Thursday, December 3, 2009

Anything is Possible

That's what Dominique Keller said after the Illini's comeback win over Clemson.  Copyright infringement on KG if I have ever heard it. 
It has been a roller coaster of emotion for the Illini fans this season and in that game. 
First the promising blow-out wins to open the season.  Then the Las Vegas debacle.  Now the tale of two halves win against Clemson. 
I just have a couple thoughts on the game. 

First things first, the technical on Weber was unconscionable.  He drops his clipboard and draws a T?  Really???  You know it is a horrible call when the official doesn't explain it to the coach, and instead goes to the other end of the court.

Dominique Keller makes a lot of poor decisions on the basketball court.  He makes a bad turnover then makes it worse by making an intentional foul on the breakaway. 
The call was questionable, Keller made it obvious that he wasn't going for the ball, but the player was never in danger and it was a very routine play.  It is a letter of the law versus the spirit of the law type thing.  Yes, technically it was an "intentional foul", but it was not dirty or even a very hard foul.  There a lot of fouls that could be called intentional, like at the end of the game, as the Great Jimmy Dykes pointed out, Brandon Paul got wrapped up.  The officials were never going to make the intentional call there even though it was just as intentional as the foul that Keller made. 
Getting back to my original point, DK is an adventure on the court, and takes a lot of bad shots.  Maybe Semrau needs to play more, or even Griffey, because right now you can't trust Keller in an important game.

Weber said that even though D-Mac only scored 2 points, it may have been 'his best game ever'.  This is not true, but McCamey did play well even though he was burdened with 4 fouls (3 of which were horrible calls) most of the game.  His +/- for the game must have been +45, the Illini were so much better with him on the court.  Going forward, he needs to be a scorer for this team, but last night, he did what he could.

More on Jimmy Dykes, I'm going to make a WWJDD bracelet to remind myself what to on a daily basis.  Just so anytime an important decision comes up, I will be reminded of what Jimmy would do, and I'll give the ball to Booker in the low-post. 
Not only did Oliver Purnell get out-coached by Bruce Weber, he got out-coached by Jimmy Dykes.  You know, that thing that you did on offense that created the huge lead, the ground-breaking idea of passing the ball to your best player.  Somehow this all escaped Oli.

Apperently Mike Tisdale is clutch.  The second half was as well as he as ever played in his life.  Down the stretch, his pump-fake and drive to the basket was completely unexpected.  Then he comes up with the huge block to seal the game.  He also had 8 boards, which has to be a career high, at least a career high of important rebounds.  Davis was great the entire game, but Tisdale was the best player on the court in the second half. 

The freshman combo of DJ and Paul is special.  That is the only way to put it.  They each made a ton of plays to put the Illini in a position to win it.  DJ is shooting 56% from 3 this year.  That's a good percentage.  It's hard not to be extemely excited when you see Paul dunking on people and blocking shots off the top of the backboard.  He's like a combination of Kendall Gill, Luther Head, D-Wade, and Jesus.

It was a great win for Illinois, and it was great to be a part of the first ever Big Ten win in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.  Now we only need to win about 9 more challenges to get to .500

I was so excited after the game and I had to keep watching basketball so I watched the Duke-Wisconsin game.  It was like watching a game from the '50s.  There were only two black players in the entire game.
Wisconsin is composed of Travon Hughes, and a bunch of Joe Krabbenhoft-lookin' guys.  Duke just looks like a slightly larger version of Glenbrook North.
Duke's only good player is Singler.  Their talent is not what is used to be.  Maybe the years of having most of the country hate them and the policy of only recuiting one black (Grant Hill-type) player per year has finally caught up with them.
The game was very entertaining, but almost as entertaining was Brett Musberger and Bob Knight's game of 'Who has a more severe case of Dementia'.  Seriously, ESPN should never put these guys together again.  At least one member of the broadcast team should have some vague idea of the game situation.  There was a point in the final moments where Wisconsin was up by two, with the second free-throw on the way and about 5 seconds on the clock, and Bob was questioning whether the Wisconsin player should miss the free-throw on purpose or not (I have no idea what Bob thought the score was, but he wasn't correct).  Then Brett countered by asking if "today was Thursday or Friday".  Bob said that it was Thursday (incorrect), because Friday is his grandaughter's birthday (who he hates).   Brett fired back that Jon Scheyer reminds him of his 8-year old nephew.  Then they both took a nap, and Bob muttered racial slurs under his breath as he snored.

Okay, so some of that was a lie, I'll let you figure out which part.


  1. First Illini game I've seen this season, and I only watched the last five minutes of the game. But I suspect it will be the best five minutes of the year. For those of you who do not have TV, like me, I discovered ESPN360. I had heard of it before, but I had no idea what it was. It is basically free ESPN streamed online. I love it. It never broke up on me. I felt like I was watching TV. Now, I have yet another reason to wish the Illini were better. If they were, ESPN would broadcast more games, and I could watch them.

  2. Nice post Nate... WWJDD??? he would get a white board at half-time draw up some classy plays and somehow parlay that into a succesfull broadcasting career.

    Jesus looks good with the faux-hawk

  3. Well said. I really have only one thing to add.

    Mike Davis. He hit everything (9 of 11 from the field, 4 of 4 from the line). And they weren't easy shots. When he's really invested in a game (like last year's Clemson game), he's hard to stop. He needs to get more shots. And more weight. Help him out, Jerrance.


[Valid Atom 1.0]