The Illini took down the Longwood Lancers last night, 92-45. Illinois found itself down 12-10, but the Illini quickly switched gears coming out of the second media timeout. The Orange and Blue (gray???) closed the half on an 40-12 run and with a 26-point lead. Everyone on the roster got a crack at the action with the exception of Leron Black and Kipper Nichols, who were both out with injuries.
Trent Frazier: A+
The last couple of games have been the emergence of Trent Frazier. He followed up a career-high 16 points at UNLV with a new career-high 20 points against Longwood. The freshman also followed up his performance with four assists, four steals, four rebounds and zero turnovers.
For the most part his ball security has been above par, and that will need to stay the case if Frazier wants to crack Underwood’s starting five.
Aaron Jordan: A+
Aren’t we all glad that Jordan decided to stay home for his junior season? He has been one of the most consistent threats of the Illini offense, and I don’t think anyone but him or his father could’ve expected this type of breakout year.
Jordan finished the game with a career-high 22 points, pulled down seven offensive rebounds, had two assists and grabbed two steals.
Michael Finke: A
Finke got the Illini off to a solid start by hitting two baseline jumpers and then his next two shots from behind the arc. With Nichols and Black out for the game, Finke saw more of the low-post responsibility fall in his hands, and he played his part well.
Finke ended the night with 19 points and seven boards.
Mark Smith: C-
With the exception of the UNLV game, Smith has almost completely fallen off the face of the Illini Earth. Not including his outing against the Runnin’ Rebels, Smith has averaged just 3.6 points, two rebounds, and one assist since N.C. Central.
The Illini will really need Smith to find his groove by the time conference play rolls around again. He had five points, two assists, two turnovers and no rebounds against the Lancers.
Free Throw Shooting: D
Illinois shot 6-of-9 in the first half from the line and followed it up with a 7-of-13 from the charity stripe in the second half. For those who aren’t math majors, that totals to 13-of-22 (59 percent). And, as we here at The Champaign Room like to say, that is not ideal.
The Illini were shooting almost 76 percent as a team entering the game, and any time the number drops below 60-65 percent as a team, it’s no bueno. That being said, the game got ugly pretty quick, and a lot of the guys who don’t typically see the floor received playing time.