In the ugliest game of the young season, the Illini pulled out a win against the Austin Peay Governors. The two teams combined for just under 50 turnovers and for 4-26 from deep. In my opinion there was a better showing between the middle schoolers at half time than the game people actually paid money for. Alas, Illinois was able to edge out Austin Peay for the win, and no trash cans were harmed during the making of this production… that we know of.
Middle School Basketball Game at Half: A+
This was by far the best game played at the State Farm Center last night. Within five seconds of the opening tip, one of the players pulled up from the right wing and netted a three. This was the play that brought the Illini crowd to their feet. In about five minutes of gameplay, the middle school squads combined for about six three-pointers which is two more than the D1 teams combined for in 40 minutes of play.
Michael Finke: B-
After a rough few outings against power five opponents, Finke found his groove a little bit last night. His shooting woes from behind the arc continued, but at least he was able to finish around the rim and get to the line. He found himself on the receiving end of some nice Trent Frazier and Te’Jon Lucas passes. Finke finished with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds, but also committed four turnovers.
Leron Black: B-
For the third straight game, Leron Black has finished the night with over 15 points. His mid-range jumper, and hop-step floater continue to be unstoppable. Black also finished with four rebounds, but turned the ball over five times. The assist/turnover numbers we saw from Finke and Black at the beginning of the season have now completely inverted.
Da’Monte Williams: C
In his first career start for the Illini, Williams didn’t play too bad. Although, he finished with just five points, both baskets were huge for the Illini in their win. One was a three from the right wing on a pass from Mark Alstork. The shot hit the front of the rim, bounced up, and kissed the rest of the iron before finally falling in. This was the basket that would put the Illini ahead for good. His other basket was a breakaway layup on a ball he poked away from an Austin Peay player who had his head turned. The freshman also finished with a game-high three steals, four rebounds, and an assist.
Aaron Jordan: D
The junior has had some big games this season for the Illini, but this was not one of them. This was the first game in which he has been shut out from the scoring column, and also the first time he’s been held without a three-point field goal as well. Jordan collected just one offensive rebound and turned the ball over twice in the win.