Illinois Basketball: 5 observations from the Illini win over Missouri

Colgate v Illinois
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4. Illinois ball movement continues to be excellent

In multiple years past, Illinois has had teams that wouldn’t pass the ball often. The players would kind of stand around and just wait for a play to happen.

With the current rendition of the Illinois basketball team, I expected more of the standing-around style. My main thought is since we don’t have a point guard, Illinois will look discombobulated at times on offense.

That hasn’t been the case at all, though. On Friday night, Illinois continued to look like a well-oiled machine, and a lot of this has to do with the excellent ball movement on the offensive end of the court.

When Illinois is in transition, we push the ball up the court. We don’t just dribble and wait for a half-court set. We try to get easy points at the basket when the defense is on their heels.

Illinois is able to move the ball well when we do get into halfcourt sets too. There are very few times in the halfcourt when only one or two players touch the ball. It is usually swung around the perimeter until an open man is found.

Friday night was one of the best ball movement games I have seen from Illinois in a long time. We finished with 17 assists, which is the second most this season right behind the 18 assists in the game against Southern.

This type of ball movement and teamwork will take Illinois far in the NCAA tournament. We have a chance to go deep if we continue playing team basketball.