Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chief is on Fire (Illinois over Purdue)

Tell me another team on the country that is closing 2008 playing better basketball? Answer, there isn't one. First, we whacked, and I mean whacked Mizzou in a tourney setting under the arch. We followed that HUGE win up by defending the home turf against a very gamey Eastern Michigan club. And tonight, on the Deuce, in front of the world, we scrapped, we crawled, we battled, and defended our way to a monster resume-building victory over #11 Purdue in Mackey Arena (on Keady Court) in West LaFayette. All - in balls -out huge! 13-1 on the young season (1-0 in the mighty BIG-10 with five in the TOP-25).

To be totally unbiased, we take so much pride in our defense it's not funny. I honestly don't think there's a better (intensity) defensive squad in the nation. We take each point we give up personally. It hurts. We hate to see it. But don't trust me, look at the figures - each team we play has its worst offensive output of the season. No exceptions! This team has the soul, the spirit, the cajones of its head coach, Bruce Weber.

For those of you unfamilar with BIG-10 arenas, Mackey Arena is as hostile a home environment as they come. They hate us. We hate them. And it only gets worse from there. Trust me, I've been there it's a miserable place to be a road team. It's a snake pit, a hornest nest, a gladiator's den. The Boilers play hard each time out for Coach Painter. If you enjoy old-school, hard-nosed, physical basketball, where every possession matters, then this was your game. At times it wasn't pretty, but it was always intense. And if you plan to go deep in March, you have to execute efficiently in the half-court game and play stout defense.

With 10 minutes to go in the game, the Tribe only had 4 turnovers (averaging 14 / game). Thank you Chester Frazier. Frazier and Meachem are senior difference makers that 99% of teams only wish they had. We went 16 minutes spanning two halves between #4 and #5. We had 21 assists on our 30 field goals and committed just six total turnovers on the night. What a way to open BIG-10 play in 2008/9, on the road.
  • Tisdale continues to impress me: another 18 points tonight.
  • We ended Purdue's 16-game home winning streak with tonight's win (39-4 since 2006).
  • Purdue was just 15-27 from the charity stripe, 38% from the field.
  • And with the W (# seven in a row), we're the first BIG-10 club to thirteen victories (13-1).

web site counters
ISP unique hits since Aug. 2k6

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?