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Illinois 72 Dartmouth 65: The Worst Game We Never Saw

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Here are some thoughts on a game I didn't see.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Well I have to say I think my decision to not pay money to watch the Illini beat Dartmouth by seven points was the right decision, because I'm too young to die of a heart attack, and watching this team struggle against a damn Ivy League squad would no doubt bring on some stress.

But they won. Even if it wasn't by much. Still, this is exactly what I wrote about in the preview this afternoon, and I mentioned in the power rankings this morning.

Simply put, we're just not a very good basketball team. Now, I'm not saying we're bad or anything, nor am I saying we're performing below expectations, but that 9-1 record we now have is built on some shaky ground, Champaigniacs.

And now we head to a part of the schedule that features two very tough tests in Oregon and Missouri before we get UIC at the United Center. After that it's Indiana and the Big Ten.

If we're playing the same kind of basketball against those teams as we seemed to tonight against Dartmouth, or like the way we played against IPFW, or Valpo, well, we're going to have more than our fair share of losses coming our way.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Other Things

-- Ray Rice led the team with 13 points tonight, which is a bit low for Ray. However, five Illini finished in double-digits, including four starters. Jon Ekey, Nnanna Egwu and Joseph Bertrand all had 11 points while Malcolm Hill had 10.

-- The Illini had a size advantage on the Not-So-Big Green tonight, with the Illini being an average of 1.5 inches taller than Dartmouth. Yet Dartmouth out-rebounded the Illini 33-27 and had 11 offensive rebounds. Now, I didn't see the game, so I have no idea how this happened, but I feel like it shouldn't have happened.

-- Tracy Abrams didn't bring his shot with him from Atlanta. After a fantastic shooting performance against Auburn Tracy was only 2-for-7 from the floor tonight, as well as 4-for-7 from the free throw line. However, the good news is he hit one of his two threes and also had four assists and no turnovers. So, you know, not good, but not nearly a bad a night as it could have been.

-- Pretty decent night for the freshmen from the looks of it. I already mentioned Malcolm scoring 10 points, but the four freshmen who played -- Austin Colbert didn't play apparently -- finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Not a bad effort.

Tempo-Free Stats

ILLINOIS

Points per poss: 1.14

eFG%: 59%

Turnover rate: 14.3%

Off Reb rate: 15.4%

FT rate: 34%

DARTMOUTH

Points per poss: 1.03

eFG%: 47.5%

Turnover rate: 15.8%

Off Reb rate: 32.4%

FT rate: 15%

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