Cold Shooting Doom Illini

Bruce Weber's 2007-08 basketball team can certainly guard with the best of them but it appears scoring will be an issue at times for this group.

Maryland beat Illinois 69-61 in the ninth annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge in College Park (MD) last night.

Illinois was led in scoring (13 points) by junior guard Calvin Brock, with Rodney Alexander and senior Shaun Pruitt both checking in with 10 each. The issue at hand however, is the lack of quality shooters on this team. In this game the Illinois shot 33.3% from the field and 44.4 % from the charity stripe.

Most of the post game talk was about senior leadership and for them to make plays. It's difficult to ask upperclassmen like senior Brian Randle and Chester Frazier to become great shooters - they have never been known as that and they didn't perform last night. Randle, with two early first half fouls, was 2-8 and Frazier went 0-4 on the night. Preseason All Big Ten center Pruitt connected on just 4-16. What's disappointing about his numbers is the fact they were all shot from the post area.

Weber said in a post game interview, "We didn't make shots. It's disappointing that we didn't play better."

The season is still young but if this year's team plans to make a run at a Big Ten title or any kind of postseason run, their shooting woes have to end - regardless of who it is.

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