3. Do fresh legs result in more aggression for Illinois?
I touched on this in the previous slide but Illinois is finally back home in Champaign. Illinois had been on the road for the entire month of December before coming back to the State Farm Center.
The Illini started the road trip on December 2 when we took down Rutgers in New Jersey. The following game was against Florida Atlantic in New York. After staying on the East Coast, Illinois then made the trip to Tennessee on December 9. This was a long road trip that is finally over.
Illinois’ last game was against the Owls. We will have over a week to freshen up the legs. Will this break and the fresh legs result in Illinois being more aggressive again?
I think it was pretty clear that Illinois was tired against Tennessee. The style of game completely changed for the program, and it killed us on the court. If we weren't hitting shots early on, this game could have gotten out of hand quickly.
The Illini were settling for shots against the Volunteers. Instead of driving in the lane and taking contact, we were okay with shooting from three-point range regardless if it was a good shot or not. This is what happened last season, and I don’t want it to creep back in with this team.
Illinois ended up taking 36 three-point attempts in the last game. That is the most attempts for the program all season. In fact, the Illini hadn’t attempted more than 25 three-point shots in the last four games.
I think fresh legs will help Illinois against Colgate. I would bet we are more aggressive toward the hoop and won’t be settling for bad shots on the perimeter. Let’s see if we can get back to that winning style.