Illinois basketball went into the Gavitt Tipoff Games and laid a stinker against Marquette.
This was a bad performance from the start for the Illini. While the game remained close the entire night, Illinois would let the win slip away as the Golden Eagles would come away with the 67-66 victory.
Here are four observations from the Illinois basketball loss to Marquette.
1. We were careless with the ball
I can honestly say that I don’t think I have seen an Illinois game where the team was this careless with the basketball. It is the next morning and I am still a little stunned.
You can’t expect to win a game when you have two times the number of turnovers as you do assists. Against Marquette, the Illini finished the game with 26 turnovers compared to just 13 assists they had on the night. That is a 0.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. Just last season, Illinois has a 1.252 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranked No. 41 in the nation.
For the current campaign, the Illini now sits with a 0.741 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks No. 243 out of 355 teams playing DI basketball. That isn’t good.
This wasn’t just an ordinarily bad game for the Illini. It was an all-time stinker. The 26 turnovers for the Orange and Blue are the most since November 28, 2000, when the Illini fell to Duke by a score of 78-77.
The main culprit of the turnovers for the Illini is our leader, Andre Curbelo. He finished the night with seven turnovers to go along with his 11 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.
Overall, Illinois played one of the sloppiest games in program history on Monday night. If we want to win consistently, we are going to need to take care of the ball moving forward. It is as simple as that.