The Illinois basketball team defeated Hawaii on Monday night, 66-53, to move to 3-1 on the season.
This game was UGLY. Gross. I’m glad that it’s over. Illinois built a lead up to almost twenty, but it was not a great game at all. The same problems seemed to occur in this game that has occurred the entire season. But hey, you know what they say, a win is a win.
Illinois was lucky last night that Hawaii is not a great squad. Turnovers continued to haunt us and will make all of us lose sleep, thinking about how careless we are with the ball. 16 turnovers are way too many to have against a team like Hawaii. This team needs to get this figured out.
Bench depth killed us again as well. Kipper Nichols scored the ball a little bit finishing the night with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting, but everything else he did was not great. Alan Griffin didn’t contribute much on the offensive end but rebounded the ball well.
Kofi Cockburn had a monster game again but could’ve done so much more. The big freshman only shot 6-of-15 from the field. He finished with 15 points but could’ve had a lot more. 14 rebounds were impressive as he finished with yet another double-double.
Giorgi Bezhanishvili had himself a pretty good night as well, almost finishing with a double-double but falling one rebound shy. Andres Feliz continued to be a key piece on this team finishing the night with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. The points were down, but everything else was there for the senior.
Ayo Dosunmu didn’t have his best game against Hawaii. He had 9 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds, but we need Ayo to have a bigger impact going forward. Trent Frazier shot the ball decently well and finished with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field.
Illinois has yet to have a great game this season but will have two more shots this week with The Citadel and Hampton. Hopefully, we can put both of those teams away early. The slow start proved to be a big force in tonight’s game. Illinois is going to have to shoot the ball better, take care of the ball and get off to better starts. The Illini have shown some promising signs, it’s just time to put it all together!