Thursday, January 05, 2006


So I watched the Illini beat Michigan State tonight. Dee Brown's 23-point performance in the first half was simply dazzling. When Tom Izzo was asked at halftime what his team (Michigan State) needed to do in the 2nd half, he answered, "Recruit Michael Jordan."

Many people, including myself, have been wondering exactly how good the Illini would be this season. I had figured it'd be impossible for them to replace 4 at the 3 and 5 at the 1, and therefore the team would experience a significant dropoff (i.e., losing Luther Head and Deron Williams meant no shot at the Final Four). However, after watching tonight's game (the first Illini game I've seen this season), I need to rebuke myself: "Me of little faith."

This will be a fun team to watch in both the Big Ten and NCAA tourneys. Their keys to success will be D -- and Dee.


pepperdeaf said...

i was definitely with you after the michigan state game, but now after today's loss to iowa, it seems that illinois relies a little too heavily on brown to score. this probably should have been evident in the michigan state game since brown carried the team on his shoulders until mcbride made a big shot with less than a minute to go. when brown is off the illini really struggle to score.

hopefully, as the season progresses more players will get comfortable creating shots (other than 3 pointers).

Oneway said...

Maybe this is part of the problem:

"Coach always talks about the basketball gods, how they'll allow 40 one night and four the next," said Illini center James Augustine.