This is the Illinois that we all expected to see this season.
The Illini, who are currently ranked No. 12 in the country, fell to 1-3 in Big Ten play on Saturday afternoon after losing at Wisconsin. It’s not the fact that Illinois lost that is troubling; it’s how they did it.
Wisconsin jumped out to leads of 14-0 and 31-7, eventually pushing their advantage to 26 points late in the first half. It was as bad as the score — 74-51 when it was all said and done — indicates.
For the second straight game, Illinois couldn’t hit a shot from beyond the arc. On Wednesday, Illinois was 3-for-24 from three in an 84-67 loss to Minnesota at home. On Saturday, the Illini were just 2-for-14 from deep. For a team that relies on the three as heavily as Illinois does, those shooting numbers simply aren’t going to result in many wins.
Brandon Paul was 1-for-11 from the floor. He’s shooting just 25% from the field in the last two games and, with the exception of the win over Ohio State, has been very underwhelming ever since his 36 points performance against Gonzaga.
We looked at how Purdue defended Paul in their win over the Illini in the Big Ten opener. Have teams figured out that stopping Paul means beating Illinois?
Virginia guard London Perrantes will miss Tuesday night’s game against Ohio State after having an appendectomy on Sunday (Nov. 29).
In a release from the school, it isn’t known if Perrantes will be able to play on Saturday against William & Mary.
The point guard was averaging 10 points, 5.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game this season. Without an experienced guard like Perrantes in the lineup, Virginia could see their better-looking offense slow down a bit. Malcolm Brogdon will probably carry more of the burden on offense and it will be interesting to see who head coach Tony Bennett asks to step up in place of Perrantes.
Purdue senior guard Rapheal Davis will likely miss his second consecutive game on Tuesday night as he recovers from a sprained MCL that he suffered in practice last week.
The Boilermakers travel to unbeaten Pitt tonight to play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Purdue associate SID Chris Forman said on Twitter that Davis is doubtful and couldn’t make it through practice the last few days.
While it will hurt Purdue to be without the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Davis is apart of a pretty deep Purdue team that should still be very competitive without him. The senior also missed Purdue’s win over Lehigh on Saturday and it’s probably best to make sure he’s healthy for the Big Ten conference season as the Boilers have big aspirations.