Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball: Three Things to Watch Against the Northwestern Wildcats

1. How Illinois bounces back following their poor performance against Wisconsin: It’s clear. The Illinois Fighting Illini did not play their best offensively or defensively against Wisconsin on Wednesday. Because of this, it’s no doubt that the team wants to bounce back in a big way against Northwestern on Sunday. Yes, Wisconsin and Northwestern are completely different teams, and that is a good thing for the Fighting Illini. Illini fans should expect to see the team that finished the game in Madison compared to the team that started it. It would be shocking if the Illini had two terrible games back-to-back.

2. Can Jon Ekey come back to form: Coming into Wednesday’s debacle in Madison, Jon Ekey only had three bad games this season. The loss to Wisconsin became the fourth as Ekey went 1-of-5 from the field and scored only three points. The lone positive was his six rebounds which is average for Ekey this season. Just like the Illini in general, Illinois fans can expect Ekey to shoot the ball better on Sunday against Northwestern. Illinois should be able to pass the ball around more in the game which should get more Illini like Ekey involved offensively.

3. Illinois seeks their first conference road victory: Although the Illini have won games against Auburn and Mizzou away from the State Farm Center, they have only won a single “real” road game this season. With the loss to Wisconsin on Wednesday, Illinois is now 1-2 in road games with their other loss being to Georgia Tech. The only road victory for the Illini came on November 26th at UNLV, but that was even close to being an Illinois loss. The Illini will need a strong showing on the road in Evanston because their next two road foes will be tough ones. After this Sunday’s road game, the next road games for Illinois will be against Ohio State and Indiana on January 23rd and 26th respectively.

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Tags: Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini Jon Ekey

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