Friday evening was every little thing a high 25 matchup within the Huge Ten must be. The All-American candidates performed prefer it — Ayo Dosunmu outshining Luka Garza this time — and each groups confirmed off they’re not one-man groups. The Illini backcourt duo of Dosunmu and Trent Frazier proved to be an actual distinction maker.
What it means
Illinois hadn’t taken benefit of its marquee video games earlier than Friday evening. There have been loads of probabilities in opposition to fellow high 25 opponents, however the outcomes had been usually the identical. Loss to Baylor. Loss to Rutgers. Loss to Ohio State. The fourth time was apparently the allure, because the Illini secured their second high 10 win of the yr. Duke nonetheless counts, sort of.
Not a 10-day hole in between video games. (Fingers crossed. Each finger crossed. Cross your toes for good measure). It’s only a three-day break this time, with Illinois again in motion Tuesday for its rematch with Indiana. The tipoff in Bloomington, Ind., has been bumped to eight p.m., however the recreation will get some nationwide consideration on both ESPN or ESPN2.
What was stated
“We’ve all the time believed in ourselves, however it’s all the time good to get a win within the Huge Ten. Any time you’ll be able to beat a high 10 crew, that’s all the time one thing you may be pleased with. We’re hungry. We’re excited to be out right here wholesome and taking part in.” — Illinois junior guard Ayo Dosunmu after beating No. 7 Iowa
Participant of the sport
Illinois guard Trent Frazier
Two days after being left off the Naismith Defensive Participant of the 12 months midseason watch listing — one thing he clearly thought-about a snub — Trent Frazier went off on the offensive finish of the court docket as a substitute. The Illinois senior scored a season-high 24 factors, pulling down 4 of 9 three-pointers within the course of. Did Ayo Dosunmu rating extra factors? Sure, by one. However Frazier proving he generally is a professional scoring choice was a big flip
Have been there a pair defensive missteps from Illinois guards not named Dosunmu or Frazier? Certain. Even a pair from that duo when it got here to leaving Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp open on the three-point line. Did Dosumu and Frazier do sufficient offensively to make up for it? You wager. The Illini are robust to cease at that finish of the court docket when freshman yr Frazier meets potential All-American Dosunmu.
Whoever had Jacob Grandison being the distinction maker within the Illini frontcourt in Huge Ten rivalry recreation Bingo was the winner Friday evening. Grandison didn’t do something he hasn’t all season. Rebounds and hustle performs. He simply managed to show it right into a double-double wth 11 factors and 10 rebounds, whereas Giorgi Bezhanshvili and Kofi Cockburn had some struggles in opposition to Iowa heart Luka Garza.
Bezhanishvili truly managed to decelerate Garza within the first half, bothering the Iowa massive man into an uncharacteristic variety of missed pictures. However Bezhanshvili was too aggressive offensively at occasions and dedicated foolish fouls. The Illini bench obtained bailed out as a gaggle, although, by freshman guard Andre Curbelo, who dropped a game-high eight assists to go together with eight factors and 4 rebounds.
The variety of signature wins on Illinois’ ledger is fairly slim for a crew that’s been ranked all season and performs in one of the best convention within the nation. The Duke win counted within the second, however much less so now. Taking down seventh-ranked Iowa definitely does. Now and by the tip of the season. The Illini nonetheless path Michigan within the Huge Ten standings — everybody does — however they’re now tied for second with Wisconsin.
Scott Richey is a reporter masking school basketball at The Information-Gazette. His e mail is email@example.com, and you’ll comply with him on Twitter (@srrichey).