The Illinois basketball team has started the season hot with a record of 6-1 through seven games.
Points Per Game
Illinois has scored 117 and 120 points in the last two games, respectively. These two games have skewed the numbers slightly, but we are still putting up a lot of points each game. The lowest point total this season was in the Hawaii game where we only scored 66 points but still managed to win by 13.
The Illini are putting up 83.5 points per game this season, which ranks No. 16 in the nation. That total will probably come down slightly, but I think we can continue putting up big numbers. That is the type of offense we run. If we can keep it relatively high, I think we can end up being ranked this season.
Points Per Game From 2-PT
Where are most of our points coming from? We are scoring them inside the three-point arc. That is right, the team that used to shoot a ton of three-pointers at a mediocre success rate is now scoring two-pointers at a high clip.
The obvious reason for this is Kofi Cockburn. The big man has dominated this season. Illinois is scoring 50.7 points per game from two-point range, which leads the nation. That is an impressive stat, and we should continue being at least in the top five for the rest of the season.
This is a stat that goes hand-in-hand with the previous stat of points per game in two-point range. The closer to the basket you get, the higher the shooting percentage should be. That is why Illinois is doing so well with efficiently shooting.
The Illini are currently hitting their shots at a rate of 49.2-percent, which ranks No. 22 in the nation. I would attribute a lot of this to, obviously, Kofi. He is making a lot of the shots, most of which are in the paint. This is a great thing for the Illini. They are an efficient team.
Rebounds Per Game
Another stat that is affected by the presence of big man Kofi Cockburn is rebounding. Illinois used to be such a bad rebounding team. There were years we were almost dead last in rebounding considering the most capable rebounder was someone who was 6-foot-7.
Kofi is in town, though. He has enabled the Illini to rebound the ball 45.8 times per game, which ranks No. 2 in the nation. This stat shouldn’t move too much considering Kofi is on the team.
Opponent Rebounds Per Game
The final stat I want to point out is opponents rebounds per game. This one also goes hand-in-hand with the previous stat of Illinois rebounds per game. I would attribute this stat to Kofi Cockburn as well.
With Kofi on the court, opposing teams can’t get rebounds. He sucks up all of the rebounds. That is why Illinois opponents are only getting 27.3 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 3 in the nation. This has helped the Illini get off to a 6-1 start this season.