Back & Forth – Chattanooga and Chicago State

The first email here was after we lost to Chattanooga to move to 1-3. These spanned three days, enough time for us to barely beat Chicago State. So here’s Tyler and I processing our depression: [Read more…]

What Can You Say?

I reach these moments in a game like this where the outcome is almost inconsequential.  Win or lose, the message has been delivered.  Down 14 with 10 minutes to go against 8-and-24-last-year Chicago State, it almost didn’t matter to me if we came back and won.  My nerves shut off and depression took over. [Read more…]

Back & Forth – Basketball!

As I said in my last post, this was a long week for me. But here and there, Tyler C. and I were able to exchange some emails back and forth about basketball. Here’s the first basketball Back & Forth of the year: [Read more…]

It’s Gonna Be A Bumpy Ride

After North Dakota State splashed another wide open three to open the second half I knew we were going to start 0-4. This game was going the way of North Florida game a few days ago. We get the doors blown off us from three in the first half, the lead balloons early in the second half, and despite a late push we can’t get over the hump. Wednesday we would go to Providence and Kris Dunn would romp for 25+, dropping us to 0-3. Then, feeling deflated, we welcome the Chattanooga Choo-Choos (I think they’re actually called the Mocs, but they’re mascot is an eagle who’s a train conductor). The Choo-Choos (Mocs) downed Georgia in their opener, and knowing nothing about the University of Georgia at Athens basketball program I knew, at this point in the second half against NDSU, they were certainly better than us. A loss to the Chuggin’ Choo Choos (Mighty Mocs) would drop us to an unholy 0-4, cue meltdown.

Except it didn’t go that way. We bounced back behind something that actually resembled organized defense and made some of those “three pointers” folks are always raving about. Now, that doesn’t mean that all’s well. Providence will still be a mighty test given how we’ve played so far, and Chattanooga, like North Florida and NDSU, could bury us with their shooting.

Outside of a 10-15 minute stretch against North Dakota State, our defense has been atrocious. We struggle to pick players up in transition. We also often fail to sprint back.

[Read more…]

I Have Seen The Bottom

Please note that this headline does not read “this is rock bottom”. I learned long ago to stop reaching my toes towards what I’m hoping is the bottom of the pool. I’m simply saying that I’ve now viewed what the bottom looks like. 5,000 quiet fans in a convention center watch the Illini get destroyed by North Florida. [Read more…]

The Kids Are Alright

Editor’s note: As a person who is constantly stressed about having content up on the site for subscribers, this weekend was fantastic.  I had some personal stuff going on, but never fear: Craig covered the football game and now Trevor covered the basketball scrimmage.  And I got to handle my stuff stress-free.  Here’s Trevor’s write-up. [Read more…]

Get Well Soon

Let’s just call this “Make It Stop Part II”. I wrote that post last week talking about the injuries to Abrams, Black, Nunn, and JCL, wondering if this school has the worst injury luck on the planet. On a day when we continue to lose more running backs and tight ends, let’s look at the basketball injuries again. Specifically, one wish: can we just see Groce’s team please? [Read more…]

Make It Stop

It’s impossible to put into context at this point. Every time we try to do that, there’s another injury. All I can say is, from when I became an Illini fan (Rose Bowl/Elite Eight 1984) until now, I cannot remember a moment with more injuries than this day. Football + basketball. Someone make it stop. [Read more…]

Looks Like University Of Illinois – Te’Jon Lucas

First, some housekeeping: now that I’m back from vacation the first order of business is to write the LLUOI for Te’Jon. So the Check The Tape post for this week won’t be up until tomorrow. But that’s OK, because it’s u-g-l-y and has no alibi.  That’s tomorrow, though. Let’s first talk point guards. [Read more…]

Basketball Schedule Thoughts

Robert is a little busy with football stuff these days, so he asked me to take a look at the basketball schedule.  I’ve already been obsessing over it for days, so this was an easy thing to do. [Read more…]