But it is hard to identify what is wrong with this group. During my
years in basketball I have sometimes seen one or two guys go into a
slump. But what we're witnessing with Illinois right now is a
teamwide slump. I really can't tell you one player who is playing
well right now. There is not one guy who can put us on his back and
carry us to a victory.
Oh, for a Deron Williams, a Frankie
Williams or a Brian Cook. But we can't live in the past. I believe
our current players are capable, but collectively they need to rise
up and get it done as a team.
However, even if Illinois head coach John Groce called me (and of
course there is absolutely no reason for him to EVER do that), I
wouldn't have a clue as to what to tell him. Right now we can't buy
a bucket, we don't seem to be trusting our offense, we're not
converting our free throws very well, we're not getting much out of
our post play, and we're not getting many stops on defense. I
wouldn't know what to fix first.
I am just hoping that we'll snap out of it and that we'll snap
out of it soon. I don't know if it'll be Tuesday night in Lincoln,
Neb., or not, but it would sure be nice. At this point, with this
Illini team and with the current lack of momentum, you just don't
know what you're going to get.
[to top of second column]
But here's what I'd like to see. I'd like to see the Illini come
out like they did against Ohio State. Illinois was up on them and in
their kitchen from the opening tip through the handshake line. This
team needs to play like that ALL the time!
You would think at some point that shots are going to drop. Some
night the calls are going to go our way. Some night we will get some
defensive stops. Hopefully that'll be Tuesday night when the Illini
visit the Huskers. I vote for that... Can I get a second?
[By JEFF MAYFIELD]
Respond to the writer at