5 huge questions for the Illinois basketball team against Maryland

Nebraska v Illinois
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4. Does the Illinois defense show up in the second half?

I kind of touched on this in the first few slides, but the Illinois defense wasn’t great in the first game against Maryland. We gave up 76 points, and they were too much for us.

It really wasn’t until the second half that Illinois lost control of what Maryland was doing offensively. We gave up 37 points in the first half, but the Illini didn’t make the right halftime adjustments, and the game slipped away.

So, I want to see if Illinois can manage the game better in the second half this time around. If we give up points in the first half, can we make the right adjustments and come out with solid defense in the final 20 minutes of action?

You might be questioning what I mean because Maryland scored 37 in the first half and 39 in the second half, but that second half of basketball was much more efficient. They didn’t allow Illinois to control the game at all, and they made the right adjustments offensively.

In the first half of the game, the Terrapins were jacking up three-point attempts and were driving less into the lane. They were 2-of-12 from three-point range. This style makes it easier on the Illinois defense, and we don’t get as tired trying to guard.

Maryland changed in the second half. They only attempted five three-point shots and started to drive the lane. Keeping up with the Terrapins’ guards was a tough ask. This wore down the Illini, and it showed on the offensive end, as we didn’t have legs in the second half.

Illinois’ defense needs to show up in the second half against Maryland. We can’t let them take the game to us.