Ball-You-Man – Nebraska

We didn’t just get a win last week, but we got a win the way we needed a win. An offensive explosion (against a terribad defensive team) that we can only hope reignites the engines between now and March 15th. Next up, a reeling Nebraska squad that might have completely given up hope.

By the numbers

One month ago, Nebraska beat Northwestern at home to get to 5-5 in conference. Since then, they’ve lost six straight. They had a shot against Maryland on the road, but since then they have the look of a team who’s season can’t end soon enough. The great defense that had been their calling card leading up to our last match up has let them down in the B1G (8th in conference per kenpom’s adjusted efficiency), and they’re offense has continued to be dreadful.

Just like last time, the Nebraska offense should be a good matchup for us. They don’t shoot the ball well from deep (27.2% in conference), and they don’t get many offensive rebounds (23.8% offensive rebounding % last in conference). While we don’t do a particularly good job of keeping opponents from scoring inside, their one dimensional nature will allow us to pack it in with man to man as well as liberally sprinkle in zone.

Defensively, Nebraska again represents a good matchup. The Huskers don’t defend the three well (11th in conference 3FG%), and they foul a ton. They foul opponents on nearly 25% of defensive plays.

We’re getting the right team at the right time. Let’s dig deeper into why.

Who are they on offense?

They’re still Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields. Nothing has changed. Both players are bullies who get to the rim, finish well, and (in Shields’ case) complete plays at the line.

The problem continues to be that there is no one else. I know we’ve all been frustrated at times that we’ve got liabilities on offense. Well Nebraska has it far worse.

Tim Miles has emphasized Petteway getting other players involved early in the game. He’s shown leadership by being a willing facilitator. The problem is that unless you’re running a Petteway Shields pick and roll, which never happens for some reason, you get something like this.

[Read more…]

Back & Forth – Iowa

Don’t worry, you faithful 17.  The final FOLD Week post is, in fact, on it’s way.  But first, let’s get to the emails Tyler and I bounced back and forth since the Iowa game.  [Read more…]

Back & Forth – Michigan State

This one hit hard.  Kind of felt like the Minnesota game in 2010.  Late February, at home, right on the bubble, win and it locks up the tourney… but we lose.  We were the First Team Out in 2010, and the way things set up this year it feels like we’ll be right on that line again after this home loss. [Read more…]

Ball-You-Man – Michigan State

Five games left that determine the season. Somehow go 4-1 in those five and we’re flirting with a single digit seed. Go the expected 3-2 and we’re praying on selection Sunday. Anything less and we need a late BTT run to get in. Michigan State at home is the biggest swing game of the bunch. If we win this we’re sitting pretty. If we lose then we’ve got to get a tough road win against either Iowa or Purdue. We’ve had a week off, hopefully Groce has the guys ready I know Michigan State is…

[Read more…]

Ball-You-Man – Michigan

It’s been a pretty great week for Illini fans. We inked our best football class in years, we got a huge win in East Lansing, and we’re set to get back one of the best two way players in the Big Ten #IlliniRising. [Read more…]

Looks Like University Of Illinois – Cameron Watkins

This is so much fun, all these LLUOI posts. YOU get a Cruise and YOU get a Cruise and YOU get four Cruises… [Read more…]

Back & Forth – Penn State

I couldn’t watch the game until Sunday night. So Tyler and I got a late start on this Back & Forth. As such, you’ll only get four emails here. Hmmm…. how to get you to click on “read more”? YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THIS SUBURBAN CHICAGO FORMER ILLINI WALKON HAD TO SAY ABOUT COSBY AND RICE. No? How about “SEVEN TEEN STARS WHO LOOK TOTALLY ALMOST LOST TO PENN STATE”? [Read more…]

Flying Blind

I think I tuned in when Penn State was up 50-48. So I watched a 12-8 basketball game today. In fact, I didn’t even know Rice and Cosby were suspended until a friend texted me looking for some inside scoop (like I’d have inside scoop). So here’s a postgame post (and opinions on Rice/Cosby) from someone who knows nothing and didn’t watch the game. [Read more…]

Ball-You-Man – Penn State

Talk about a much needed week off. We come off a road loss with a week to get everyone right. Cosby may be available, Rice will be a week closer, and Malcolm gets to rest whatever’s slowed him the last few games. [Read more…]


Finishing the very last task of anything is a strange feeling for me.  We’ve been working on a home renovation project – Teenage Boys No Longer Live Upstairs At Our Home So Let’s Make It Look Like Inhabitable Space Again – since around October 1. I finished the final task at 12:23 this morning. Four months of work and then this feeling of “wait, that’s it?” [Read more…]