Illinois basketball is emerging from a rough week that saw back-to-back losses.
Even though the Illini dropped a game against Purdue and then floundered in a loss to Maryland, the Michigan State Spartans aren’t going to take it any easier on us. The Spartans are going to come into the game on Tuesday night looking to get a roadkill in the Big Ten.
Illinois might be without Kofi Cockburn again, so we are going to need to find a way to control the paint and score from somewhere besides the three-point arc. There are a ton of questions coming into the matchup, though.
Here are four big questions for the Illinois basketball team against Michigan State.
1. Can Illinois have a rebound game?
The past week has been a bit daunting, to say the least. It all started last Monday when Illinois fell to the No. 4 ranked Purdue Boilermakers.
This was a tough loss considering the Illini were able to take the Boilermakers to double overtime. It was a hard-fought loss, but it also provided some optimism moving forward that Illinois could hang with any team in the country.
But, from that Purdue game, Kofi Cockburn would end up missing the following contest against Maryland due to a concussion. This was terrible news and proved to be a determining factor in the final score against the Terrapins. Illinois would fall to Maryland, 81-65.
Despite back-to-back losses, Illinois now sits at 13-5 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten. We are only a half-game out of first place in the conference, so the season is far from over.
The next game on the schedule is against No. 14 Michigan State on Tuesday. So, one of the big questions I have is whether or not Illinois will have a rebound game against the Spartans.
Losing three-straight games would be tough. That is a run that I don’t want to see in the middle of the season. We need to play well and, thankfully, Michigan State is coming to Champaign for the contest. Illinois needs to have a big rebound game against the Spartans.