Illini vs. Broncos Full-Court Vision: Live Blogging, Commentary & Analysis

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1:51 p.m. Update: Illinois wins 78-63.

The Illini were dominant on both ends in the first half before taking a bit of a step back in the second half.

With that said, there’s not much to dislike about the Illini effort this afternoon.

Illinois didn’t look ahead or fool around and put this game away early, setting the stage for the Tuesday night showdown against North Carolina.

Once again, the Illini were balanced, with Mike Tisdale leading the team with 18 points.

Getting the start for Bill Cole, Brandon Paul was very efficient, scoring 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting.

Mike Davis and Jereme Richmond added 12 points apiece for the Illini.

Check out the live blog and commentary from the WMU victory after the jump.12:02 p.m.

Illinois starts Brandon Paul instead of Bill Cole.

First Four Minutes

  • Flenard Whitfield posts on first possession and Illinois gives up an offensive tip in to Matt Stainbrook.
  • Illinois goes inside to Mike Tisdale, who is fouled on the floor.
  • D.J. Richardson misses a curl three off an inbound play.
  • Demetri McCamey comes up with a loose ball after a bad WMU miss.
  • Mike Davis cans a wing jumper (nice to see him get his stroke going early).
  • Mike Davis gets in the passing lane for a steal and dunk.
  • Good defense from Tisdale on the perimeter, forcing a Stainbrook turnover.
  • D.J. Richardson is fouled by Mike Douglas on the perimeter.
  • McCamey with great penetration off a split dribble, leading to a Brandon Paul three.
  • Paul is called for a foul on the floor.
  • Nice hands from McCamey, stealing a ball from Whitfield and coming up with another loose ball.
  • D.J. cans a nice jumper, set up by nice penetration from Paul and a great head fake by Richardson.
  • Tisdale allow an offensive board to Stainbrook and WMU scores a layup.
  • McCamey misses a pull-up jumper and WMU pushes and hits a three.
  • Mike Tisdale hits a nice corner jumper. Set up by a nice head fake from Paul.

Illinois leads 11-7 at the under-16.

Great ball movement thus far from the Illini, which has gotten Mike Davis involved early on.

12:12 p.m.

Second Four Minutes

  • Bill Cole is in.
  • Mike Davis travels.
  • Illinois blocks a WMU shot and comes up with the ball.
  • Cole tips a missed Tisdale three, keeping an Illinois possession alive.
  • Richardson feeds Davis for a lob dunk.
  • Illinois forces another WMU timeout.
  • Jereme Richmond is about to come in the game.
  • Illinois with Tisdale, Richmond, Cole, McCamey and Paul on the floor.
  • Cole has a three go in and out.
  • Great defense from Richmond, who stops Whitfield and forces a deflected pass out of bounds.
  • Brandon Paul with great defense, getting in the passing lane to knock the inbound pass out of bounds.
  • Paul hits a very tough runner off the glass.
  • Whitfield hits a baseline jumper. Took him 8 minutes to score. Nice job by the Illini, which are focusing on him.
  • Richmond is fouled on the floor by Whitfield. Richmond with his normal post and face up move.

Illinois leads 15-9 at the under-12.

All in all, Illinois has come out with great energy, particularly on the defensive end, and is playing very focused. Mike Davis and Brandon Paul have been the best Illini thus far, with McCamey and Richardson just behind them.

12:27 p.m.

Third Four Minutes

  • Illinois comes out with Paul, Richardson, Richmond, Cole and Meyers Leonard.
  • Richmond misses a tough banker off a nice drive.
  • Cole with a near tip in.
  • WMU misses a jumper.
  • Richardson hits a mid-range jumper. Love the mid-range game thus far.
  • Stainnback with a nice reverse pivot on Leonard, leading to a hook shot and score.
  • Brandon Paul buries a corner three. Paul has come out on fire after getting the start.
  • Juwan Howard, Jr. misses a three.
  • Illinois turns the ball over on an inbound pass.
  • Leonard with a nice job of getting down the court and stealing the ball on the WMU break. A great save as well by Leonard.
  • Richardson is fouled as Illinois has been a bit sloppy the last two possessions.
  • Tisdale and Davis enter the game.
  • Paul is blocked inside but Davis sticks the ball back in.
  • McCamey buries a three following a WMU miss. Brandon Paul with a nice dribble drive and kick.
  • WMU takes a timeout as Illinois leads 25-11.
  • Illinois has been very sharp during its first true road game of the season.
  • D.J. Richardson can’t contain the dribble and Stainbrook hits a tough reverse layup as a result.
  • Tisdale misses a banker layup after a nice pass from McCamey in the pick and roll game.
  • Brandon Paul picks up his second foul. Richmond replaces him.
  • Crandall Head is also in the game with 8:15 to go.
  • Jereme Richmond with a nasty block at the rim (great help defense) as Richardson gave up penetration again.
  • Illinois turns over the Broncos.
  • Mike Davis with a great offensive tap rebound after a missed Tisdale hook.
  • McCamey is fouled on the drive.

Illinois leads 25-13.

Mike Davis with great activity thus far.

Illinois has shut down Whitfield. It looks like Bruce Weber made him the player to key on.

Fourth Four Minutes

  • Apparently, WMU got a technical in the break. Coach Steve Hawkins was complaining about the previous foul call on WMU during the McCamey drive.
  • Tisdale hits two free throws.
  • McCamey hits one of two free throws.
  • Davis is called for a foul on the floor.
  • Illinois is shooting 57%. WMU 40%.
  • Richmond is a bit slow to close out on a corner three that is missed and rebounded by the Illini.
  • Wow! Mike Davis is called for a really tough offensive foul. Called for an elbow. Jay Price talking to him on the bench.
  • Davis will sit for a while.
  • Tyler Griffey is in the game.
  • Nice help from Tisdale and Griffey as Douglas turns the ball over inside.
  • McCamey with a great high low feed to Tisdale, who slams the ball home.
  • McCamey is slow to recover as Demetrius Ward hits a three.
  • Richmond with a nice post and score. Illinois with very good balance today.
  • Whitfield badly misses a forced three.
  • Tisdale misses two chippies but Griffey with a nice offensive tap in. A nice head fake from Tisdale.
  • Tisdale has a defensive rebound knocked out of his hand but WMU travels seconds later.
  • Leonard and Cole are in for the Illini.
  • Griffey misses a jumper and Leonard gets the rebound before being tied up.
  • Possession stays to Illinois.
  • McCamey misses a pop-back.
  • D.J. Richardson gets in the passing lane and knocks the ball out of bounds.
  • Leonard is called for a foul on the inside. He was a bit too physical on that play.
  • Stainbrook hits a nice lefty floater in the lane. He’s been really good thus far.
  • Leonard has the ball knocked away from him on the interior. Leonard posted and put the ball on the floor.

Illinois leads 34-18 at the under-4.

Whitfield has just 2 points but Stainbrook has been good on the interior for the Broncos.

12:49  p.m.

Fifth Four Minutes

  • McCamey, D.J., Cole, Griffey and Leonard on the floor.
  • Illinois with another tip in . Looked like Cole.
  • Stainbrook with another nice lefty finish.
  • McCamey cans a three.
  • McCamey is called for a foul after doing a good job of getting back and nearly making a steal on a WMU layup.
  • Weber is not happy with that call.
  • David Brown hits two free throws.
  • Richmond is back in, as is Tisdale. Leonard and Cole sit.
  • McCamey misses a three.
  • Tisdale gets away with an over the back, tapping the ball to Richardson, who buries a jumper.
  • WMU turns the ball over.
  • Illinois goes inside to Tisdale, who is fouled on the floor by Stainbrook.
  • Tisdale hits both free throws. Illinois leads 43-22.
  • McCamey with a nice tap on the defensive board, spurring an Illinois break.
  • Richardson misses a tough layup.
  • Griffey runs the court and doesn’t give up on the play, tipping in Richardson’s miss.
  • WMU gets an interior bucket.
  • Great penetration from Richardson, who hits an open Richmond on the baseline for a made jumper.
  • Whitfield misses a running layup but hustles down to block a McCamey layup with 0.9 seconds left.
  • Illinois takes a timeout to draw up a final shot.
  • Illinois draws up a beautiful play, with Tisdale getting a layup at the rim.
  • A great lob pass from McCamey.

Illinois leads 49-24 at the break.

Wow! What a very impressive and mature first half from the Illini, which came out ready to play.

Illinois has been active with their feet and hands, getting into, contesting and turning over the Broncos.

Offensively, Illinois moved the ball well and has been hitting at a high clip. Illinois played with great patience and didn’t settle for the three.

The Illini heeded Weber’s message to take this game seriously and simply dominated in the first 20 minutes.

1:12 p.m.

Second Half

First Four Minutes

  • 33 of Illinois’ 49 points came off turnovers or offensive rebounds.
  • McCamey is a bit slow to close out as WMU hits a three.
  • Mike Davis with a turnover on the post.
  • WMU misses a quick three in transition.
  • Richardson misses but Tisdale gets the offensive board.
  • Davis misses a corner jumper that goes over the corner of the backboard.
  • Whitfield misses an interior layup as Davis did a good job of using his body on that play.
  • Paul hits another pull-up jumper, with the hand in his face. This kid is playing great basketball.
  • Hutcheson hits a three.
  • Richardson passes up a pull-up jumper and forces an interior pass that is stolen. Should have shot the ball there.
  • Hutcheson misses a three and Illinois turns over the ball.
  • WMU turns it over and Paul misses a point-blank layup. He should have dunked that ball.
  • WMU misses a layup and Paul hits a pull-up jumper on a three-and-one break.
  • Weber takes a timeout and is not happy with Paul there. Paul didn’t really attack the rim after missing a layup.
  • Illinois has come out sloppy in the second half. A very nice timeout by Weber to refocus his team.
  • Illinois does lead 53-30.
  • Illinois returns with its starting lineup.
  • Hutcheson beats Paul off the dribble, scores and is fouled. Hutcheson hits the free throw.
  • Richmond comes in for Paul, who has had a rough minute or two.
  • Richardson has a pull-up jumper blocked.
  • WMU is fouled on the floor while pushing the ball.
  • Western Michigan has better  activity than the Illini in the second half.
  • Hutcheson hits a three. Nice dribble drive and pass from Stainbrook.
  • Richmond hits a hanging layup.

Illinois leads 55-36 at the under-16.

The Illini have been sloppy in the first four minutes.

Western Michigan is looking to push the tempo and get back in the game with some quick scores, and Illinois is taking the bait.

1:21 p.m.

Second Four Minutes

  • Stainbrook hits a spinning lefty hook on Tisdale. A very nice move.
  • Richmond hits a quick jumper.
  • Tisdale fouls an attacking Hutcheson at the rim.
  • Hutcheson splits the free throws.
  • Davis badly misses an open jumper from the top of the key.
  • Richmond with the offensive board.
  • Richardson hits a mid-range jumper.
  • Douglas misses, WMU gets the board, and Douglas hits a three.
  • Tisdale rushes and misses a hook.
  • Douglas scores on a nice dribble drive.
  • Tisdale hits a jumper from the top of the key.
  • Whitfield taps out a WMU miss but the Broncos miss a three.
  • McCamey finds Davis inside, and Davis hits a nice baseline hook.
  • Douglas blows by Richardson and is fouled at the rim.
  • Western Michigan has been the aggressor in the second half.
  • Douglas hits both free throws.
  • Illinois brings Paul, Leonard and Cole in the game.
  • Paul with an out of control drive, and the ball is knocked out of bounds to WMU.
  • Juwan Howard, Jr. with a nice dribble drive and layup. That was a crafty shot.
  • McCamey misses a deep three.
  • WMU travels.

Illinois leads 63-48 at the under-12.

Illinois is not playing with a lot of patience this half as WMU has tried to push the tempo and make this an out-of-control game.

The Illini have also struggled with their intensity a bit.

Defensively, the Illini are getting burned on the dribble drive.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this game gets into single-digits (i.e., 9 points) at some point here.

Give WMU a lot of credit. The Broncos are fighting hard.

1:32 p.m.

Third Four Minutes

  • Brandon Paul with a baseline dunk off a nice lob from McCamey.
  • Howard misses a three.
  • Griffey with rebound.
  • Leonard misses a baseline hook.
  • Griffey blocks a driving WMU shot.
  • McCamey is fouled at the rim.
  • McCamey misses the first but makes the second.
  • Richardson is in for McCamey.
  • Stainbrook is fouled down low by Leonard.
  • A WMU lob pass to Whitfield goes out of bounds but was touched by the Illini.
  • Ward misses a shot but Griffey can’t control the board.
  • Ward with a nice drive and score over Leonard.
  • Griffey has a hard fall after an aggressive drive.
  • Griffey is cut above the eye. That was dangerous there as Griffey had his legs accidentally taken out from under him and then landed on his head.
  • Griffey is off to the locker room for some stitches.
  • Tisdale is in the game.
  • Tisdale makes both free throws.
  • Stainbrook misses a banker and Whitfield is called for a push off on Tisdale.
  • Richmond is in and playing some point.
  • Davis misses a running floater but Tisdale tips it back in.
  • Hutcheson drives out of bounds.

Illinois leads 70-50 at the under-8.

1:40 p.m.

Fourth Four Minutes

  • Illinois comes out with Paul, Richmond, Tisdale, Davis and Richardson.
  • Paul turns the ball over.
  • Hutcheson turns it over on an aggressive drive during which his pass to Stainbrook couldn’t be corralled.
  • Paul misses a three from the top of the key. Too quick of a shot.
  • Stainbrook backs down Tisdale, hits a tough floater and draws a foul.
  • Stainbrook is 7-8 from the field. The kid’s got a little Jordan Edgelseder in him, but is nowhere as big.
  • Stainbrook misses the free throw.
  • Richmond badly misses a jab-step jumper.
  • Hutcheson scores a quick layup as WMU ran the ball after the missed Richmond shot.
  • Tisdale hits a jumper as Illinois had great ball movement there, with McCamey making a nice baseline drive and bounce pass prior to the make.
  • Hutcheson hits a three over Richmond.
  • Richmond dunks the ball off a nice dribble drive and feed from D.J.
  • Stainbrook draws a foul on Tisdale with a nice head-and-shoulder fake.
  • Crandall Head comes in for Richardson.
  • Stainbrook misses the free throws.
  • Head passes up a shot to run some time. Good decision.
  • McCamey misses a three. Tisdale tracks down the board.
  • Mike Davis hits a reverse layup.
  • Whitfield misses a three. Ward gets the board.
  • Stainbrook draws another foul on Tisdale, who has four.

Illinois leads 76-57 at the under-4.

Illinois is just too tall and athletic for Western Michigan, which has played with great spirit in the second half.

The Illini have had a spectacular game on the offensive glass, rebounding half of their misses.

Illinois has 21 second-chance points and just 7 turnovers.

The overall play from the Illini hasn’t been as good as in the first half, but the lead is still big.

1:51 p.m.

Fifth Four Minutes

  • Stainbrook is at the line and hits both ends of the one and one.
  • Illinois comes out with Davis, Tisdale, Richmond, Head and McCamey.
  • Tisdale is double teamed and fouled.
  • Illinois playing keep away.
  • Head passes up another shot to run clock.
  • Head misses a nasty one-handed dunk attempt. What an effort.
  • Richardson comes in for Head, who hit the floor hard after that miss.
  • Ward misses a three. Stainbrook taps it out to Whitfield.
  • Hutcheson misses a three.
  • McCamey with a good job of running some time.
  • Tisdale misses a three, but Richmond tips in the miss with a nasty, one-handed finish.
  • Illinois leads 78-59 as WMU takes a :30 second timeout.
  • Joseph Bertrand is in the game.
  • Illinois with a block on the inside.
  • Illinois takes a substitution timeout, getting Kevin Berardini and Jean Selus in the contest.
  • WMU hits a tough jump shot.
  • Head turns the ball over as Douglas cleaned his pocket. WMU scores a layup.
  • Head with a bad turnover, trying to hit Leonard inside on a pick and roll play.
  • Berardini rebounds a miss.
  • Bertrand dribbles the clock out.

Illinois wins 78-63.

All in all, the Illini played a very good game, with an outstanding first half and a bit uneven second 20 minutes.

I’ll get some observations up on the site sometime tomorrow.

Until then.