Illinois 85, Michigan 69

Submitted by Ace on January 11th, 2017 at 11:26 PM

Kipper Nichols entered tonight's game with season totals of two field goals and two offensive rebounds in 18 minutes played.

Against Michigan, the Illinois freshman scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and pulled down five offensive boards, one more than the Wolverines had as a team. Center Maverick Morgan, who averages 9.4 points per game, had 12 at halftime. At that point, the Illini were 20-for-32 from the field and had rebounded half of their missed shots; Michigan was shooting 64% and losing by 13. The second half played out in similar fashion, with Illinois stretching the lead out to 20 on four separate occasions before easing up late.

I've found the questioning of John Beilein's job security to be somewhere between reactionary and absurd for much of this season. With the defense looking unfixable even after the offseason hire of Billy Donlon, however, it's time to at least bring up the discussion, one that will only grow louder if the team continues to resemble the one that sleepwalked through tonight's game. It's a shocking development for a coach who resurrected the program, made a national title game, and won his second Big Ten title only three years ago. Beilein's offensive prowess is unquestionable; his recruiting and defensive coaching may lead to a change sooner than anyone could've reasonably expected not so long ago.


Ronnie Kaye

January 11th, 2017 at 11:29 PM ^

FINALLY Ace isn't dismissing the calls for his head. Good!

Watch coward Brian continue to pretend like the basketball team doesn't exist now. He sure posted about them a lot when things were going well! Bandwagon fuck.


January 11th, 2017 at 11:38 PM ^

Sounds perfect to me. I can't believe I am wanting to change coaches so soon after being so close to winning it all but the defense and recruiting are really just not acceptable. He hit it huge on 1 class that built the program but after that has not been able to get near enough talent to compete in the big ten where all the fans and university want to be.

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January 11th, 2017 at 11:33 PM ^

If we miss the Tournament this year and next year then I think it's time.

This is one of our most winningest coaches even counting the first transition season. Don't want to pull a Glenn Mason.


January 12th, 2017 at 1:11 AM ^

had us favored in this game whereas kenpom's ratings didn't.  Soooo, his ratings were more accurate than the human experts.

I've never seen a team seemingly get dramatically worse each game without major injuries or anything.  We played like a legitimate top 10 team at MSG.  The humans apparently still think that team might be there somewhere, and the stats certainly account for it.


January 11th, 2017 at 11:35 PM ^

Hoping that changing assistants can help rejuviate parts of the game that have been poor, much less discipline than before, but without the program recruiting itself to have a 2006-style season (where we lost to the only 2 good teams we played)


January 11th, 2017 at 11:38 PM ^


Tue., Jan. 17

  atWisconsin Wisconsin * Madison, Wis. 9:00 p.m. ESPN
Sat., Jan. 21 vs.Illinois Illinois * Crisler Center 2:15 p.m. BTN
Thu., Jan. 26 vs.Indiana Indiana * Crisler Center 9:00 p.m. ESPN
Sun., Jan. 29 atMichigan State Michigan State * East Lansing, Mich. 1:00 p.m. CBS
Sat., Feb. 4 vs.Ohio State Ohio State * Crisler Center 6:00 p.m. ESPN2
Tue., Feb. 7 vs.Michigan State Michigan State * Crisler Center 9:00 p.m. ESPN/2
Sun., Feb. 12 atIndiana Indiana * Bloomington, Ind. 1:00 p.m. CBS
Thu., Feb. 16 vs.Wisconsin Wisconsin * Crisler Center 7:00 p.m. ESPN/2



January 12th, 2017 at 9:15 AM ^

does not get touches where he can operate.  There is no such thing as a "post feed" in this offense.  I think that Wagner could be quite effective with headfakes, scoops and turnarounds on either post but, shrug, such novel concepts do not exist in this offense.


January 12th, 2017 at 9:46 AM ^

I don't mind how he's used.  He's got a solid perimeter game and can put the ball on the floor.  

Our problems aren't really on the offensive end, even if we don't have a real point guard.  We're losing these games because we simply can't get defensive stops.


January 12th, 2017 at 10:56 AM ^

with you to a point, but we cannot get stops primarily because we don't have any rim protectors.  And we don't have any rim protectors because we don't have any real bigs, and we don't have any real bigs because real bigs don't want to play in Beilein's offensive system because the offense does not play to their strengths.  What we have going right now is a systemic problem.  When you get a couple of generational college talents like Burke and Sauce, it did not become apparent right away.  However, at this point, I think the issues are as much a systemic problems on both sides of the ball as opposed to the failure ot specific players to develop.


January 12th, 2017 at 8:35 PM ^

in the country at defensive efficiency and last in the big ten.  Which is down significantly since he's been getting more time: he's a major culprit on that end of the floor.  And that's what's so frustrating.  He is a good to great offensive player but a miserable defender and rebounder (he's a worse defensive rebounder than Irvin and Walton!!! c'mon man) despite having all the physical tools to be very good.

Everyone around here only talks about scoring and shooting because those are easy stats to cite. Defense and rebounding are things too.


A Lot of Milk

January 11th, 2017 at 11:46 PM ^

I think he earned next year before a change is made. He's been saddled with Irvin and Walton for four years now. Bringing in Livers and Poole with a core of Wilson and Mo next year will be a big change to the program and sometimes all a basketball team needs is to change out old long time starters with new ones. If we look the same, then next year is the last year