Saturday, January 29, 2011

Deron Please Teach Us

Is Illinois the same school that produced the Utah Jazz's Deron Williams. Especially early on in the season, the Jazz were becoming known for their astonishing second half double-digit comebacks to win games against quality teams like the Magic and Heat, even on the road. D-Will leads that kind of winning team. The curious part about this situation is, though, that Deron's alma mater, the University of Illinois, is becoming known for not being able to finish ball games. This year's Illini have quite a bit of talent and a healthy mix of young and experienced players. However, the immaturity is all that is shining through, and brightly. Of their seven losses, six could have been W's had the game ended about midway through the second half. In other words, Illinois held the lead during the 2nd half in every game except at Wisconsin. These guys fold when ahead more often than most teams. They are about as reliable as Demetri McCamey. Take a look at each loss.

Texas - Illinois held a two point lead with 2:27 left on the clock. The Illini scored two points for the rest of the game, and it went to overtime. In OT, we surrendered 15 while scoring 9. Granted, Texas is a talented team, but our guys had their opportunities late in the game.

UIC - The Illini were up by six with five minutes to go and looked as if they would blow open a big lead like they should against the Flames. Instead, they were outscored 13-3 for the rest of the way. Included in that stretch were a couple blown chances within the final minute to at least send the game to overtime.

Mizzou - Against another high-quality opponent, Illinois led by three points with 4:05 to play. The Tigers scored 20 in those last four minutes while we garnered seven.

Penn St - Illinois scored two points in the final four minutes of regulation.

Wisconsin - The Badgers hit us up for 49 points in the second half!

Ohio State - Myers Leonard and the gang were looking confident starting off the final twenty minutes. They even held an eight point lead with less than thirteen minutes to play. However, they could not make any type of basket again for five more minutes as they watched the number one team in the land take over the game in Champaign.

Indiana - Bruce Weber's team was up by three with 2:46 remaining, but they did not score the rest of the game.

So taking out the Missouri, Wisconsin, and Buckeyes losses, Illinois scored a combined total of 7 points in 14 minutes of play to close out four different games. Wow! Deron please get to Champaign ASAP and teach your boys how to finish like you did in the Elite Eight.

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