Phew!: IU escapes at home against the Illini

  • 01/13/2008 7:29 pm in

pruitt.jpgWell, this one certainly didn’t go as planned. The Illini did what they do best — that is, they defended the hell out of IU — and nearly handed the Hoosiers their first loss at home under Kelvin Sampson. Fortunately, IU was able to stop the Illini on their last crucial position of the game and Armon Bassett was fouled and hit two free throws to seal the deal for IU, 62-58.

Simply put: the Illini took IU out of their game all afternoon. The combination of Calvin Brock and Brian Randle frustrated Eric Gordon — he scored 17 for the afternoon, thanks to his penchant for getting to the line — and the Illini double-teamed D.J. White all game, setting up errant passes and futile possessions. If the Illini could actually make free throws, this game could have had a different outcome, that’s for sure. They were 13-21 for the game.

As was maybe to be expected, there was some verbal jarring back and forth between the squads. Once in the first half, Shaun Pruitt and DeAndre Thomas got into a bit of a tussle on the floor. In the second half, Randle and Jamarcus Ellis were jawing at each other across the lane during free throw attempts.

This certainly wasn’t the prettiest win, or an EJ assault on the Illini or a very comforting game as a fan — one particularly grinding thing: Illinois didn’t score a field goal for nearly ten minutes in the second half and IU only manged to gain a five-point advantage during that frame — but hey, it’s a win. And that’s all that really matters. IU is now 3-0 in the Big Ten and tied for first with Wisconsin. The Hoosiers are 14-1 overall.

Get ready for the rematch Feb. 7. It’s gonna be a doozy.

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  • b-side

    R, really displeased with Jamarcus’ inability to keep his composure. He picked up a silly foul playing post defense on Randle after all that jawing at the free throw line. Sampson had to take him out because he was too fired up. I appreciate that he isn’t backing down from a challenge, but as an upperclassmen, Ellis must display some leadership on such a young team.

  • b-side

    R, really displeased with Jamarcus’ inability to keep his composure. He picked up a silly foul playing post defense on Randle after all that jawing at the free throw line. Sampson had to take him out because he was too fired up. I appreciate that he isn’t backing down from a challenge, but as an upperclassmen, Ellis must display some leadership on such a young team.

  • Mark

    Better work on our composure and play as a team. Illinois had a good game plan and played solid D to keep them in the game. Other teams will learn from that, so I hope we can fix that. I am happy Sampson yanked Ellis as it was the right thing to do down the stretch. We need to worry about what we are doing and not play into the opponent’s hand and lose our composure. I think part of our problem was winning the first two on the road. We may have been a little over confident by winning two on the road and took a win at home for granted against a team that has yet to win a Big 10 game. We should have put them away late in the second half, but our first two possessions after the under 4 timeout, we held them, but didn’t score. The Barn will be tough to get a W this week. Regroup and let’s get the Gopher’s and welcome Tubby to the Big 10 the right way!

  • Mark

    Better work on our composure and play as a team. Illinois had a good game plan and played solid D to keep them in the game. Other teams will learn from that, so I hope we can fix that. I am happy Sampson yanked Ellis as it was the right thing to do down the stretch. We need to worry about what we are doing and not play into the opponent’s hand and lose our composure. I think part of our problem was winning the first two on the road. We may have been a little over confident by winning two on the road and took a win at home for granted against a team that has yet to win a Big 10 game. We should have put them away late in the second half, but our first two possessions after the under 4 timeout, we held them, but didn’t score. The Barn will be tough to get a W this week. Regroup and let’s get the Gopher’s and welcome Tubby to the Big 10 the right way!

  • Ollie Skrivanie

    Game clearly proved Weber is a better coach than Sampson. Especially considering the talent level at Illinois. Game showed that we are just a good team without Bassett. Crawford cannot handle ball and takes poor shots. What peeves me the most are the Big 10 ads about sportmanship before , during and after the game–Weber’s handshake if you can call it that was just another example of poor sportmanship on his part. OTS

  • Ollie Skrivanie

    Game clearly proved Weber is a better coach than Sampson. Especially considering the talent level at Illinois. Game showed that we are just a good team without Bassett. Crawford cannot handle ball and takes poor shots. What peeves me the most are the Big 10 ads about sportmanship before , during and after the game–Weber’s handshake if you can call it that was just another example of poor sportmanship on his part. OTS

  • PMK

    Weber needs to move on and quit acting like an idiot during postgame. Sampson and Weber’s assistants all engaged in what I would consider friendly and appreciative conversations about the effort showed by the Illini. It’s too bad Bruce and Sean Pruitt left the court before exchanging pleasantries between players as every other game participant did.

    I thought Sampson blew it by not taking Ellis out of the game when he was clearly rattled and looking to get involved with Randle. Sampson or someone on his staff needs to see that and get him out of the game, just take a seat for a possession and come back, no harm done. Ellis is an idiot for the foul, but Sampson needs to snuff out situations like that and get him on the bench.

  • PMK

    Weber needs to move on and quit acting like an idiot during postgame. Sampson and Weber’s assistants all engaged in what I would consider friendly and appreciative conversations about the effort showed by the Illini. It’s too bad Bruce and Sean Pruitt left the court before exchanging pleasantries between players as every other game participant did.

    I thought Sampson blew it by not taking Ellis out of the game when he was clearly rattled and looking to get involved with Randle. Sampson or someone on his staff needs to see that and get him out of the game, just take a seat for a possession and come back, no harm done. Ellis is an idiot for the foul, but Sampson needs to snuff out situations like that and get him on the bench.

  • kelin

    PMK…they did take Ellis out when all of that went down….

    My obersavations…..
    1. Great atmosphere and the crowd was a little easier on Bruce Whiner. Not a ton of “we got gordon chants” but nevertheless why kick a man when is down.

    2. When will we be able to play Deandre? He can’t play against athletic post, DJ stays out of foul trouble, I just don’t know when will it be his type of game…

    3. Armon makes this team go…PERIOD

    4. Go EZ on Jordan cause without him and his ballhandling we would lose a lot of games…think about this…you don’t want EJ at the point, and you don’t want jamarcus there the entire game…if he can give us decent minutes like he is until armon is healthy, I will live with the 30ft jimmy’s…..

    5. For those of you who have not been to a game, there are plenty of guys, scalpers and non scalpers out there selling ticks…I may give it a shot for PU

    6. IU must have had pre game with the Colts cause both teams came out flat…it just cost the Colts more.

    7. I commend EJ’s Parents/Family for raising him like they have. This type of game could have become “I am going to show you bruce weber” like we all wanted but the kid said “I will treat it, like all the other games” and NOW I TRULY believe him. He stayed within the “offense” (whatever that means for IU) and he didn’t force too much. One other thing I noticed about EJ, for someone who gets a lot of fouls called his way…he seems to never have committed a foul..at least according to him.

    8. Great camera work at the game…go ahead a put it on a 9 year old with an Anti Sampson T-shirt then quickly move away…..nice.

    9. Finally, DJ is a “MAN”………

    10. Finally #2…I am sure Illini fans are even more geared up for us when we go up there, if we win it would be great but a loss up there wouldn’t surprise me one bit…Illinois should give the ball to Pruitt every time down, he has a nice game and a nice jump hook I wish DJ had….

  • kelin

    PMK…they did take Ellis out when all of that went down….

    My obersavations…..
    1. Great atmosphere and the crowd was a little easier on Bruce Whiner. Not a ton of “we got gordon chants” but nevertheless why kick a man when is down.

    2. When will we be able to play Deandre? He can’t play against athletic post, DJ stays out of foul trouble, I just don’t know when will it be his type of game…

    3. Armon makes this team go…PERIOD

    4. Go EZ on Jordan cause without him and his ballhandling we would lose a lot of games…think about this…you don’t want EJ at the point, and you don’t want jamarcus there the entire game…if he can give us decent minutes like he is until armon is healthy, I will live with the 30ft jimmy’s…..

    5. For those of you who have not been to a game, there are plenty of guys, scalpers and non scalpers out there selling ticks…I may give it a shot for PU

    6. IU must have had pre game with the Colts cause both teams came out flat…it just cost the Colts more.

    7. I commend EJ’s Parents/Family for raising him like they have. This type of game could have become “I am going to show you bruce weber” like we all wanted but the kid said “I will treat it, like all the other games” and NOW I TRULY believe him. He stayed within the “offense” (whatever that means for IU) and he didn’t force too much. One other thing I noticed about EJ, for someone who gets a lot of fouls called his way…he seems to never have committed a foul..at least according to him.

    8. Great camera work at the game…go ahead a put it on a 9 year old with an Anti Sampson T-shirt then quickly move away…..nice.

    9. Finally, DJ is a “MAN”………

    10. Finally #2…I am sure Illini fans are even more geared up for us when we go up there, if we win it would be great but a loss up there wouldn’t surprise me one bit…Illinois should give the ball to Pruitt every time down, he has a nice game and a nice jump hook I wish DJ had….

  • Brad

    Ollie, you clearly are drunk. Seriously though, “Game clearly proved Weber is a better coach than Sampson. Especially considering the talent level at Illinois.” One game doesn’t prove anything and in case you didn’t notice…IU won. Is the Tennessee State coach better than Webber? He must be since they beat Illinois. Is Lickliter a better coach than Izzo just b/c Iowa beat MSU? No. It’s one game.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but that is just a dumb statement.

  • Brad

    Ollie, you clearly are drunk. Seriously though, “Game clearly proved Weber is a better coach than Sampson. Especially considering the talent level at Illinois.” One game doesn’t prove anything and in case you didn’t notice…IU won. Is the Tennessee State coach better than Webber? He must be since they beat Illinois. Is Lickliter a better coach than Izzo just b/c Iowa beat MSU? No. It’s one game.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but that is just a dumb statement.

  • Jimmy

    Hey Ollie……….WHAT???? Iowa just beat Michigan State. Does that mean Lickliter is clearly a better coach than Tom Izzo? No, it doesn’t. Its the Big Ten. Games are tough. We won.

  • Jimmy

    Hey Ollie……….WHAT???? Iowa just beat Michigan State. Does that mean Lickliter is clearly a better coach than Tom Izzo? No, it doesn’t. Its the Big Ten. Games are tough. We won.

  • Anonymous

    According to Sampson, “the Big Ten has no outstanding teams.” The two we have barley beaten were two of the worst in the Big Ten, so what does that say about IU?

    I fear that the IU Basketball Team is not as great as many IU fans think. If we can barley beat not very good teams what will happen when we play MSU or Wisconsin?

  • tberry

    According to Sampson, “the Big Ten has no outstanding teams.” The two we have barley beaten were two of the worst in the Big Ten, so what does that say about IU?

    I fear that the IU Basketball Team is not as great as many IU fans think. If we can barley beat not very good teams what will happen when we play MSU or Wisconsin?

  • Brad

    Honestly, what is wrong with you people? “I fear that the IU Basketball Team is not as great as many IU fans think. If we can barley beat not very good teams what will happen when we play MSU or Wisconsin?” MSU just lost to Iowa, who was 7-9 before the win. What makes you think we couldn’t beat a team that only managed 36 points? I understand we didn’t play well, but we won and are now 13-1. All teams have bad games…it’s the good teams that are able to scratch those wins.

  • Brad

    Honestly, what is wrong with you people? “I fear that the IU Basketball Team is not as great as many IU fans think. If we can barley beat not very good teams what will happen when we play MSU or Wisconsin?” MSU just lost to Iowa, who was 7-9 before the win. What makes you think we couldn’t beat a team that only managed 36 points? I understand we didn’t play well, but we won and are now 13-1. All teams have bad games…it’s the good teams that are able to scratch those wins.

  • T

    Illinois reminds me of the 90’s Knicks. They play brutal, boarderline dirty defense that takes most teams out of their games. Sadly for the Illini, they’re not as talented as those Knick teams and struggle to actually win most games.

    They made IU play their style of game, but the Hoosiers were able to pull out the victory, in large part because White and Gordon were the two best players on the court, which will be the case the majority of the year.

  • T

    Illinois reminds me of the 90’s Knicks. They play brutal, boarderline dirty defense that takes most teams out of their games. Sadly for the Illini, they’re not as talented as those Knick teams and struggle to actually win most games.

    They made IU play their style of game, but the Hoosiers were able to pull out the victory, in large part because White and Gordon were the two best players on the court, which will be the case the majority of the year.

  • PMK

    Kelin I was referring to the fact that Ellis was not taken out before he went down on the other end and committed a dumb foul giving Illinois two foul shots as they were in the bonus.

  • PMK

    Kelin I was referring to the fact that Ellis was not taken out before he went down on the other end and committed a dumb foul giving Illinois two foul shots as they were in the bonus.

  • Togs

    14 – 1

  • Togs

    14 – 1

  • Stephen

    You know what…WE WON THE GAME. Let’s not forget that. IU teams in years past would have found a way to blow this one, or not even regain enough composure to take the lead back. As fans, I think too many of us were geared up for this game and wanted it to be a blow out. But the fact is that the Big Ten is very competitive. Sampson is right…there are no great teams. On any given night, any team can come away the winner.

  • Stephen

    You know what…WE WON THE GAME. Let’s not forget that. IU teams in years past would have found a way to blow this one, or not even regain enough composure to take the lead back. As fans, I think too many of us were geared up for this game and wanted it to be a blow out. But the fact is that the Big Ten is very competitive. Sampson is right…there are no great teams. On any given night, any team can come away the winner.

  • Ollie Skrivanie

    Brad and Jimmy: Illinois plays tough defense every game. Illinois is very limited offensively. Sampson did not make player adjustments in this game and IU’s defense is about a 4 on Illinois’ 10 defense!! Sampson should have gone to a 2-3 zone as Matta did and completely shut down Pruit and Randle. Illinois perimeter shooting is sporadic. It is not going to beat you. By golly I think it is time for a gin and tonic!!! When Weber’s future recruits come in-Richmond, Richards, Head, et al you may change your mind. Weber’s lack of class and sportmanship(not shaking hands with IU players and the “wet fish” with Sampson) is a reflection on the University of Illinois. Ollie

  • Ollie Skrivanie

    Brad and Jimmy: Illinois plays tough defense every game. Illinois is very limited offensively. Sampson did not make player adjustments in this game and IU’s defense is about a 4 on Illinois’ 10 defense!! Sampson should have gone to a 2-3 zone as Matta did and completely shut down Pruit and Randle. Illinois perimeter shooting is sporadic. It is not going to beat you. By golly I think it is time for a gin and tonic!!! When Weber’s future recruits come in-Richmond, Richards, Head, et al you may change your mind. Weber’s lack of class and sportmanship(not shaking hands with IU players and the “wet fish” with Sampson) is a reflection on the University of Illinois. Ollie

  • Schultz

    If Illinois is a 10 on defense, they are a -46 on offense. Meachem is a starter and he would be the 4th or 5th guy off the bench for IU. They can play suffocating defense all they want, but they aren’t going to be able to beat any Tournament-caliber teams if they can’t score. If this team even had a C-minus offense, they would be a 4-6 seed and near the top of the conference.

  • Schultz

    If Illinois is a 10 on defense, they are a -46 on offense. Meachem is a starter and he would be the 4th or 5th guy off the bench for IU. They can play suffocating defense all they want, but they aren’t going to be able to beat any Tournament-caliber teams if they can’t score. If this team even had a C-minus offense, they would be a 4-6 seed and near the top of the conference.

  • Stephen

    Yeah but Meachem nails big threes. He killed us a couple of times as we tried to pull away. I knew he’d hit some big shots. Illinois was without Frazier, too. If the Hoosiers want to win at THE OTHER Assembly Hall, Sampson better get this team playing better basketball.

    Hopefully AJ keeps improving his shot. His wingspan on defense if very helpful to this team. With Bassett healthy, Ratliff shooting better, and Gordon..we have a lot of solid perimeter shooters when they double on DJ. I’d almost like to see the lineup with Bassett, Gordon, Ratliff, Ellis, and White when matchups allow.

    We have a tough game at Minnesota coming up that concerns me as well.

  • Stephen

    Yeah but Meachem nails big threes. He killed us a couple of times as we tried to pull away. I knew he’d hit some big shots. Illinois was without Frazier, too. If the Hoosiers want to win at THE OTHER Assembly Hall, Sampson better get this team playing better basketball.

    Hopefully AJ keeps improving his shot. His wingspan on defense if very helpful to this team. With Bassett healthy, Ratliff shooting better, and Gordon..we have a lot of solid perimeter shooters when they double on DJ. I’d almost like to see the lineup with Bassett, Gordon, Ratliff, Ellis, and White when matchups allow.

    We have a tough game at Minnesota coming up that concerns me as well.