Illini tame the Tigers in Atlanta

The Illini traveled to Atlanta for the second time in five days, but this time they left with a MUCH better outcome. Rayvonte Rice led the Illini with 22 points, but it was team effort shooting a blistering 62% from the floor and 52% beyond the arc. It was clear that Coach John Groce had used the practice days to their fullest extent as the Illini easily played their best first half of the year and arguably their best game as well. Groce was impressed with the effort, stating on the WDWS post game interview that it was the best ball movement he had seen since he had been at Illinois.


-video courtesy of IlliniProductionsHD  

 Groce post game presser

-video courtesy of Rob McColley

Tracy Abrams post game interview

-video courtesy of Rob McColley

The Good

  • This was easily the best the Illini have looked so far this season. Of course, it is easy to look good when you make your shots. But the shots they took and how they got those shots was the key.
  •  As Coach Groce said, the ball movement was excellent and the needless dribbling around we have seen in previous games, was all but eliminated. When they put the ball on the floor, it was with purpose.
  • The players attacked the paint and dished for wide open shots.
  • Tracy Abrams played outstanding. It was good to see him bounce back after his poor showing against Georgia Tech. I also liked seeing Abrams and Jaylon Tate on the floor together. It could take a bit of pressure off of Abrams and give more minutes to Tate.
  • Rayvonte Rice remains a badass.
  • Kendrick Nunn, Malcolm Hill, and Austin Colbert all saw time and contributed well.

The Bad

  • Nnanna Egwu still is not playing up to his capability. He did ok defensively with a block and a steal, but had only 2 points and 2 rebounds. He shot the ball twice and one of those shots was a 3-pointer. ARRAAGGHH!!
  • Kind of nitpicking here, but I think the Illini could box out better. Especially on the shots where the ball bounces high off of the rim. They jump too quickly on those where an extra half second of boxing out would ensure they get the board.



  • You really can’t ask for a better effort than the one the Illini gave. Great ball movement, good shot selection paired with the shots falling, good defensive effort and overall intensity led to an Auburn thrashing. War Eagle try Oskee Wow Wow.



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