Good, Bad and Ugly: Illinois
THE GOOD (HEY, WE HAD TO LIST SOMETHING, RIGHT?):
Nick Williams. That pretty much sums it up. On a day when the Hoosiers came out with far less fight than needed to win in a hostile environment, Williams was the guy who tried to keep it respectable early. He scored 10 points in the first 13 minutes before disappearing until the 7:00 mark in the second half.
IU won the rebounding battle 35-23, but Illinois hardly missed so there weren’t many boards to corral.
THE BAD AND UGLY:
The injury to Devan Dumes. The one player Indiana can ill-afford to lose didn’t start the game (reportedly after he missed the team bus to Assembly Hall) and played just two minutes before injuring his right ankle. Dumes had to be carried off the floor by Tijan Jobe and Steven Gambles and returned to the bench during the second half on crutches. For all of his faults, Dumes is the one Indiana player that can create his shot consistently, even if he is streaky. Not. Good.
The lack of intensity. In a start that looked eerily similar to the Kentucky game last month, Indiana fell behind 21-2 and never matched the energy of Illinois. Perhaps it was a hangover from the Michigan debacle or maybe Illinois is just that much better than the Hoosiers, but it was discouraging nonetheless.
The turnovers are back. After cutting down on the turnovers the previous three games against Lipscomb (13), Iowa (11) and Michigan (16), Indiana was once again sloppy with the ball, coughing it up 18 times.
Defending the 3-pointer. Illinois hit 13 from behind the arc including seven from Trent Meacham and three by Dominique Keller, who had only hit four all season going into the game. Most of the looks were of the “nobody within four feet of the shooter” variety.