The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

March 5, 2013

Illini, Hawks playing for their tournament lives

IOWA CITY, IOWA — Depending on which NCAA Tournament expert you listen to, the postseason fates of Iowa and Illinois could use a little help.

While most people believe the Fighting Illini have secured a berth, albeit a low seed; the Hawkeyes appear to be on the outside looking in.

So tonight’s game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City will be important for both team’s résumés.

“They are playing for a lot right now, as we are,’’ Illinois coach John Groce said. “That’s a pretty neat thing here in March, you have two teams that are competing, and both teams have aspirations of doing more in their seasons.’’

When it comes to his team’s postseason prospects, Groce prefers not to talk about it.

“That’s carrot has in front of them since the summer,’’ he said. “We are going to keep doing what we’re doing. The important thing is to continue to get better and to play well, so that other stuff takes care of itself.

“I will let everyone else talk about that. We have to be ready to play in a difficult environment against a team that has the same aspirations.’’

But a unique aspect of this game is that it’s the first meeting between Iowa and Illinois since last year’s Big Ten Tournament game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 64-61, basically ending the coach career of Bruce Weber.

“It’s a great challenge,’’ Groce said. “Preparing for them this late in the year — a Big Ten opponent, you haven’t played previously — is unique.

“That’s the way the schedule is this year. We have to be ready to do, and be ready to play a good Iowa team.’’

The Hawkeyes have been two different teams this year. The one that plays in Carver-Hawkeye Arena is 14-2, while they are 2-8 on the road.

Indiana and Michigan State are the only teams to beat Iowa at home this season.

“They have played really well at home,’’ Groce said. “They are really deep. Defensively, they mix it up as much as any team we’ve played all year in Big Ten play. Offensively, they push the ball. They are playing 10 guys and that’s going to be a challenge.’’

Roy Devyn Marble, a 6-foot-6 junior guard, leads Iowa in scoring at 14.2 points per game, while Aaron White, a 6-8 sophomore forward, is next at 13.7 to go along with a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game.

Marble is the starting point guard, but he’s also played the off-guard and the small forward positions this year.

“He is so versatile. He is a mismatch guy,’’ Groce said. “He has a big game. He’s a well-rounded offensive player. I think he posses that regardless of what position he plays.’’

Illinois, which had five players in double figures during its win over Nebraska on Saturday, is led by Brandon Paul (16.1), D.J. Richardson (12.8) and Tracy Abrams (10.8).

The status of senior forward Sam McLaurin, who turned his ankle in the first half of Saturday’s game, will likely be a game-time decision.

“It’s a mile sprain,’’ Groce said. “Sam has gotten multiple treatments and I’m sure he will try to do whatever it takes to be there.’’

Tonight’s game will tip off at 6 p.m. The game will be shown on the Big Ten Network, while it can be heard locally on WDAN-AM 1490 and WDNL-FM 102.1.

Illinois will conclude the regular season on Sunday with a trip to Columbus, Ohio, to face the Ohio State Buckeyes, who play the Indiana Hoosiers tonight in Bloomington, Ind.

Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - CN0423 - Danville girls track photo 1 Record-setting day for Hall DANVILLE -- Athletes, coaches and fans were all giving advice to Danville sophomore Imani Hall in the high jump. While she appreciated the encouragement, Hall just focused on what she had been doing in practice for the past few weeks and it worked. H

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0423 - Danville baseball photo Vikings no match for Tigers, loss 11-3 DANVILLE -- Urbana came a calling on Danville at Danville Stadium for a Big 12 Conference game with its ace Conner Gremar (Parkland College recruit) on the mound. The Tigers also brought their hitting sticks with them to defeat Danville 11-3. Danvill

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-CN0423 - Seeger softball photo 1 Patriots take over in sixth, beat Mustangs WEST LEBANON, Ind. - Seeger hosted Fountain Central in softball and the lead went back and forth through much of the game. All that changed in the sixth inning when the Patriots sent 11 batters to the plate and scored a half-dozen runs on seven hits

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vikings softball easily cruises past Chargers DANVILLE -- Alissa Peelman overcame a tough start and hit a home run as the Danville softball team beat Champaign Centennial 12-2 in Big 12 conference action on Tuesday. Peelman gave up both of the Chargers' runs in the first inning but only gave up

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0422 - Salt Fork SB photo secondary Storm cruise past Cornjerkers CATLIN -- On a windy and drizzly afternoon in Catlin, two teams with a combined 16 wins and one loss met up in what seemed to be on paper a heavy weight fight in Vermilion Valley Conference play. The Salt Fork Storm came out of the gates strong and b

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0422 - Local roundup photo LOCAL ROUNDUP: Cox tosses no-hitter for Westville DANVILLE -- Westville right-hander Tanner Cox was in total control on Monday against the Schlarman Academy Hilltoppers at Danville Stadium. Cox tossed a five-inning perfect game, striking out 11 of the 15 batters he faced as the Tigers defeated the H

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Schedule TUESDAY Prep Baseball Fountain Central at Seeger, 3:30 p.m. Turkey Run at Covington, 4 p.m. Heritage at Schlarman Academy, 4:30 p.m. Hoopeston Area at Milford, 4:30 p.m. Urbana at Danville, 4:30 p.m. Prep Softball Fountain Central at Seeger, 3:30 p.m

    April 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided PREP BASEBALL At Bismarck Oakwood 12, Bismarck-Henning 1 Oakwood 213 121 2 -- 12 16 0 Bismarck-Henning 000 100 0 -- 1 4 4 WP -- Taylor Turner. LP -- Strawser. 2B -- Turner, Slade. RBIs -- Landon Turner 2, Slade 2, Anderson 2, Girton, Vinson, Abbott.

    April 22, 2014

  • SPT- CN0420 - Danville baseball photo 1 Vikings continue to learn Vikings continue to learn BY AARON PATTERSON sports@dancomnews.com

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0420- NV Softball photo 2 The Mustangs, Falcons split twinbill VEEDERSBURG, Ind. - Too many mistakes cost the Fountain Central softball team any chance of defeating North Vermillion in the first game of their double header. At least that is how Mustang head coach Allison Alexander saw the game. "We had nine erro

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

E-edition
NCAA basketball
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: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon