You know how I know that this was a great game? Because with about 17 minutes still remaining in the second half I pretty much stopped paying attention to the game and just started having a conversation with my Twitter followers about campus bars in Champaign. The ones that were around in my time and the ones that are there now.
Who knows? Maybe it will all end in a Champaign Room Bar Crawl.
That would be the second-best thing to come out of tonight, with the best being the beat down the Illini handed Purdue at Assembly Hall. A win that ended an eight-game losing streak to Purdue, with our last win coming in freaking 2009.
So now here we sit having won three in a row with two more winnable games to come. Before you know it we could have made the transition from a team that was 2-7 in the Big Ten with the sky falling to a team that's 7-7 in the conference and getting ready for March.
-- As for the actual game....holy shit how about the rebounding? It's been a weakness for us all season, particularly in conference play, but tonight the Illini out-rebounded Purdue 40-29. But what's more impressive than that is the Illini had 17 offensive rebounds tonight. 17! I think we had that man all season!* Our best rebounder on the night was Joseph Bertrand who finished with 12 of them, 6 on the offensive glass.
-- If Tim Doyle ever works another Illinois game it'll be too soon.
-- Tyler Griffey's three-point magic died, as he finished 0-for-5 on the night. No matter, he was 5-for-5 from inside the arc and even had a couple dunks. Violent Tyler Griffey dunks.
-- The Illini shot only 28% from three tonight and won by 20 points. That's crazy.
-- Brandon Paul finished with 3 points, was 1-of-6 from the floor and fouled out. And the Illini won by 20 points. That's crazier.
-- Matt Painter got ejected, and it was awesome.
Points per possesion: 1.15
Turnover rate: 16.1%
Free throw rate: 23.5%
Offensive rebound rate: 48.6%
Points per possession: 0.88
Turnover rate: 25.2%
Free throw rate: 29.1%
Offensive rebound rate: 32.4%