After nearly a week-long layoff following the first Big Ten victory of the year for the Fighting Illini, the State Farm Center came alive as the Orange and Blue crushed the life out of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the best installment of #Illinutgers yet.
But there are implications that reach much farther than just this one game.
This is the kind of game where, under previous coaches, Illinois might have had a massive letdown. Instead, it was their best Big Ten game in years. This suggests that the coach is actually a net positive to the team, which is a novel concept in the post-Groce era.
I know, I know, it’s just Rutgers. But this is a Rutgers team that had knocked off Seton Hall, crushed Iowa, defeated Wisconsin and game Michigan State all they could handle on the road, while Illinois was in last place in the Big Ten.
With a lot of inexperience and a new system, it was going to take some time to click. But now? OH, IT’S CLICKED. YOU SEE THAT? When the shooting was decent, the Fighting Illini scored at will and racked up points and pushed the lead out to 43 in the second half. Freshman Trent Frazier made 5 of 6 three point attempts in the first half, but was only one of five Illini in double figures. How’d that happen?
THIS SPREAD OFFENSE IS SPREADING THE BALL AROUND, AND IT’S ABOUT TO SPREAD PAIN ALL OVER THE FOOTPRINT OF THE CONFERENCE. Oh sure, you’ll see it coming when Purdue throws skyscrapers at you and Michigan State dunks over you from the three point line but you’ll have NO IDEA how Illinois ran you out of the gym. TIDAL WAVE OF POINTS OFF TURNOVERS INCOMING. BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES.
YOUR SHIELDS CAN’T REPEL HUSTLE OF THAT MAGNITUDE.
This two game winning streak is going to last the rest of the year all the way through the Big Ten Tournament, where Purdue will feel silly allowing such a small lineup to slice and dice their way to triple digits. Who knows when it’ll stop? Everyone but Mark Alstork returns next year, so it’s VERY SAFE TO SAY JOHN WOODEN IS LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER AS FAR AS TITLE STREAKS ARE CONCERNED.
SURE, GET YOUR CUTE LITTLE DUNKS IN WHILE YOU CAN, BECAUSE NEXT TIME YOU’RE NOT GONNA BEAT THE PRESSURE AND WE’RE GONNA JUST TAKE IT AND SCORE LIKE THE CPU IN A GAME OF NBA JAM THAT IT’S LOSING WITH UNDER A MINUTE TO GO.
WE STOCKED UP ON LOSSES IN JANUARY AND DECEMBER, SO WE’RE GOOD TO GO FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS OR SO. EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS CONFERENCE NEEDS TO JUST DO THEIR BEST TO WEATHER THE STORM THAT IS THE BRAD UNDERWOOD ERA. DON’T WORRY, IT CAN’T LAST FOREVER.
OH WAIT A SECOND, YES IT CAN. HE’S JUST THAT GOOD.
THIS HAS BEEN BELLIGERENT THUMPASAURUS. THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT.