Illini Drinking Game: 2015 Basketball edition™

It’s that time again! I can say that we have watched enough Illini basketball to make a proper drinking game for the 2015 season. We had a lot of fun with last year’s and even got some media buzz. So without further ado, here is the 2015 edition.


Illini Beer

  • You must be 21 or older to play…legally.
  • You can drink any kind of alcohol you want, but we highly suggest beer. You might be drinking a lot. If you drink liquor you might die.
  • Please don’t drink and drive


  • If Stephen Bardo is calling the game, Drink 3 in a sign of respect to the ’89 Flyin’ IlliniScreen-Shot-2014-12-20-at-2.06.51-PM
  • Throwbacks?!? That’s a shot.
  • Bobblehead Day!!


  • We missed you Rev, our bad. Drink 2.
  • James Augustine night, Drink 3.
  • Luther Head night, Drink 4.
  • Deron Williams night, Drink 5.
  • Dee Brown night, Drink 11.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Kentucky at Illinois


  • Orange Blazer, Drink 3.

During game

  • Grab your beer of liquor of choice, pop the top, and pour out a little bit for Rayvonte Rice. We miss ya.
  • 1355244780_20110428-EAZYEIf Nnanna Egwu wins the tip Drink 1. If he loses, Drink 2.
  • Aaron Cosby shoots a three. If he makes it Drink 1. Normal miss? Drink 2. Flat shot, bricks front of rim, Drink 3.

  • Cosby doesn’t finish at rim. Drink 2.
  • Jaylon Tate hits a jumper. Drink 1.
  • Bench player from other team buries a three, Drink 2. Never heard of the guy, Drink 4. Has career game? Drink 10.


  • You say to yourself, “We really need Rice,” Drink 2.
  • Malcolm Hill heat check goes in, Drink 2.
  • Hill takeover starts (two straight baskets), Drink 2. Drink 1 for every point over 18.




  • Kendrick Nunn gets hot. Drink 1 for every point over 18. As a bonus, Drink 3 for every corner 3 he makes.
  • Simeon connection, Tate to Nunn, Drink 2. If it is an alley-oop, Drink 5.
  • Egwu bobbles pass, rebound, or loose ball. Drink 2. #NnannaHands
  • Maverick Morgan or Austin Colbert checks into the game. Drink 1 for each. Drink 1 for every point or foul either player has.
  • If any player gets called for a foul by setting a moving screen, Drink 2.
  • Egwu steps over the line guarding the inbounds pass. Drink 1.
  • Ahmad Starks shoots three, Drink 1. If he makes it Drink 2. If done without a pass, +1. If done before five seconds has run off the shot clock, +1. If he is fading away or off balance +1.


  •  Leron Black blatant or flagrant foul? Drink 3.
  • CBK_201411161826664109688-P5_0Egwu block, Drink 1 for each.

Illlinois v. Missouri

  • Illini win! Finish your drink. Get on Twitter and bask in the glory.
  • Illini lose. Finish your drink. If Illini were up by 10 or more with less than 10 minutes left, open another and drink it all. Get on Twitter and fix all of the problems.

That’s all we could come up with. If you have any to add, tweet us @TheIlliniNation or leave us a comment below. We might even add it in. Thanks to @Einsane for helping out with the rules.

Picking up the pieces

The story broke this morning was confirmed during basketball coach John Groce’s press conference at noon today.

Senior guard Rayvonte Rice has indeed broken his left hand and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. This is yet another crushing blow dealt to the Illini, who lost PG Tracy Abrams for the year due to an ACL injury in the offseason. With Rice out for at least six weeks, who needs to step up the most to fill in the void left by the star player?

My answer: John Groce. Simply put, no one playing for the Illini can replicate or replace what Rice does on the floor. As Groce put it in his presser, “(Rice) is a monster.”

Rice leads the team in scoring, rebounding, is third in assists and is the undisputed team leader on the floor. Granted, it will take a team effort to make up for the hole Rice will leave in his absence, and that is precisely where Groce will need to make the difference.

Groce can recruit. Groce can create enthusiasm. Groce can present a clear vision. He is an excellent spokesman of the program. But can he coach?

Groce is undefeated in non-conference play in the month of November, but is an abysmal 3-15 in the month of January and 15-23 in B1G play as I’m writing this. The lack of defense and toughness the Illini have displayed in the past two games has been hard to ignore. However, Groce’s teams the last two years have come on strong down the stretch. There is no time for that now. Whatever mojo he’s worked with past teams down the stretch must now be on full display starting Wednesday.

Groce’s motto of “Toughness and Togetherness” has never rang more true. The Illini have lost their star player and now must play tougher and more together than ever before . . . or else it is going to get ugly really quick. As weird as it may sound, the Illini can use Rice’s injury as a rallying cry of sorts to prove their toughness and that one player is not greater than the sum of their parts. Next man up.

So can Groce coach? Absolutely. But he will have to be the best he has ever been to salvage this season and achieve the goal of every season, which is making the NCAA tourney. Can he do it? Very doubtful. Not many coaches would be able to, but he won’t make excuses and that is admirable. It will be a tough road, but I’m pulling for him. Sometimes adversity is what you need to become successful.

Rayvonte Rice breaks hand

In a catastrophic turn of events for the Illini, it has come to our attention that Rayvonte Rice has broken his left hand. We broke the story a 9:48 am this morning. This is disastrous.

Illini season starts tonight in Vegas

Illinois (5-0) battles the Baylor Bears (5-0) at 9:30 pm CST in Las Vegas tonight. After five games, the Illini have been very effective offensively averaging 95.6 PPG. But let’s be honest, the teams they have played have been tomato cans. The real season starts tonight.

Baylor is undefeated and are coming off of a loss to Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen last year, but they have lost three starters that averaged in double figures. Couple that with the offensive barrage the Illini have displayed to date and you would think the Illini would be an 8-10 point favorite. But the Vegas sports book sees tonight as a nail-biter, favoring Illinois by only 2.5 points.

Then the real fun begins. In the next two weeks, Illinois plays #20 Miami, American (should be an easy win), #11 Villanova, and a tough Oregon team that is still getting votes in the coaches poll despite a 3-2 record.

So while the first five games have been a treat, the next two weeks should give us a good indication if the Illini are for real.  Can’t wait for the real season to start.

No Brunson, no problem

brunsonpoy-PPN-032113-2.jpgJalen Brunson decided to take his talents to Philly this afternoon, choosing to play basketball for the Villanova Wildcats, resulting in yet another second place finish for the Illini. I know it hurts, but this might just be a huge blessing in disguise. So put down that glass of Drano you were about to drink and just hear me out.


It was widely reported that star Kimball (TX) point guard Jawun Evans (@Hungry_humble0) had an excellent official visit to campus on September 5-7, one weekend after Brunson visited.

He made plenty of comments on Twitter and he was even retweeting some of the fans.

So what does this have to do with Brunson and how does this help ease the pain of yet another recruiting snub? Well, if the Illini can land Evans, they are still getting a solid point guard for Coach Groce’s system and there is a possibility they can get a package deal with another big recruit, 6’9″ Lancaster (TX) PF Elijah Thomas (@edotcash).

Both Evans and Thomas have been open about the possibility of playing together while Evans and Brunson playing together is off of the table.

So maybe this snub is all just a blessing in disguise. Of course it’s possible that the Illini end up with none of them. I guess in that case, drink up.**

**Editor’s note: Don’t drink Drano. You will probably die.

Charles Matthews to Kentucky


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.

Illini target Charles Matthews to make college decision tomorrow

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??