2011-12 Illini Have Competitive Advantage over ’10-’11 Version


It’s rather ironic when you think about it. Last year’s Illini basketball team entered the year with exceedingly high expectations; the theme was last dance for a talented senior trio. This year’s team entered with zero expectations. The theme was rebuilding and re-establishing. Yet, if it were somehow possible to get the two teams to play each other I’d pick this year’s squad every single time.

For argument sake, the game would have to be with a cloned subset of the players who were on both teams, I mean 2011 Meyers Leonard would be on the roster of last year’s team and 2012 Meyers Leonard would be on this year’s team.

And I still think last year’s squad had more overall talent; but this year’s squad has much more heart and the ability to handle both success and failure.

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#22 Illini Escape St. Bonnies 48-43; Season Uglier than 9-0 Record


It would be fair to say that last year’s Illini basketball team might have lost a game like last night. After all, the 2010-11 Illinois team lost to lowly UIC in a de facto home game at the United Center while being ranked #12.

And they failed to win back-to-backs from mid-January on. You could say they didn’t handle success very well. The 2011-12 Illini might have a similar problem; yet they somehow won a game “like this.”

And by “like this” I mean the UIC loss last year, or the 38-33 defeat to Penn State in 2009.
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