Lewis Exhibition Hoops Report

This report of the squeaker Illini win over Lewis University from Friday provided by my brother.  Lightly edited for content and sanity.  Sounds like Coach has some work to do to meet expectations for this much-anticipated Illinois basketball squad.

It didn’t take long (obviously) to see who the starters were……drum roll……the same as last year.  All four Sr.’s, DMac, Tiz, Onion Rings (Mike D), Cole and DJ.  That lasted about 4 minutes before Bruce began his torrid exchange of more atheletic than Lewis, stronger than Lewis, faster than Lewis, overall better than Lewis substitutions.  We here at Rubesville……er I mean Beemsville have stated that one of Coach Weber’s toughest jobs this year will be to find minutes for all 11 guys.  The Rube came away from this exhibition still wondering how you get enough minutes for 11 guys in a 40 minute game.  We’ll see how the staff handles this in the future, but The Rube is a bit worried that there will be an odd man or two out (still not sure who it will be), that may end up transferring due to lack of PT at the end of the season.

On to the clash of the Fighting Jerry’s from Lewis University vs. Illinois.  First subs of the game were (in order) BP3, and JRich. for DJ and Davis.  The team jumped out to a 9-2 advantage with Tiz hitting a 17 foot baseline jumper, DMac hitting the only 3 pointer of the game for the Illini (1-10 on the night as a team) and DJ hitting an acrobatic layup and Davis getting an offensive rebound and a put back.  Cue the madddddd substitutions.  After the aforementioned subs, Griff came in for Cole and Leonard and Bertrand came in for DMac and Tiz.  So if you’re counting about 6 or so minutes into the game we have our 2nd team in, JRich, Bertrand, BP3, Leonard and Griff meaning Head Jr. was the only one not to get some tick in the first 6 minutes of the game (don’t worry that will change).  The Illini promptly lost their lead and went down 15-14.  The offense or lack thereof was frightening.  It basically came down to “pass it in to Griff or JRich” and then hope they can make a play.  Coach Weber has been telling anyone who would listen for the last two weeks or so that they havn’t practiced offense at all this year so far…..and you could tell.  The Rube was very disturbed that even the original starters seemed to be watching a lot on the offensive end, there was little to no continuity and just disorganization.  Coach may want to think about installing a play or two or the basic motion offense this week!  While the 2nd team was in BP3 ran the point, which wasn’t all bad, other than it takes him off the wing and puts him out of position worse than The Rube playing the 5 spot!  Head Jr. came in for Bertrand (who along with the walk on were the only people not to score) and we had our 3 Freshman, Griff and BP3 in the game.  At this point Head Jr. took over PG duties and looked infinately more comfortable than BP3 at that spot.  Plus Luther’s little bro plays tough on the ball defense!  He doesn’t do so well positioning himself when his man doesn’t have the ball, but The Rube will say this…..during our playing days I wouldn’t have been comfortable with Crandall guarding anyone on our team with the ball other than…..well…..The Rube! Continue reading