Location: Champaign, IL
Nickname: Fightin Illini
Chief Illiniwek They got rid of Chief Illiniwek in 2007
Shirt not to wear: Orange, Blue
Last time out: Lost to Notre Dame
Typical Rotation Depth: 9+
Line: Nebraska by 4
Tempo: Fast paced
Defense: West Vriginia-esque pressrue
Player to watch: Trent Frazier
The dynamic sophomore has picked up where he left off last year and is the team's leading scorer, shooting 39.7% from 3
Player to watch: Giorgi Bezhanishvili
The 6'9" freshman is a ball of emotion and seems exactly like the type of player Brad Underwood wants at the 5. Excels at rebounding on both ends and has nice shooting touch at the rim though is foul prone.
KenPom Helps explain the Roster
- 5 star Dosunmu has cooled off but is a threat to score 20 any given night
- Aaron Jordan is a 3pt threat, shooting 40% on high volume
- Da"Monte Williams has really been struggling to score
- 6'6" Kipper Nichols is a inconsistent highlight reel dunker who slots in at the 4
- Andres Feliz is a juco transfer originally committed to USF out of HS. The 6'2" guard has started a couple of games
- Suspended during the Nebraska game, 6'7" Fr Tevian Jones has scored in double digits the last two games
- 7' Grad Transfer Adonis De La Rosa and 7' Frosh Samba Kane play sparingly
The Skinny: Illinois is a 6 win team you don't want to play because of their non-standard attacking style and frenzied pace that one might use to erase a deficit. Keeping the Illini off the offensive glass will be a challenge as well as not turning the ball over. What will help this struggling offense though is the number of easy buckets the aggressive Illinois defense gives up. The Illini also don't have a 4 of significant size so the loss of Copeland won't be a drastic on defense.
If you look at the career of Glynn Watson vs Illlini, Nebraska has gone as he has. We'll see if that holds true today.
Prediction: Nebraska 72 - Illinois 68