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Iowa: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Hawkeye's scorching shot-making ability too much for Illini.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not sure if I've ever seen a more impressive shooting game from one team.

Iowa, who averages 36% from three-point range, hit 75%(!) — or 15-of-20 — from the arc today. Was that all on Illinois' shoddy outside defense? No. Iowa was on fire from the get-go, and players like Joe Wieskamp and Isaiah Moss could do no wrong.

The Good (was hard to find, but it was there)

Frazier First Half

Hey, at least he put up one good half. Frazier was the Illini’s lone offensive threat in the first 20 minutes. He was hitting shots from three and looked like his old confident self. Unfortunately, it only lasted a half, but the scoring ability has not completely abandoned him.

Aaron Jordan

I've been very critical of Jordan and his Big Ten disappearing act. And he made more than a few mistakes against Iowa. Eleven points is a nice output for a role player, and Jordan made some tough rebounds and some good shots.

The team played pretty poorly, but Jordan, who is no longer a starter, contributed valuable minutes in a blowout loss. That's all you can ask for at this point.

Tevian freed

Finally, Underwood cut Kipper's minutes (more on him in a minute). Even with his flaws, Tevian Jones needs more playing time to see what he can do. He finally got it. Refreshing, even if he didn't do much. It will only help him in the long run.

The Bad


Not his best game. He's been far better than most expected. He plays like a fifth-year senior as a freshman. He's got swagger galore, but he didn't play well against Iowa.

It happens. He was working hard, but the offense didn't really funnel to him very much. Also, he had some bad fouls, including a flagrant one on an elbow late in the game. Freshman mistakes.

We attempted a whole bunch of threes, with varying degrees of success. I wouldn't worry too much about Giorgi moving forward.

Offensive execution

Illinois has to finish. Has to.

There were many baskets left out on the floor for Illinois. They have to be converted to buckets. It's very frustrating to see Trent drive through three defenders, get a nice look, and doink it off the front end. That happened a lot yesterday. Not just for Frazier. For everyone. Have. To. Finish.

The Ugly

Kipper Nichols/Andres Feliz

I think we've seen just about enough of these two. As a fan base, we had high hopes for both going into the season. They have disappointed time and time again. I can't remember when either was a factor on offense. The first game against Evansville maybe? Since then, neither player has come close to realizing his potential. Feliz, too many times, is out of control and can't finish at the rim. Nichols, I'm not sure what else there is to say.

As an offense in general, the Illini need to stop looking to pass the buck. There is no one in the backcourt who wants to shoot outside of Ayo and Frazier. Even Frazier is guilty of looking for the extra pass rather than just taking the shot. These two are the worst, however. The best players want the ball in their hands. They relish taking the shot. Unfortunately, Feliz and Nichols are not those players. It's a shame.

Perimeter Defense

How many times are you going to leave Moss and Wieskamp open for a three?

I understand you wanted to clog the middle to stop Bohannon and Tyler Cook, but after awhile, you have to figure that wasn't working when Wieskamp has made every three, and they were wide open looks.

It's hard to stop a team when they are as hot as Iowa was Sunday, but leaving them wide open on outside looks doesn't help.

We've seen the pressure defense work, but you have to change things up when Iowa is just chomping at the bit to get the ball to Wieskamp and Baer and Moss to shoot it deep. Less zone, more man. Defense needs work in the offseason.


Do I really have to explain? The Illini need Kofi Cockburn more than ever.

That was as impressive an offensive showing as I've seen in college basketball all year. Too bad it came at the expense of the Illini.

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