Illinois Basketball: Grades from the Illini loss against Maryland

The Illinois basketball team traveled to College Park, Maryland, to take on the Terrapins for a Big Ten clash.

The Illini were once again shorthanded in this one, missing their preseason All-American center Kofi Cockburn and it showed. The 111th ranked team in the NET ranking Maryland upset the Illini, 81-65. Illinois now falls to 13-5 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten.

Here are some grades from the Illinois basketball loss against Maryland

Offense: C-

The Illini offense was very solid in the first half. They were led by Alfonso Plummer who scored 14 of his 18 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the three-point arc in the first half.

The offense struggled pretty badly in the second half without the post presence of Kofi. Illinois settled for too many contested jump shots but did miss their fair share of open looks from three-point range as well. They shot 11-of-35 from the three-point arc as a team.

Jacob Grandison, who scored 14 points, and Trent Fraizer, who scored 13 points, were also solid on the offensive end. Andre Curbelo played in his second straight game, which was great news. However, he looked a little uncomfortable against Maryland, as he went 1-of-6 from the field for four points.

Defense: D

Illinois’ defense was absolutely ripped to shreds on Friday night. They allowed Maryland to score 81 points and shoot 52% from the field. Donta Scott, in particular, killed the Illini all night going 9-of-12 from the field for 25 points.

It didn’t matter who guarded Scott. Da’Monte Williams got a shot at him, Grandison got a shot on him, and Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk got a chance, and none of it worked. Illinois also lost the rebounding battle, 33-30. The last time these two teams matched up, the Illini outrebounded Maryland 45-27.

Overall: D+

The Illini battled in this game, but they just didn’t have enough on either end of the court against Maryland. It doesn’t get any easier moving forward either, as the Illini welcome Michigan State to the State Farm Center on Tuesday night.

Illinois can’t afford to be without Kofi for long so, hopefully, he is healthy enough to play Tuesday night. Get well soon, big man!