2. Can Illinois continue taking care of the ball?
I think we can all agree that Illinois has been sloppy with the ball for much of the 2021-22 campaign. After the Arizona loss, the Illini were averaging 15.9 turnovers per game, which ranked No. 322 out of 358 teams in college basketball.
That type of turnover production is going to lead to losses throughout the season. But, since that game against the Wildcats, the Illini have been taking care of the ball at a much better clip.
Illinois has played five games since that loss to Arizona. During that stretch, we are averaging just 10.2 turnovers per game. This display of taking care of the ball has enabled the program to now average just 14.2 turnovers per game, which ranks No. 261 in the nation.
If you take the 10.2 turnovers per game in the last five contests and then look at the averages for the season, Illinois would rank No. 19 in the country. So, clearly, this program is taking care of the ball. That is why they have won five games in a row.
I am going to be watching to see if Illinois can continue taking care of the ball on Friday night. Last season, the Illini had 12 turnovers against Michigan. That is the benchmark for this game. If we can keep the turnovers to 12 or fewer, then I will be happy.