Comply with alongside all afternoon with our beat author from State Farm Middle as Illinois tries to start out its season 3-0:
A couple of issues I am in search of from Illinois with the extent of competitors growing at the moment towards Ohio. Mainly, can the Illini nonetheless do this stuff once they aren’t enjoying North Carolina A&T or Chicago State?
— Can Ayo Dosunmu nonetheless be in whole management of his sport and, due to this fact, the Illini’s possibilities?
— Will Andre Curbelo have the ability to come out on the optimistic facet of the ledger in terms of balancing his going 100 mph turnovers and going 100 mph all the things else?
— Can Adam Miller nonetheless be a lights out shooter if, and this is not a assure, Ohio truly decides to protect him and he does not get broad open take care of broad open look?
— Will Kofi Cockburn notch one other points-rebounds double-double? (Really feel fairly good about this one).
— Can Jacob Grandison hold being the bench glue man extraordinaire he is been thus far?
— Will Brad Underwood go 14 deep along with his rotation? (Not a no, however leaning that approach).
The extra video games which can be performed, the extra numbers (superior or not) there are to crunch. Illinois has already climbed one spot within the KenPom rankings, for instance. However I am nonetheless all in on Bart Torvik’s work at this level of the season since groups that have not performed — and there are a superb variety of them — might be weeded out.
Here is the place Illinois is dominating groups thus far, with the caveat that these groups are North Carolina A&T and Chicago State. The Illini lead the nation in each offensive rebounding proportion and in limiting their opponents in the identical metric.
It is one factor to see Illinois has outrebounded its first two opponents by a mixed 117-28. It is one other to know that the Illini are rebounding 62.1 % of their very own misses and permitting their opponents to drag down simply 6.9 % of their misses.
Type of a giant deal. However we’ll see how that interprets to at the moment’s sport towards Ohio.
Fewer Huge Ten groups performed yesterday than had been on the schedule for the primary day of the season. Simply three, together with Illinois, and the Illini had been the one winners.
— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniMBB) November 27, 2020
However here is a takeaway from losses by each Nebraska and Purdue:
— The Cornhuskers topped the century mark in beating McNeese State on Wednesday. They had been much less profitable in a 69-66 loss to Nevada. Wolf Pack guard Grant Sherfield (enjoyable truth, he was a one-time Illinois goal) wasn’t overly environment friendly however was fairly productive with 19 factors, six rebounds and 6 assists.
Nebraska was neither environment friendly or all that productive give the ‘Huskers shot simply 29 % from the sector and misplaced. Dalano Blanton is a man to regulate transferring ahead, although. He is bought nice measurement as a BIG guard at 6-foot-9 and 204 kilos, and he put up 18 factors, seven rebounds and 5 assists towards Nevada.
— So Zach Edey could be the actual deal for Purdue given he was in a position to match the extent of manufacturing he confirmed Wednesday towards Liberty (not a nasty mid-major in any respect) on Thursday towards Clemson (not a terrific excessive main to be trustworthy). The Boilermakers misplaced to Clemson, however Edey nonetheless put up 17 factors, eight rebounds and two blocks off the bench.
The actual query? How does Matt Painter at all times get these 7-4, 285-pound giants? Edey was ranked 429th (not a typo) within the 247Sports Composite for the Class of 2020. Now he is Purdue’s finest participant?
Feast Week ends at the moment for Illinois basketball, and, boy, have the Illini feasted to start out the 2020-21 season. First there was the 62-point win towards North Carolina A&T within the opener. Then Thursday’s 59-point drubbing of Chicago State.
These back-to-back victories made Illinois the primary AP High 25 group to win its first two video games by 55 factors or extra for the reason that 1989-90 Oklahoma Sooners did the identical factor. There’s just one different group on that listing — the 1972-73 North Carolina State squad.
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That Oklahoma group went 27-5 that season. The Sooners had been a No. 1 seed, however misplaced to UNC within the second spherical.
You may bear in mind the 1972-73 N.C. State group a little bit higher. The Wolfpack went 27-0, however sanctions from the recruitment of David Thompson meant they had been ineligible for the postseason. Sanctions lifted the following season, N.C. State went 30-1 and gained a nationwide title.
What this Illinois group does after walloping its first two opponents stays to be seen. It is unlikely one other 50-point win is within the offing at the moment towards Ohio. The Bobcats are merely a greater group than both North Carolina A&T or Chicago State.
It is the kind of nonconference problem the Illini want. Ohio claimed the highest spot amongst Illinois’ competitors this week after Wright State needed to pull out due to COVID-19 points. Which is a bummer. Illini-Raiders was going to be the matchup of the week.
Now it is Illini-Bobcats, and it ought to no less than be extra aggressive basketball than the final two days. Ohio went 17-15 final season and completed fifth in its division within the MAC. This yr? The Bobcats had been picked to complete second total within the MAC behind Bowling Inexperienced and bought level guard Jason Preston on the preseason All-MAC First Group.
Preston’s legit. He is the most effective participant the Illini will face this week. The 6-foot-4, 187-pound guard clearly has first rate measurement, he is lengthy and Illinois coach Brad Underwood referred to as him deceivingly athletic.
There’s additionally this. Preston averaged 16.8 factors, 7.4 assists and 6.4 rebounds final season as a veritable triple-double menace at any second. Know who else averaged no less than 16 factors, seven assists and 6 rebounds final yr in all of Division I school hoops? No person.