Dunk, after dunk after dunk…After dunk after dunk after dunk. I’m going to have nightmares of Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan dunking the ball on the Illinois lackluster defense tonight.

Tonight Illinois(12-7, 2-4) played a basketball game. They lost by a lot to Purdue(15-4,4-2). After leading for 23 seconds of this game, Illinois then proceeded to give up 91 points in a 91-68 loss.

The Illini struggled in everything, EVERYTHING. no offense, absolutely no defense, and it looked like they just didn’t want to be a part of this defeat. Purdue manhandled them for 40 straight minutes, and it was tough to watch. The game was already a double-digit deficit before halfway through the first half, and somehow the halftime deficit was only 14. Fear not, though, as Illinois would allow the lead to balloon to 24 points within the first 8 minutes of the second half, as Purdue closed the game down in dominating fashion.

The Purdue big men did work. Caleb Swanigan and Issac Haas did what they were supposed to do to the Illinois interior defenders: Make them look silly on their way to a convincing home win.

Player Notes:

Tracy- four points on 1-6 shooting, missed all of his three’s. Now 1 of his last 19 in three-point attempts.

Te’jon- Career-high 10 points on 3-5 shooting. Definitely showed his lack of experience on the defensive end again, picking up a few quick fouls, and ending up with four. With time he will learn how to defend his man better, but in the mean time, I’ll take his passing and PG abilities even if it comes with the defensive struggles.

Finke- The 6’10” forward’s only abilities (and maybe in the last few games) are his abilities to splash a Fink3 or two. Hit two of them today.

Big Men- Mav was able to score 15, Thorne 4, Kipper 1. These guys let Swanigan (24 points, 6 rebounds) and Haas (22 points, 10 rebounds), pound the ball inside possession after possession and it was frustrating to watch. Don’t get me wrong, the big men for Purdue are some of the best in the nation, and Swanigan is going to be making some big bucks in the NBA pretty soon, so it’s expected he score some points. But a non-stop barrage of down low play can’t be the standard, even if it’s against the best center in the Big Ten.

What I loved: The game was on BTN, not ESPN, so this beatdown wasn’t shown on national TV, luckily. Illinois only had 3 turnovers.

What I hated: Didn’t feel a sense of urgency when Illinois went down early. Didn’t make a ton of adjustments and let Purdue keep Purdueing the things that allowed them to win in such a dominant fashion. Is it because of coaching? Lack of effort? Lack of talent? All of the above and something else? You tell me.

Overall: This game marks yet another B1G road loss, another B1G road blowout and another loss under the regime of John Gordon Groce. What does that mean in terms of how many blowout losses he’s been a part of in his time in Champaign?

Yikes. What about our past Illini head coaches? Surely they’ve had their woes with a blowout every once in a while too, right?

Ok fine. But what about legendary Illini head coach Lou Henson. It wasn’t always smooth sailing for him, right Bret?


What’s Next: Illinois travels to Ann Arbor to play Michigan (12-6, 2-3)this Saturday at 1:15 PM. Illinois beat the Wolverines by a score of 85-69 last Wednesday.



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