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Unfinished Business: 4 Thoughts on Illinois

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry, I’m late folks. Last night was a late night and I figured people might want to check on the women’s soccer stuff first. And then today we did a lot of Christmas things, but I’m here and accountable, as Rutgers lost a brutal one 86-51.

Four Thoughts:

What the heck?: Where’s the defense? That was what was most concerning last night. The Scarlet Knights have always defended under Pikiell. But this season, particularly last night, the defense was nonexistent. The decision to double team Kofi Cockburn in the post was totally incorrect, as Illinois was able to get and bury a ton of threes. The close outs weren’t there. Rutgers wouldn’t have won last night no matter what, but if they defended maybe it would have been 65-51.

The Offense is Offensive: Rutgers has no confidence on offense. If a few shots don’t go in for them early, they lose their focus. Illinois double team decision on Ron Harper Jr was a smart one and no one else could take over. In fact, Rutgers three point shooting was actually good as they went 7-17 and 41%, but the rest of the game was just a mess. Shooting just under 31% in a game isn’t going to get it done.

Mawot Mag and Jaden Jones: Here’s the highlight, I thought Jones and Mag looked good offensively. Jones and Mag both have the potential to be very good shooters, but the ball has to get to them in a flow and consistently. Jones was able to score 10 points and Mag had 8 with two sweet threes.

Purdue Will Be Number 1: I don’t know how Rutgers even possibly matches up with the Boilermakers right now, but they are going to have to try. Let’s hope for a RAC classic, with a fired up crowd and team. I don’t expect Geo Baker to be back by then, so the rest of the team is going to have to attack attack attack. There’s still a lot of basketball left this season.