The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


March 14, 2013

Illini hopes for a repeat

CHICAGO —  It’s hard not to see the big smile on the face of Illinois senior Tyler Griffey when he talks about the last meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Indiana Hoosiers.

Griffey’s game-winning layup with 00.9 seconds left gave Illinois a 74-72 victory over Indiana, who was rated No. 1 in the country, and it set off a wild celebration on the floor of the Assembly Hall.

And while that game was 36 days ago, Griffey and the rest of the Fighting Illini know that the Hoosiers will have revenge on their minds.

“They are a team that is playing really, really well,” Griffey said. “They have gotten better as the season progressed, so after beating them the first time, we know they will be ready and we expect it.”

The Hoosiers have won six of eight since the loss to the Illini and Indiana earned its first outright Big Ten Conference Championship since 1993.

“I’m ready to keep playing in this tournament,” said Illinois senior guard D.J. Richardson, who is 10-of-38 from the field in the past three games. “I’m blessed to play against these type of teams. There’s a lot of good teams in the Big Ten. We’re going to treat Indiana like we treat the rest of the teams in the Big Ten, take it one game at a time.

“We’ll have scouting tonight and get a lot of fluids in us and get prepared for tomorrow.”

A big focus of the Illinois scouting report will be Indiana sophomore forward Cody Zeller, who is averaging 21.3 points and 8 rebounds in the past three games for the Hoosiers.

“He’s a great player,” Illinois sophomore center Nnanna Egwu said. “The one thing about Zeller is that he is such a great player but he also plays hard. So does (Victor) Oladipo.

“They are the two hardest playing players on their team. So you have to match intensity level and compete with them.”

Oladipo, the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year, averages 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Also averaging double digits for the Hoosiers is forward Christian Watford (12.4) and guard Jordan Hulls (10.5).

Indiana has never won a Big Ten Tournament championship, while Illinois has won two titles in Chicago and the Illini are 16-5 all-time in tournament games at the United Center, but Illinois coach John Groce admits he need to sit down with assistant coach Dustin Ford to develop the game plan.

“I’ll know more when I get with Dustin,” Groce said. “He can inform me what they have done between when we played them last and now.

“Our total focus was on today’s game (Illinois beat Minnesota 51-49). We have not tried to advance our thought any further than that.”

Thursday’s victory for Illinois snapped a string of three straight losses in the conference tournament, including back-to-back years where the Illini, who started Big Ten play at 2-7, lost in their first game at the tourney.

“I’m happy for those guys. They have been through an awful lot. And I’m really proud of their resilience. I said that as soon as season No. 2 ended. That they’re aware that some people had written them off. I think that put a chip on their shoulder. It does, if you’re a competitor,” Groce said. “And they responded very well in the second half of Big Ten play.

“And today I think that their mindset of being poised and the way they talked to one another in timeouts, our body language was really good. Those intangible things mean as much as anything in terms of being able to get the outcome we got today. Now you’re able to make some of those plays because your mind is right.”

Illinois will try to carry the momentum over into today’s quarterfinal contest that is scheduled to tip off at 11 a.m. The game can be seen on ESPN, while it can be heard on WDAN-AM 1490 or WDNL-FM 102.1.

Text Only
  • SPT - CN0731 - Dans photo 1 Danville boots one away DANVILLE — Keith Shumaker, an every day first baseman, was tied for the team lead in RBIs this season, before making his first start on the mound.But that was the least of the concerns for the Danville Dans, who made four fielding errors en route to

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North MontgomerySATURDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tourname

    July 31, 2014

  • SPT - CN0730 - Dans baseball photo 1 Dans continue to struggle DANVILLE — The Danville Dans haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball in the second half of the season. After taking the West Division title in the first half with a 19-11 record, Danville has played sub-.500 baseball in the second half and c

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0730 - Illini football media photo Experienced Illini looking for success CHICAGO — Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman is hoping that the third time is the charm.Beckman begins his third season at the helm of the Illini, and with the nucleus of last season’s team returning, it may finally be time for Illinois

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - CN0730 - Purdue football media photo Hazell hopes for smooth second season CHICAGO — After a season to forget in 2013, Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is expecting better results as his team begins training camp next week. Hazell spoke to the media during the 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days at the Hilton Chicago, and afte

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballHannibal Cavemen at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.THURSDAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Dustbowl photo 2 Repeat performance Championship Sunday was in full swing at the 42nd Annual Dustbowl at David S. Palmer Arena. In the men’s division it was defending champions Leek & Sons against the Hickory Beavers. Leek & Sons made it back to back championships with a 29-point victo

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0729 - Brickyard photo Gordon kisses 'The Bricks' for 5th time INDIANAPOLIS — The common gift for a 20th anniversary is either china or platinum.But for Jeff Gordon on Sunday, he was more interested in the PPG Trophy made of gold, sterling silver and alloy aluminum and the native of Pittsboro, Ind., wasn’t going

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old friends meet again in city tourney DANVILLE — Gene Gourley and Bryan Stine have a lot of history on the tennis court. The two of them, who have been playing each other at the Danville Tennis Center for over 20 years, renewed their rivalry again on Sunday during the Greater Danville Ar

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Junior Dustbowl photo Free throws decide junior Dustbowl title DANVILLE — In the boys’s Division it was DV Stars vs. Squad for the Championship with the Squad coming back from an early 16-point deficit to beat DV Stars 59-55 in overtime. Squads Parker Lee made one of two free throws with 18 seconds left in regul

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
NDN Video
Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek