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Iowa MBB vs Illinois Preview/Prediction

Game Info

Illinois (14-8, 6-3) at Iowa (8-14, 2-7)
POMEROY RATINGS: Illinois 56, Iowa 159
RPI: Illinois 79, Iowa 186
Feb. 3, 2010 • 7:36 p.m.
Iowa City, IA • Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500)
TV: BTN (HD) • Live Stats: hawkeyesports.com • Satellite Radio: XM 196
Series Record: Illinois leads 77-66 (Last Meeting, Illinois, 59-42, Jan. 5, 2009)

Probable Starting Lineups

Iowa
G 3 Cully Payne 6-1 190 Fr. 8.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, .365 FG%, .646 FT%
G 5 Matt Gatens 6-5 215 So. 12.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.4 apg, .363 FG%, .851 FT%
G 25 Eric May 6-5 225 Fr. 9.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg, .406 FG%, .679 FT%
F 24 Aaron Fuller 6-6 230 So. 8.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.6 apg, .469 FG%, .667 FT%
C 50 Jarryd Cole 6-7 250 Jr. 8.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, .602 FG%, .625 FT%
Illinois
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Statistical Summary
G 32 Demetri McCamey 6-3 200 Jr. 15.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.1 apg, .483 FG%, .726 FT%
G 3 Brandon Paul 6-4 195 Fr. 8.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, .357 FG%, .696 FT%
G 1 D.J. Richardson 6-3 185 Fr. 11.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, .433 FG%, .780 FT%
F 24 Mike Davis 6-9 220 Jr. 10.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, .477 FG%, .604 FT%
C 54 Mike Tisdale 7-1 235 Jr. 11.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.8 bpg, .573 FG%, .840 FT%

VanLaere Notes

No VLOG for this game.
Live Chat for this game can be found HERE.

If you remember the last time Iowa played Illinois (you probably don’t because you were likely watching the Iowa Football team pound the living crap out of Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl), you’ll likely recall seeing some of the worst D-1 basketball played in a long time.  This goes for both teams – turnovers everywhere, sloppy passing, poor shooting, etc… it was all there.  The last game vs. Michigan notwithstanding, Iowa has been playing some much improved basketball, while Illinois has continued to be consistently inconsistent.

The Orange Krush is going to make an appearance tonight and hopefully the Iowa Student Body can help to counter the three buses they reportedly are bringing.  Iowa Football has Kinnick North up in Minnesota, it would be a shot to the gut to see the Illini turn Carver into Assembly Hall West.

PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR:

McCamey. He’s a gamer who can score and dish with the best in the Big Ten.  He can create his own shot and create shots for others, and he can turn it on at any time.  This will be a tough, tough match-up for Iowa.  Pressure D on him is effective, as he can get very turnover prone.

Richardson.  He’s a much better shooter than I expected.  Currently, he is sitting 2nd in 3P% at just over 45% from behind the arc.  He’s shown that he isn’t immune to freshman mistakes, though.

Tisdale.  Fouls have been a problem for Illinois’ big man, but when he can stay in the game, a lot of good things happen for Illinois.  Iowa has no one who can match up with him from the height standpoint.  Solid D positioning and getting in position for rebounds are so key against him.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

  • Get a good start.  The games that Iowa has struggled out of the gate are the games they have lost (and some were embarrassments, including the last time these teams played).  Furthermore, Iowa is 1-11 when losing at the half, yet they are 7-2 when leading at the break.  The Hawkeyes need a good start to this one.
  • Don’t get into a frenzy.  Due to the sheer athleticism that Illinois brings, they get away with a lot of sloppy plays.  Iowa doesn’t have that luxury.  They’ll need to play at their pace and attack within the offense.
  • Learn how to find the bigs.  Sure, Illinois is big, who cares?  Fuller and Cole have to be active down low in order to avoid the 2 seconds left on the shot clock 30 foot heave from the guards.  At the same time, the perimeter players have to be patient enough with the ball to give the bigs a chance.  There is no excuse why Aaron Fuller shouldn’t get at least 15 FG attempts barring foul trouble.  Illinois defends the perimeter fairly well, so Iowa NEEDS to go inside.
  • Playing time dispensed correctly.  I am not a D-1 college basketball coach.  I don’t claim to be one.  I would love it, though, if we’d see Cole and Fuller combine to get 60 minutes, with Payne logging 34 or 35.

PREDICTION: This will be the third game in a row that Illinois will be playing the bottom of the Big Ten, and to be honest the Illini didn’t look too good in either of their wins over PSU and Indiana.  I like this to be a bounce-back game for the Hawkeyes after a very disappointing performance in Ann Arbor    Iowa 67,  Illinois 65

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