Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Indiana at Illinois

1. I was one of those "glass half empty" guys who really expected us to lose this game, and so I wasn't at all surprised by the outcome. This game just had "loss" written all over it. At some point Indiana's hot shooting was going to cool off (YIKES), B10 road games are always tough, you know Illinois really wanted this game, no team (Sampson-coached teams included) can play a whole season without some off-nights, AND this team is not the kind of team that can have off-nights and still expect to win. My response to this loss is basically a shrug.

2. I think Bruce Weber is a good coach. He's not a great recruiter, obviously, but he's a good coach. However, now that Mike Davis is gone, I think he clearly now holds the league title for "more annoying sideline demeanor". He's just embarrassing out there. It's almost uncomfortable watching him... it's like watching Star Search when some awful singer is belting out a tune, and they are obviously the only one that doesn't realize how bad they are. In the grand scheme of things, this isn't important, but someone needs to sit Weber down and show him some game tape and have a frank conversation with him about representing Illinois.

3. Part of the reason it is difficult to win on the road in the B10 is that home teams get the calls. Indiana gets the calls in Bloomington. Our opponents get the calls when we're on the road. It's something that the team simply has to deal with if they want to win on the road. It's part of being a mentally tough team. In particular, I think DJ needs to get better at shrugging off the bad calls. I think after he got called for a foul on that block in the first half, the officiating got in his head a little bit. It's just college basketball. Complaining about officiating on the road is like complaining about the sun rising in the east.

4. That said, I would very much like to see the home team vs road team discrepancy when Illinois plays in Bloomington match the 20 to 9 personal foul and 20 to 6 free throw discrepancy that we saw last night.

5. We continue to struggle to find 3 "bigs" that we can count on. We have one big we can count on. We need three. I think Stemler has to be one of those 3. C'mon Lance, we need you.

6. Does anyone know when Ratliff is expected to get his cast off?

7. Indiana scored 18 points in 7 1/2 minutes. Then we scored 19 points in the next 32 minutes. Wow. We shot 8-32 FGs (25%) during that stretch.

8. I'm very happy that our next two games are at home.

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