Pentagram Analysis: Illini v. Vandy

A new experiment here in Beemsville for providing those quick easily digestible bits of info you’ve come to expect.  And because we’re all about the analysis and more than a little bit geeky, it shall be designated as Pentagram

Behold- five points to a Pentagram, five points or observations on a particular topic or event! Awesome to the core!  And also filled with multiple levels of metaphorical resonance and mystic overtones…

The Fighting Illini won the game against Vanderbilt, 69-63.  A road game against an SEC opponent.  Vandy is supposed to be down a little from last year – a middle-tier team in their conference – but any road win is a good win for the Orange & Blue.  And now, the Pentagram

  1. This is the D-Mac we’re looking for. McCamey was the best player on the floor.  He controlled long stretches of the game and made a bunch of clutch shots.  He also had 6 assists and 1 turnover.  Let’s hope he can start to see things Coach’s way when it comes to practice.  More importantly, let’s hope he can battle through those nights when his shot isn’t following and avoid the disappearing act we saw last year.
  2. Mike Davis, eat your spinach. Davis was bounced, pushed, and nudged out of his comfort zone by Vandy’s big front line, and he missed a lot of shots.  That’s going to happen; hopefully he can adjust and continue to get stronger.  The good here – he still had a double-double and remained active.
  3. Solid play by Chester and Trent. Barely any turnovers for these two and a variety of clutch shots.  They set a positive tone for this team, and even though both should see their minutes reduced to make way for Alex Legion next month, they have to show up for the Illini to win.
  4. SEC refs bad, but not terrible. A lot of ticky-tack fouls, especially in the second half, but nothing egregious for a road game.  And this crew (despite the presence of Valentine) were not as bad as your typical Big10 crew.
  5. Still too many threes. As has been the case since Coach installed his motion, we tend to shoot a lot of threes.  Last night they fell (at key points), which allowed the Illini to battle out of tough spots and win.  But the team shot poorly from the field overall and needs to find more high-percentage shots.  Feed the post a little more often and more drives to the hoop would be nice.

This is not a point, but a fact: Illinois was 11-11 from the FT line.  This will win you some close games, especially if you can get away from jacking up too many threes and draw more fouls.  Last year’s rim-clanging contingent is gone.  Davis, Tisdale, and Semrau can all shoot.  This facet alone could prove the difference between post-season play and another sub .500 year.


One thought on “Pentagram Analysis: Illini v. Vandy

  1. You should also know that part of our overall subpar shooting was due to Mike Davis being off all together. He was 0-5 before making his first one. I don’t believe that will happen all that much.

    It was nice to see the team pull out a close game. They did indeed make the FT’s, but more importantly didn’t just “stand around” at the end of the game or towards the end and wait for someone to make an individual play. They ran the offense and got good looks. Don’t underestimate the power of 21 offesnive rebounds either, epsecially when you shoot as bad as we did overall.

    Hopefully Legion has learned to play Defense, because we’ll need someone other than D-Mac to be able to create and make shots in case he’s off and disappears (which I believe he will more often than not).

    Last but not least I did like the attitude on the floor of our guys. Especially D-Mac. He was up and even when that damn Ogilvy kid tried to flop and they called it out on Vandy when D-Mac drove in, D-mac stepped over the prone Ogilvy and bumped him at the same time and knocked him back down. Kind of a bit of a mean streak that this team lacked last year.

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