Maybe the Cats snuck up on Illinois at Welsh-Ryan, or maybe the Illini were not playing to potential, but the cold hard truth is that NU easily beat Illinois 70-60 [corrected], riding Davor Duvancic's 22 points, [17 in the 2nd half] and Jitim Young's double-double to humble the Illini.Checking the Stat Sheet:
But don't expect this away game to be a walkover for NU, The Illini are talking revenge...
We'll try to get back those guys," junior guard Luther Head [Illinois photo-right] said.Illinois had their own walkover last Wednesday as they romped over Iowa, in Iowa City 78-59. Super point guard Dee Brown [left] scored 18 points and handed out 10 assists to lead the Orange. Everyone else took care of defense - they held Iowa to a 39.6 shooting percentage.
The biggest challenge a team faces when playing the Illini is the 3 guard offense of Coach Bruce Weber. The starting 3 guards account for over half of the 73.6 points per game team scoring.
Then there's 7-2 Center Nick Smith [right], the tallest man in U of I history, playing 17+ minutes a game, and averaging 7.4 points and 3.5 rebounds when he's in. When Smith comes in, the Illini change from a 3 guard to a more traditional offense/defense, a big change on the court.
The Illini have been outscoring opponents by over 11 points on average. They also hold a 3+ rebounding advantage over opponents. They take care of the ball - although 13+ turnovers might be considered a little high, but they also average 7 steals a game.
Oh yes, they have a 5 game home winning streak.
Coach Roy's Purple Reign Categories:
- The Big Gun #5 Deron Williams - 13.8 points per game
- Deadeye Dick -#40 James Augustine - 63% from the field
- The Bomber - #11 Dee Brown - has attempted 155 3-s, 6.45 per game.
- Off the Boards - #40 James Augustine - 181 rebounds, 7.5 per game. He also has 33 blocks.
- Charity Stripe - Don't foul Deron Williams - he's a 87.5% Free Throw shooter
- Pickpocket - #11 Dee Brown leads the team with 36, but Deron Williams has 28 and James Augustine has 27
- Super Sub - #45 Nick Smith averages 17 minutes a game and 7.4 ppg
- Helping Hands - #5 Deron Williams averages 5.9 assists per game
Probable Starters:The game will be on TV & Radio:
Off the Bench [Averaging more than 9-10 mins]:
- Forwards: #40 James Augustine [So 6-10 9.8ppg] , #43 Roger Powell [Jr 6-6 12.2 ppg ]
- Guards: #4 Luther Head [Jr 6-3 10.5 ppg], #5 Deron Williams [So 6-3 13.8ppg] # 11 Dee Brown [So 6-0 12.5ppg]
Challenges for the Wildcats
- Forward: #42 Brian Randle [Fr 6-8 has played in every game] #50 Jack Ingram [Jr 6-10]
- Center: #45 Nick Smith [Jr 7-2]
- Guard : #33 Richard McBride [Fr 6-3 ]
- Play at our tempo, not theirs.
- Score from the paint - Duvancic has owned the middle against the Illini the last few games.
- Shut up the Orange Krush
- WCIU in Chicago through ESPN+ with Wayne Larrivee and Greg Kelser. Most of the Big 10 area will have the game
- WGN Radio and the Web with Dave Eanet and probably Bob Hildebrand
- And WGN on the Internet
Beat 'em All!
|Talk about it on the Purple Boards