MBB Pregame Glance: Illinois Two

Written February 14th, 2014 by Ken

illiniThe #22 Ohio State Buckeyes (19-6, 6-6), have dropped four consecutive games in the last two weeks. Next up are the Illinois Fighting Illini of Illinois (14-11, 3-9) on Saturday evening at the Value City Arena. Since they last played on January 23rd (OSU winning 62-55), Ohio State is 3-2 and sits four games from the top in the conference with six games to play. Illinois has lost four of five games and now sit at the bottom of the conference.

Here’s their Profile

  • School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Location: Champaign, IL
  • Founded: 1867
  • Student Population: 44,000
  • School Type: Public, coed
  • Division: D-I
  • Conference: Big Ten Conference
  • Arena: State Farm Center (Assembly Hall)
  • Seating: 16,618
  • Built: 1963
  • Head Coach: John Groce
  • Year: 2nd

University of Illinois

The Fighting Illini are struggling right now.  They entered Wednesday’s game as  a 3-point underdog against Nebraska, and lost by 9 points. Two 2nd half scoring droughts doomed them. They mirrored OSU’s loss to Michigan with good 2-point shooting, horrific 3-point shooting and substandard free throw shooting. However, they did out-rebound Nebraska (36-28), which included 14 offensive rebounds.

Illinois averages 67 points per game on offense and gives up 64 per game. They run a 3G/2F lineup with Rayvonte Rice (6’4”), Tracy Abrams (6’2”) and Joseph Bertrand (6’6”) at the guard positions and Jon Ekey (6’7”) and Nnanna Egwu (6’11”) at forward. Rice (16.8) and Abrams (11.1) lead  the Illini in scoring. The rebounding is spread out fairly evenly among Rice (6.0), Egwu (5.6) and Ekey (5.4). Abrams also contributes 3.2 assists per game.

Note: Player and team stats courtesy of statsheet.com

Here are the University of Illinois Fighting Illini:

No Name Hgt Pos PPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG TPG
24 Rayvonte Rice 6’4″ G 16.8 43.1 33.1 72.8 6.0 1.7 1.6
13 Tracy Abrams 6’2″ G 11.1 34.9 25.0 74.3 3.5 3.2 1.8
2

Joseph Bertrand

6’6″ G 10.4 49.7 44.7 69.7 4.7 0.7 1.8
33 Jon Ekey 6’7″ F 7.7 39.0 35.5 75.0 5.4 0.2 0.6
32 Nnanna Egwu 6’11″ F 6.8 41.0 22.7 75.9 5.6 0.4 1.2
25 Kendrick Nunn 6’3″ G 4.9 43.1 32.7 81.3 1.4 0.8 0.7
21 Malcolm Hill 6’6″ G 3.8 35.5 20.7 81.4 2.2 0.5 0.9
1 Jaylon Tate 6’3″ G 2.3 27.5 4.5 67.9 1.0 2.2 1.0
22 Maverick Morgan 6’10″ C 1.6 56.7 0.0 66.7 1.5 0.1 0.4
31 Austin Colbert 6’9″ F 1.6 48.0 0.0 30.0 0.9 0.2 0.2
10 Mike LaTulip 6’1″ G 1.1 42.9 42.9 50.0 0.3 0.2 0.0
3 Ahmad Starks 5’9″ G 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
11 Aaron Cosby 6’3″ G
35 Darius Paul 6’8″ F

Ohio State University Buckeyes

I don’t even know what to say at this point. The Buckeyes have been inconsistent in their conference play, which is surprising for a relatively veteran team. However, since they start a good bit of experience (2 Seniors, 3 Juniors) also means they are capable of playing solid, fundamentally sound basketball.

And, here are your Ohio State Buckeyes:

No Name Hgt Pos PPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG TPG
10 L. Ross 6’8″ F 14.6 43.8 39.8 70.7 5.6 0.9 1.4
32 L. Smith Jr. 6’4″ G 12.0 44.6 37.6 77.3 4.8 1.5 1.1
23 A. Williams 6’11″ C 9.1 61.8 0.0 67.8 6.2 0.3 1.6
4 A. Craft 6’2″ G 9.3 47.8 34.2 74.2 3.3 4.7 2.4
12 S. Thompson 6’7″ F 7.1 43.6 34.8 67.4 2.9 0.9 0.7
3 S. Scott 6’1″ G 7.6 43.3 26.5 70.5 3.6 3.6 2.0
2 M. Loving 6’7″ F 5.2 37.5 26.5 77.6 2.1 0.2 0.6
33 A. Della Valle 6’5″ G 4.6 37.8 35.5 62.5 1.8 0.3 0.6
55 T. McDonald 6’8″ C 1.9 52.8 0.0 32.1 1.6 0.2 0.4
34 J. Lorbach 6’7″ F 1.0 42.9 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.2
24 A. Goldstein 6’3″ G 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
15 K. Williams 6’2″ G 11.0 71.4 0.0 50.0 4.0 0.0 1.0

Wrap up

Ohio State has a couple of kinks to work out, such as interior defense, shot selection and rebounding. I have no idea how this game will turn out. It will be worth watching to see if the Buckeyes can get back on track to build momentum going into the Big Ten Tournament.

PPG O PPG D RPG APG TPG Pos/G PPP
Illinois 67 64 35 10 10 65 1.04
Ohio State 71 59 34 13 11 66 1.09

The game is scheduled for Saturday, tipping off at 8:00 PM EST in Value City Arena. Television coverage will be provided by BTN, check your local listings. Live chat coverage will be provided by tBBC, check back here. Please join us for our live chat approximately 30 minutes before tip-off. We also double as a support group…

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