Illini vs. Buckeyes: Battle to be tied with Michigan St.


By Paul M. Banks and Paul Schmidt

Welcome to the Ass. Hall everyone!!  We’re approaching tipoff, but a quick note to say that today’s game is brought to you by Hoopeston High School in Hoopeston, IL.  That’s right, the Hoopeston Cornjerkers, alma mater OF …. Ohio State Buckeye head coach, Thad Matta!

Yes you heard me, Thad Matta is a Cornjerker!

Player Intros: Interesting, stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Sherri Shepard, from The View.  Nice of her to take time out of her busy schedule. (PS)

Tipoff: I guess that Bruce Weber’s “Letter to The Fans” that appeared in the Daily Illini fell on deaf ears…even though it is a 12 noon start here, it’s a nationally televised game — Gus Johnson is in the house, people!! — and Ass. Hall is probably only 3/4ths full.  Hopefully it’ll fill up, but it’s a disappointing crowd for a team about to fight for first place in the Big Ten…(PS)

Illinois 4, Ohio State 4, 16:55 left 1H: Slow start to the first half for both teams. Illinois is really playing some nice defense early, and on offense is having serious trouble with the Ohio State 1-3-1 zone. It’s tenacious, and difficult to dribble-penetrate on, and really requires two things — 1) a good shooting day, and 2) GREAT ball movement.  Passes have to be crisp and fast. (PS)

Ohio State 11, Illinois 6 14:50 left 1H: Good LORD…I hate John Diebler. (PS)

Ohio State 21, Illinois 10 11:22 left 1H: I’m not happy with the Illini’s motion early on, and for that matter, neither is Bruce.  The Illini look frenetic in their pace on offense, and things just look a little bit off on defense. The Buckeyes are CONSTANTLY getting open looks from the outside and they are hitting ALL of them…(PS)

Ohio State 21, Illinois 12 10:21 left 1H: Right now, on top of the fact the Illini aren’t getting good looks, they are cold. I can’t fathom that they will shoot this poorly all game long, so I would expect a turn here pretty quickly. We better actually get a turn quickly, or the Illini are going to get run out of their own gym. (PS)

Ohio State 27, Illinois 12, 7:22 left 1H: Ohio State shooting 64 percent from the field, Illinois hitting just 30 percent.  This is almost out of hand. (PS)

Ohio State 30, Illinois 12 7:10 left 1H: And a damned John Diebler 3 makes it out of hand.  Shoot me now. (PS)

Ohio State 31, Illinois 14 4:49 left 1H: The continued need to dribble penetrate against a zone that makes dribble penetration very difficult is REALLY killing this team…(PS)

Ohio State 36, Illinois 16, 3:21 left 1H: Now the Illini are refusing to get back on defense and yielded an easy dunk from David Lighty after two straight great defensive plays.  This is really ugly. (PS)

Ohio State 36, Illinois 20, 1:01 left 1H: The Illini are at 28 percent from the field, Ohio State at 50 percent. And that’s how you trail by 16 points at home in a nationally televised game. (PS)

Best Facebook Doppelganger I’ve heard yet! Ohio State’s Jon Diebler who every Illini fan will curse the name of worse than Matt Sylvester before this day is over. The dude from Smile Politely, a Champaign Urbana entertainment webzine told us “doesn’t Diebler look exactly like a grown up version of the “Virgin Surgeon” from that 90s movie “Kids?”

I was like yes, Tully, or Sully or whatever that guy is who had THE MOST ANNOYING accent of any movie character ever.

We looked him up on IMDB- “Telly” the de-virginator was played by Leo Fitzpatrick, who has many more impressive acting credits than you might initially think: Law and Order, The Wire (PMB)

Ohio State 36, Illinois 20, HALFTIME: Hard to even be upset about the way this one has gone.  You can’t rally if you aren’t hitting shots.  Even as the Buckeyes cooled off, the Illini continued to abuse the rims. Still, as our brother in arms, Hail To The Orange says, to be down only 16 seems like a victory. Ick. (PS)

Ohio state 36, Illinois 20, start of second half: If the Illini were just cold, sure, this wouldn’t be awful. But they aren’t attacking the zone the way they should be and that’s been the cause of all of their problems. Should the Illini come back, they HAVE to get better looks on offense.

Is this game a must win for the Illini though?  Yeah, it still is important. They needed to win out at home, and this win would have nearly made them a lock for the NCAA’s.  However, it still isn’t the end of the world with a loss.  A loss this ugly, however, is a different story. (PS)

Ohio State 39, Illinois 22 17:52 left 2H: And for all of the things for the Illini to do, they come out a little bit lackadazical.  With little to no time to waste.  Where is the urgency, boys???  (PS)

Ohio State 39, Illinois 26, 15:48 left 2H: There’s the spirit and energy we were looking for…and they still only cut 4 points off of the lead. Illinois is just going to be cold from the field today — it doesn’t appear that there will be any turning back there. To get back into the game they’ll need to use their defense to pick up the offense — by generating turnovers, either unforced errors or steals. Unfortunately for the Illini, that isn’t something they have been the most consistent at this season. (PS)

Ohio State 41, Illinois 26, 15:00 left 2H: And yet the Illini still are attempting difficult three point shots…(PS)

Ohio State 46, Illinois 29, 13:05 left 2H: John Diebler KEEPS HITTING THREES!!!  SOMEONE PUNCH HIM IN THE MOUTH!!! (PS)

Ohio State 49, Illinois 34 11:35 left 2H: Demetri McCamey just hit his first field goal of the game…(PS)

Ohio State 49, Illinois 34, 11:15 left 2H: Some interesting facts here…

Brandon Paul hit a three a couple of game minutes ago, giving Illinois just their second three of the game (Dom Keller hit their first), and he RAISED the Illini 3 point percentage to 13 percent.  That’s not something that you want to hear.

McCamey’s field goal came after 28:25 of game play. Again, not the Illini game plan.

The Illini have raised their overall shooting percentage to almost 32 percent (31.9% from the field).

You know, in case you were wondering why they were losing by 15…(PS)

Ohio State 60, Illinois 38, 8:42 left 2H: This one’s ov-ah! clapclapclapclapclap.

The Buckeyes are shooting 10-of-18 from three point range, and 52.5% for the game. Tough to stop on offense, they are.

However, the Illini failings on offense are completely their own. Their inability to work the zone is leading to poor shots or turnovers almost every time down the court. Yes, some of that is the Buckeyes’ ability to play within that zone, but the fact that the Illini refuse to work the ball around for a good look is absolutely mystifying right now. (PS)

Ohio State 65, Illinois 42 5:59 left 2H: This is a shellaquing of epic proportions now. The Illini don’t even show any sense of urgency to try and score quickly…

Although some breaking news, Ohio State just missed a three pointer!  (PS)

Ohio State 69, Illinois 47, 3:21 left 2H: And the exodus begins. The stadium is in full clearout mode right now…which you hate to see. But I can’t blame everyone.  It’s Valentine’s Day, go do something nice with your sweetheart, have fun.  I’m stuck here, for heaven’s sake…it isn’t like I want to watch it…(PS)

Ohio State 72, Illinois 49, 2:08 left 2H: The Illini have pretty much given up the ghost, but the Buckeyes continue to keep their starters on the court.  Hmmm…(PS)

Ohio State 72, Illinois 53 FINAL: Well that wraps this one up.  We’ll have what will most likely be subdued reactions from the presser as the Illini do some serious damage to their NCAA hopes. A loss is a loss, sure, but you can’t lose by 20 at home, even if the team is ranked.  We’ll see what the team and Bruce Weber has to say about that.  (PS)

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  1. I’m ready to throw up on my shoes…now wait I already have thrown up on my shoes, now I’m ready to throw up on my socks. But at least the Illini showed a lot of balance in the first half- equally terrible on both ends of the court.

  2. It is DEAD in assembly hall right now. dead quiet

  3. His Royal Smoothness has been contained pretty well so far. 1-6 4 pts, akthough he did have 8 boards and 4 assists in the 1st half. it;s just that everyone else has been trouble especially lighty and diebler, who combined for 21

  4. And I have officially thrown up on my shoes

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