it was in the three guard lineup with Rich and Jamar, or with just either of them playing the shooting guard position.
- One bad sign is that since Chester Frazier's injury, the Illini truly do not have a back up point guard, and it is evident in these numbers. Every time Dee Brown was not on the court and Rich McBride slotted over to play point guard, the Illini lost ground to Oregon. Someone needs to step up to give Dee a rest, or he might begin wearing down as the season progresses. Luckily, he does have a week off before the Illini take on Coppin State and Missouri.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Differential||Time on Floor|
|Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||17||8:46|
|Brian Randle||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||8||7:20|
|Brian Randle||Shaun Pruitt||James Augustine||6||11:41|
|Brian Randle||Warren Carter||James Augustine||5||2:38|
|Brian Randle||Warren Carter||Shaun Pruitt||0||2:03|
|Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||-1||3:24|
|Brian Randle||Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||-1||1:39|
|Warren Carter||Marcus Arnold||James Augustine||-1||1:38|
|Warren Carter||James Augustine||-1||0:39|
|Brian Randle||Marcus Arnold||-2||0:12|
Best Forward Combination: Marcus Arnold & James Augustine (+17)
Worst Forward Combination: Brian Randle & Marcus Arnold (-2)
- The one place where Bruce Weber is still searching for what to do in the Illini rotation is who works together the best in the post. Weber has tried going small with Brian Randle slipping to the power forward position, and he has been working Warren Carter into the game at the power forward position, but he still has yet to find a mix of players that works well outside of Marcus Arnold & James Augustine and Shaun Pruitt & James Augustine on the inside (with Brian Randle at the wing, or in a three guard formation).
Best Player: Dee Brown (+35)
Worst Player: Calvin Brock (-2)
- Not surprising, Illinois was a worse team on the floor when James Augustine and Dee Brown were not on the court. Both players had a +/- of greater than the overall margin of victory for the Illini, and this is probably something that will be seen in the future if either player is forced to the bench for an extended period of time.
- Coming off the bench, Marcus Arnold and Jamar Smith have really started to give the Illini a huge boost. Both players are fitting in to the rotation perfectly and the Illini do not miss a beat when they step into the lineup. Weber entered the season with a question mark of who would provide that punch off the bench, and he has found it in the sharp shooting freshman and the junior forward.
Dee, welcome back! The signs were there earlier in the week against Arkansas – Little Rock and Georgetown, but it was Saturday night's game where you emphatically showed the nation that you, and the Illini are a force to be reckoned with. Not only did Dee Brown score 26 points, but he did it efficiently. How did Dee do this? He actually set his feet before shooting, something he had not done earlier in the season, but he had started to earlier in the week.
What does having his feet set do for Dee's shooting? Dee's eFG improves to 76.67%, his TS% increases to 77.57%, and his PSA is back at about last season's level at 1.55. The Illini need Dee's shooting as much as his ability to distribute the basketball, something he did not forget on Saturday night, as Dee had 7 assists and just 2 turnovers. It was Dee's best performance of the season, but it was also foreshadowed by different elements of his play earlier in the week.
What may have been the most impressive part about Dee's game on Saturday night? He only took 53% of his shots from behind the three point line, the others were run out layups, dribble drives to the basket, or pull up shots.
- Just another ho-hum day for Jamar Smith: 2.10 PSA and a true shooting percentage of 105.04%. These games are just becoming average for the Illini freshman.