Feb 1, 2014; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Rayvonte Rice (24) brings the ball down court during the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball: Keys to Victory Against the Wisconsin Badgers

Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Shoot the ball well: Easier said that done, right? The Illinois Fighting Illini didn’t shoot the ball particularly well the last time they played the Badgers up in Madison (31.6%). However, it looked like they got some of their “swagger” back in the tough loss to Iowa on Saturday. They made 44.6% of their shots against the Hawkeyes and looked to all like the Illini team that began Big Ten play with two straight wins over Indiana and Penn State. If Illinois can do that again tonight, they should have a good chance of winning this game.

Play like you’ve got nothing to lose: Illinois has loss seven straight games and are no where to be found on Joe Lanardi’s bracket. Because of this, the best thing for the Illini to do against Wisconsin is to play like they have nothing to lose. At this point, a loss wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen the the team (a seven-game losing streak will do that), but a win could be just the thing to spark them in to saving the season.

Don’t be selfish defensively: Head coach John Groce described the Illini’s defense as “selfish” when discussing their last meeting against Wisconsin. He said that the team seemed to be playing a bunch of one-on-one’s with absolutely no help defense happening. Now, this game is at home in Champaign, but that’s no excuse. The Illini need to play better help defense if they want a fighting chance against the Badgers. If they get selfish again, they could see themselves losers of eight straight games.

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Tags: Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini

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