No Breaks

Nov 15, 2023

We'd been on our feet for a while. And we were told when we were hired that we got a short break twice per shift. So all we did was take a quick little break from about the 11 minute mark to the 6 minute mark. And that's all it took for Marquette to put the game away.

I tweeted about it at the time. You could sense it in the air. The crowd really wanted to get back to where they were five minutes before, and they just needed one defensive stop or one offensive anything, and nothing was happening. It's what the great teams do on the road. Five guys in yellow jerseys reached out and held the mouths shut of 15,500 people.

After the game I went back and looked up that run. Here were the Illini offensive possessions during those five minutes:

Before we took our break: Illinois 52, Marquette 50
When we got back from our break: Marquette 58, Illinois 52

The rest of the game was even from there. It was Marquette 13-12 the rest of the way. But we took one little break and the game was over.

And it wasn't just on the offensive end. There was that one series where Marquette missed a three but Justin Harmon (at least I think it was Harmon) grabbed the rebound. He left the ball exposed a little too long and Marquette slapped it away. Sean Jones grabbed it, took a three, and missed (I was breathing a sigh of relief that this turnover didn't immediately lead to three points) but then Marquette's Ben Gold got a hand on that rebound and it went right to Tyler Kolek... who quickly drained the three I had been dreading.

(After that three, Kolek immediately got nose to nose with Terrence Shannon and screamed. It was perhaps twice the taunt of Coleman Hawkins after he dunked on TJD at IU last year and ten times Trent's shush. I don't think I'll ever understand how we're supposed to interpret taunting. Is it just... you know it when you see it? I'm OK if it's never going to be called again but if it is going to be called, wasn't that it?)

In the end, this was a team that has things humming beating a team that is trying to figure out how it all fits together. Two years ago, when we lost at Marquette (when Kofi was suspended), it was the opposite. We were supposed to be the team that had everything humming (and we didn't, crumbling late and allowing Marquette to escape with a win). We lost that one, we were then destroyed by Cincinnati in Kansas City, and a season that started out so promising was completely off the rails by Thanksgiving.

This season's start doesn't feel like that. This start just feels like we don't know how to put everything together for 40 minutes yet. That's disappointing, but it's fine.

Just, like... no more breaks.

+ I do want to note that I think Marquette is Final Four good. I've watched Kansas and Marquette up close this year and if they were playing on a neutral court tomorrow, give me Marquette. Three of those guys probably play in the NBA. And they really know what they're doing in Shaka's system.

I'm not sure they have anyone who can guard a true big, so maybe I shouldn't be saying that Marquette would beat Kansas. But to play that big guy, their opponents are probably scrambling on the defensive end to keep up, so they're going to create a lot of matchup problems. Ighodaro is so bouncy and so quick (his six offensive rebounds were massive in this game) that it's hard to defend him or keep him off the boards with any true big.

That's a good team right there. I'm jealous.

+ Let's check in on Threes & Frees.

Three Pointers: 11-33 (33.3%)
Free Throws: 11-13 (84.6%)

OK, so pretty good in the free throw department (Shannon was 6-6, Domask was 3-3, and then Harmon and Goode were both 1-2). Threes felt much better than 33%, but that's probably because the main guys were making them. Goode was 4-7, Domask was 3-7, and Shannon was 3-8. Those three combined to go 10-22. Everyone else combined to go 1-11 (1-5 for Hawkins, 0-2 from Guerrier, 0-3 from DGL, and 0-1 from Harmon).

That's all fairly... encouraging? Play a good team and get to 33% and 86%. Gonna need to see a "41% from three as a team against Valpo and Southern" though before I start feeling good about our shooting from deep.

+ Quincy Guerrier had 10 boards and 0 points. When's the last time you saw that? A.. single double with rebounds.

That's not a shot at Quincy. He only took three shots (two were corner threes that he missed). I'm just saying that it's rare for someone to get to double digits on rebounds without scoring a single point.

+ If I was picking a star of the game I'd go with Domask. If we get that Marcus Domask every game then we can win a lot of Big Ten games.

Speaking of the Big Ten, uh, {pokes Big Ten with stick} you awake?

Marquette 71, Illinois 64
Duke 74, Michigan State 65
Creighton 92, Iowa 84
Providence 72, Wisconsin 59

Maybe we will win a lot of Big Ten games. And then get a 7-seed.

+ One last thing. I've gone back and forth about saying anything but I've decided to say it. I need to address a Krush thing from last night.

Twice (two times) a Krush member waited until the players were walking past the scorers table to... yell at our players for poor performances. Once was a Krush member behind me to the right, once was a Krush member behind me to the left. The second time, I very clearly heard what was yelled at Coleman Hawkins from a Krush member in the front row when Coleman passed by in front of him: "Coleman! You're getting f**cking COOKED out there, dude."

Yeah, that ain't it. Full stop. I understand that it's a massive group and these insults came from only two individuals, but waiting for a quiet moment as our players are walking past the scorers table to tell them about their poor performance? That ain't it. Your seats are on top of the action for noise purposes, not so your close enough to let an Illini player know that you think he's playing a shitty game.

And that's all I have to say about that.


Hoppy on November 15, 2023 @ 08:31 PM

Bravo on the Krush thing. It doesn’t matter how frustrated you are, it’s unconditional fab support while in those seats.

Piss and moan after the game, but for those 40 minutes of clock you better be the loudest and most supportive group our players have ever seen.

BAD look by those Krush members.

Hoppy on November 15, 2023 @ 08:32 PM

Fan* support

nmartin4 on November 16, 2023 @ 12:22 AM

Regarding Guerrier's 10 rebounds with zero points, it certainly is rare, but not unheard of. Since the '79-'80 season:

  • 2 instances of double-digit rebounds and 3 points scored
  • Aaron Jordan in a home win over Northwestern in 2019 had a single 3 pointer go down on 1-6 shooting to go with 10 rebounds
  • Cheser Frazier in 2006 had 3 points on 0-2 shooting and 3-4 FTs along with 11 rebounds (a 6 assists) in a home win over Belmont
  • 5 instances of only scoring 2 points with double digit rebounds
  • Da'Monte Williams had 2 points on 0-2 shooting (2-2 FTs) in the above mentioned loss against Cincinnati in Kansas City in 2021 with 10 rebounds
  • Nnanna Egwu had 2 points on 1-4 shooting in a 2015 road loss to Nebraska to go with 10 rebounds, in a game that ended with a score of 53-43 (yikes)
  • Jereme Richmond had 12 rebounds and 2 points on 1-7 shooting in the infamous loss to UIC and Robo Kreps at the United Center in 2011
  • Mike Davis in 2010 shot 1-2 and had 11 rebounds in a road win over Indiana. The Illini entered halftime down 13 and ended up winning by 6. Davis ended his career with 29 double-doubles, the second most since 1979 only behind Kofi's 45.
  • Chester Frazier, in a 2008 home win over Eastern Michigan had 11 rebounds and shot 1-2
  • Only 1 instance of double digit rebounds to go along with 1 point
  • In 2000 Sergio McClain had 10 rebounds and 1 point (0-8 shooting from the field and 1-2 from the free throw line) in the home overtime win over Seton Hall in a matchup of two Top 10 teams
  • In addition to Guerrier's game Tuesday evening, there have been 4 other times an Illini player had double digit rebounds with 0 points.
  • Da'Monte Williams actually did it the last time we played Marquette, in 2021. He had 11 rebounds and 0 points on 0-2 shooting
  • Chester Frazier had 13 rebounds and 0 points on 0-2 shooting in a road loss to Wisconsin in 2009
  • Chester Frazier in a 2007 road loss to Indiana (pre Eric Gordon chest bump) had 10 rebounds and 0 points shooting 0-5 and 0-3 from the free throw line.
  • Fess Hawkins had 0 points on 0-1 shooting and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes in a 1998 win against #14 Clemson (67-50) in a game played in Greenville, SC.

Lots of Damonte and Chester in this list, 2 players who were certainly offensively challenged but could battle for rebounds when needed. Chester ended up with 2 career double-doubles, but both were of the Points/Assists variety. Both actually happened in a span of 4 games in 2006 at the beginning of his sophomore season against Florida A&M (13&10) and Bradley (10&11). Damonte ended his career with 2 double-doubles of the more traditional Points/Rebounds type. Both occured in the Covid 2020/2021 season when for a few months he was a better shooter. He had 11 & 10 against Ohio and 12 & 10 against Purdue

nmartin4 on November 16, 2023 @ 12:24 AM

Wow, this was formatted way better while I was drafting it. Sorry about the word spaghetti.

Robert on November 16, 2023 @ 10:31 AM

Great stuff! Thanks for researching.

nmartin4 on November 16, 2023 @ 11:35 AM

Thought it was a weird coincidence it happened in the last Marquette game too

nmartin4 on November 16, 2023 @ 12:31 AM

There's actually been 3 other examples of a single-double with 0 points and double digit assists.

  1. 1981 - Freshman Derek Harper in a road win at Purdue had 12 assists and 0 points on 0-1 shooting before fouling out in 34 minutes

  2. 1996 - Senior Richard Keene had 0 points and 10 assists in a home win over Northwestern in only 23 minutes

  3. 2006 - Chester Fraizer (again) had 0 points and 11 assists in a home win over IUPUI

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