A few quick notes before we move on to the Fighting Illini individual player reports… Subs were really limited by the injuries and the bloodied Bertrand. Shelby kept WSC in the game, in the first half. In the second half, the Illini started to hedge on shooters out front, and the talent edge began to assert itself. The stars of the game were Leonard and Paul, who shot a combined 14-21 from the floor. But perhaps the biggest revelations were the freshman Shaw and Abrams. Tyler Griffey also proved himself capable of both playing inside and soaking up major minutes. One thing which was particularly striking was the willingness of the guards to penetrate, and the ability to feed our bigs in the post. While I realize that the quality of competition does not approach that which we will experience in the B1G, it’s still nice to see. The numbers in parenthesis for “smalls” are “effective penetration” or drives to the hole which led to a basket or a probable assist. The numbers for “bigs” are post feeds, or situations where the “big” got the ball in a sealed and effective post potition.
Richardson (4) Looks quicker laterally, played better on the ball defense against the waterbugs from WSC. Penetrated more than I’ve ever seen him. (+19)
Paul (3) Played tentatively at first, shooting was a little suspect early, also showed more interest in defense, forced a timeout on a 5 second call. (+22)
Bertrand (1) Injury must have had an effect, looked a little disjointed out there, though he seems more comfortable than last year, with a couple of nice feeds. Also played some pretty good defense, forcing a couple of turnovers (+31)
Griffey (7) Illini made a concerted effort to feed him in the post, also looked a little off on his post shooting, seems more willing to play inside than I remember from last year.(+21)
Leonard (5) Seems to have more court awareness pretty touch pass, better at getting loose balls. some nice garbage buckets in addition to the sweet dunks. Leonard and Griffey have a great connection and Abrams likes to find him as well. (+12)
Egwu (7) Good looking FT stroke, maybe overexcited-bad miss on first shot, fouls profusely,enjoys working the post. (+6)
Shaw (2) Not scared to pull the trigger, does a ton of little things, steals, rebounds, could maybe use some more conditioning, is very tough under the basket. (+8)
Djimde (1) Great hustle, really poor mechanics (balance) on FT stroke, seems a little limited on offense. occasionally rebounds with authority (+7)
Abrams (3) Is a player, loves to set people up, also has stronger handles than I had anticipated. Good looking shooter (+11)
Plus minus numbers
The best unit, predictably, was Richardson, Paul, Bertrand, Griffey and Leonard at +9. The next best was the above, but with Egwu rather than Leonard. Weber substituted liberally during this scrimmage. There were 28 substitutions, which is pure hell on the manual tabulation of +/- numbers!
Topics: Basketball, Brandon Paul, Bruce Weber, D.J. Richardson, Illini Basketball, Illinois Basketball, Joseph Bertrand, Meyers Leonard, Mike Shaw, Nnanna Egwu, Tracy Abrams, Tyler Griffey, U-of-I Basketball, University Of Illinois