The Real Illini Hole on Defense

Posted: February 17, 2006 in Big Ten, College Basketball, Sports

After all of those Daily Illini posts, it’s time to get back to another serious matter: the state of the University of Illinois basketball team.  It felt good to snap that 2 game mini-losing streak, even if it was beating up on Big Ten sacrificial lamb Northwestern.  This puts us back into position to grab a share of the Big Ten title since we still have one more date with league leader Iowa.

The disturbing thing for me over these last three games, however, is that our defense has broken down in one specific instance: our opponents’ fluky jump shooters keep having career days against us.  Look at Travis Parker from Penn State (4 of 5 from 3-point range and 21 points), Je’Kel Foster from Ohio State (6 of 8 from 3-point range and 18 points), and Vince Scott from Northwestern (3 of 3 from 3-point range and 11 points).  As my wife noted, Scott kept hitting ridiculous shots yet had so little athleticism that his feet didn’t even leave the ground while shooting.  As I’ve said before, not locking down on 3-point shooters is the way to get bounced early from the NCAA Tournament by a lesser team.

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