5 big observations from the Illinois basketball win over Iowa

It wasn't an easy road to the win, but the Illinois basketball team managed to pull together to protect homecourt.
Iowa v Illinois
Iowa v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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2. Coleman Hawkins is a walking roller coaster of emotions

As an Illinois fan, it is tough to watch Coleman Hawkins. The emotional roller coasters are sometimes too much to handle. This kid has a lot of talent but is also a frustrating player at times.

On one hand, Hawkins can put up a lot of points. He has the ability to light up a scoreboard because he can stretch the floor. The opposing team’s big men have to guard him, and Hawkins is generally more athletic. So, he gets open shots from three-point range.

Hawkins ended up dropping 30 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range against Iowa. He also hit 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. I loved it when Hawkins drove the lane as well. He was aggressive, and this enabled him to get some easy layups.

At the same time, Hawkins has some bad moments on offense and can chuck the ball away. He had five turnovers against Iowa, and some of the turnovers were in key situations when the momentum was starting to swing.

I also have a big issue with Hawkins’ defense. While he can swat the ball and has quick hands, his inability to stop a big man from backing him down continues to be a problem. Iowa’s big men could get deep into the paint without much trouble.

Hawkins had a big game offensively with his 30 points, but he needs to do great things offensively to offset his defensive issues. That is a rough way to make a living. It is a roller coaster to watch too.