Illini basketball shows split personality in narrow NCAA victory over Colorado


This Illini basketball game was a microcosm of the entire season! In Illinois 57-49 victory over Colorado, it was like the Michigan State, Indiana games etc. all over again. This Illini basketball tourney game in which Illinois was a #7 and the Buffaloes a #10 was quite reminiscent of a 2007 NCAA Tournament game when the Illini blew a double digit lead to VaTech. The Illini ended up losing that #12 vs #5 match-up 54-52. How come the 12s-over-5s rule didn’t work for Illini basketball that time?

Illinois attempted 30 shots in the first half, 16 of them 3-pointers. They only committed three turnovers, shot 43% field goal, 38% from three and found themselves up 37-21 at half. Rather impressive offense, but I had premonitions of what was to come. This is what Illini basketball scored in their past four games: 64, 51, 55, 55. And obviously today 57.

So what happened in the second half?

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Does Former Illini Star Dee Brown have a Future Coaching Basketball? (Videos)

He’s one of the most iconic players in recent college basketball history, and the face of Illini basketball for half a decade. Dee Brown, an All-American, and winner of the 2006 Cousy Award (given to the nation’s best point guard) was the cover boy for SI’s 2005 March Madness issue. During that Final Four run, his “poppin your collar” move became a national trend. He didn’t invent; he just brought it back and made it huge.

As accomplished a college basketball player as Brown was, his NBA career is a microscopic footnote as best. He did score 10 points once in a Utah Jazz 2007 playoff game alongside his Illinois running mate Deron Williams, but that was pretty much it. He’s a fine overseas player, and he’ll continue contributing in those leagues for awhile, but what coaching after it’s all said and done?

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Deron Williams Spectacular Dunk in Alumni Game (Video)

deron williams nets

Last night the New Jersey Nets Deron Williams played basketball in front of a crowd for the first time since a wrist injury shut him down ot end the season. After the jump check out this bounce pass dunk to himself (this is soon to be a YouTube sensation) that got the air conditioningless arena rocking.

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Nets Deron Williams Takes to the Basketball Court Again

deron williams turkey

In this summer of the NBA lockout, college basketball alumni games are more exciting than ever. We need to get our Basketball Jones somewhere.

And tonight we could find it in Champaign-Urbana as former Illinois Fighting Illini point guards Deron Williams and Demetri McCamey squared off against each other in the UI alumni game. Both are heading to Turkey for the 2011-2012 season and could go head-to-head against each other in the Central Asia later this year.

But tonight was about the alma mater, and Williams (11 points, game high 8 rebounds, game high 8 assists) impressed the Assembly Hall crowd with his drives to the whole, sweet passing, and most impressively: a bounce pass dunk to himself (this is soon to be a YouTube sensation) that got the air conditioningless arena rocking.

“You like that?” Williams asked the media after the all-star game.

Loved it.

“Thanks man. It was on the fly,” he continued. It was improvised, not planned.

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Former Illini Point Guards Deron Williams and Demetri McCamey Heading to Turkey

deron williams turkey

One might be the first domino to fall in what could be a massive exodus of players heading overseas during the NBA lockout.  The other was just looking for a chance to play professionally after not being selected in last month’s NBA Draft.  Regardless of the circumstances, former Illinois Fighting Illini point guards Deron Williams and Demetri McCamey are heading to Turkey for the 2011-2012 season and could go head-to-head against each other.

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Illini Stop Slide, Smack Sparty


It was all about BP3.

Maybe not all. There was a lot of Jereme Richmond thrown in.

But for one night…it was Brandon Paul’s world, and we were just living in it. [Read more…]

Illini Whip Northwestern; Wildcats in 0-3 in Big Ten

Last year’s game was A BIT closer than this. When the Illinois Fighting Illini took on their rival Northwestern Wildcats for the first time in 2010, the annual meeting in Champaign resulted in an exciting and very high-scoring overtime thriller in which the Cats took care of the ball astonishingly well, committed very few mistakes, but fell just short.

This battle to be Chicago’s Big Ten team, was quite a different story.

It was long settled by halftime, as the Illini came out shooting fire and smoke like the mid ’90s “NBA Jam Session” arcade game. They made their first six threes, and shot a ridiculous 82% for the half. They also out-rebounded NU in the first twenty minutes 19-5. That added up to 47-24 lead at the break.

Yes, ILL doubled up the NU scoring output already by halftime.

By Paul M. Banks

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Illini Hoops Media Day Notable Quotables (Videos)


Last season, the Illinois Fighting Illini were one of the most schizophrenic teams in the Big Ten, if not the nation.

They beat Michigan State, a Final Four team in an emotional ESPN College Gameday event, and won at Wisconsin’s Kohl Center, where almost no one beats the Badgers. They also had Ohio State, a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament on the ropes in the conference tournament semis before angering/motivating Evan Turner, the man who swept last year’s national player of the year awards, to extinguish their NCAA hopes in double overtime.

I also watched from press row on my birthday as the Illini lost a “play-in game” of sorts at home to Minnesota, and heard them fumble away early season games to Utah and Bradley on a neutral court.

So this year it’s all about finding consistency and finding a true identity. Especially since expectations are bubbling up in Champaign. They have a loaded senior class in place, a talented sophomore class, and highly nationally ranked incoming freshmen.

If they learn to defend better, it could be a special year.

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When Young Jordans Go To Vegas, It Doesn’t Stay in Vegas

At some point, you would think their father would educate them in the ways of how to deal with the media. Hasn’t happened yet.

Michael Jordan’s sons, Jeffrey (a former University of Illinois basketball player) and Marcus, are proving to perhaps be a little bit more of the spoiled, legacy children than any of us thought after spending a few wild days in Las Vegas, accompanying their father to his fantasy camp there. [Read more…]

Illinois’ Jeff Jordan Problem Didn’t End With His Transfer

jeff jordan

When young Jeffrey Jordan decided to transfer from the University of Illinois, it seemed as though that was the end of the strange saga of the oldest son of the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan.

Not even close. Not even close by a damn sight. [Read more…]

Jeffrey Jordan to Transfer From Illinois

With his decision to transfer from the University of Illinois, the enigma that is the oldest offspring of one Michael Jeffrey Jordan continues to evolve.

The junior, who is entering his last year of eligibility for college basketball has two choices — ending his collegiate basketball career or transferring to a Division II or III school where he can play immediately (Division I would require Jordan to sit out one season and lose a year of eligibility which would end his career). [Read more…]

Illini to play in 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

illinois basketball

New York City will host Illini, joined in field by Pittsburgh, Texas and Maryland

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