It feels really good to beat Iowa. In Iowa City. At the buzzer. On Iowa’s Senior Night. The only thing that could’ve possibly made a win like that any better was if it were against the Hoosiers. But don’t get me wrong, I hate the Hawkeyes too. Perhaps the most gratifying part of reviewing the tape from this game was after the Jon Ekey three, when Ray Rice took a nice, long stride down the baseline past the Iowa student section as if to say, “Yep. We just beat you at the buzzer. Suck it.” Look at all those unhappy Hawkeye fans with their hands over their heads!
Hello there, Illini Nation. Long time no see. You might wonder why I haven’t published a Game Film Breakdown in just under two months. And my rebuttal would simply be: well, the Illini were averaging about 0.88 points per possession during their long losing streak, the first time that has happened since 2009. In short, nobody could hit the broad side of a barn with the basketball during the month of January, and there was really no point in creating a two-paragraph post. But enough apologizing and excuse making; I sound like coach Tom Izzo. Continue Reading →
In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, Charles Matthews committed to Kentucky earlier this morning. This isn’t a crushing loss for the Illini. They have D.J. Williams and Aaron Jordan sealed up, but it is another in-state five-star recruit lost to the Blue Bloods. Just more proof that Coach John Groce has more work to do if he is going to be able to land the top in-state recruits. I think he will get there. A better season on the court would’ve helped and there is no doubt the State Farm Center renovations will eventually make a big difference. If Groce can’t land recruits after the renovations are over, it is time to panic.
Making my announcement Wednesday at 8:30am St Rita High School
— Charles Matthews (@CMATT_4) February 25, 2014
In a slightly surprising move, last night on twitter five-star shooting guard Charles Matthews announced that he will be making his college decision tomorrow morning instead of going through the entire process.
Check out some of his highlights:
What are the Illini’s chances he picks the orange and blue hat tomorrow? Slim to none. Word on the street is that Kentucky coach John Calipari was at Matthews practice yesterday. Calipari probably pulled some Godfather moves and gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. But, Matthews is very close with Illini commit D.J. Williams and it’s possible he has swayed his friend to Illini Nation. There is always hope, right? RIGHT??
I know, I know. You’re reading the title of this post and thinking, “What the hell is this guy talking about? The Illini’s chances at making a run to the NCAA tournament are about 100,000 to 1.” But hear me out. This is not an article about how Coach John Groce is going to flip a magical switch and Illinois is going to win out and make an improbable return to the big dance. This isn’t an article about how Rayvonte Rice is going to average 30 points in the Big Ten tournament to help lead the Illini to an automatic bid. This article isn’t even going to make a case as to why Illinois should be in the bracket, because quite frankly, they shouldn’t be. Currently seated at last place in the Big Ten, there is no optimistic or even logical way to look at the remaining schedule and declare that this team has a chance to reach the postseason. Continue Reading →
Coach John Groce postgame press conference vs. Northwestern (Jan. 12, 2014)
Northwestern 49, Illinois 43 Continue Reading →