The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

January 22, 2013

Illini focus on execution

CHAMPAIGN —  

Illinois men’s basketball coach John Groce doesn’t see a million things wrong with his Fighting Illini.

Yes, his team has lost three straight and five of their last seven but he has a simple plan to get things turned around.

“We are just trying to execute better, play a little bit better,’’ he said. “We need to do things better — both offensively and defensively.’’

That sounds simple enough.

Illinois will attempt to end its losing ways tonight with a 7:30 p.m. contest in Lincoln, Neb., against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

A year ago, Nebraska humiliated Illinois in Lincoln with the Cornhuskers earning an 80-57 victory.

Groce said that game hasn’t been part of the Illini preparation as Illinois is coming off a 68-54 loss last Thursday at home to Northwestern.

“Right now, I think it’s more of an execution issue where we have to play better,’’ Groce said. “We have to make better plays. We have to take care of the ball better, and we have to shoot better. We have to defend better. We have rebound consistently. We have screen better. We have to move the ball better.

“All those little details matter. We’ve got to play better if we want different results.’’

And, according to Groce, it’s not like this team hasn’t played well this season.

Illinois, who has been rated in the Associated Press Top 25 until this week, has wins over No. 9 Butler in the championship game of Maui Invitational, and a win at No. 10 Gonzaga.

Additionally, the Illini, who are 14-5 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten, got their only league victory over No. 14 Ohio State.

“They know they have the capability of playing better,’’ Groce said. “They have played some really good basketball this season.

“We don’t have an effort issue on our team. We just need to execute better.’’

And while Illinois is trying to break a losing streak, Nebraska (10-9, 1-5), snapped a five-game losing skid on Saturday with a 68-64 win over Penn State.

Freshman Shavon Shields scored a career-high 29 points for the Cornhuskers, who also got 15 points from Ray Gallegos and 12 points from Brandon Ubel, who was returning after missing two games with an elbow injury.

“It starts with (Dylan) Talley and Gallegos — their two guards — those guys can put big numbers up,’’ said Groce as Gallegos and Talley are combining to average 26.1 points per game. “They are both explosive scoring.

“With Ubel being out, (David) Rivers and Shields had to amplify their roles a little bit.’’

Senior Brandon Paul continues to lead Illinois in scoring, averaging 18.2 points per game. Paul is also the team leader in rebounding with 4.9 per game.

Sophomore guard Tracy Abrams leads the Illini with 3.2 assists per game and he is second in scoring (11.9).

For the first time all year, Illinois changed its starting lineup last Thursday against Northwestern.

Senior Sam McLaurin got the start over senior Tyler Griffey, who came off the bench with six points and a season-high six rebounds.

“I thought Tyler played really coming off the bench,’’ said Groce about his lineup for tonight. “More than likely that’s the way we are leaning.’’

Tonight’s game can be seen on the Big Ten Network and it can be heard locally on WDAN-AM 1490 and WDNL-FM 102.1.

Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • Salt Fork softball continues with strong start CATLIN -- The Salt Fork softball team continued its undefeated start with a sweep of Unity on Saturday by identical 10-0 scores. In the first game, Kayln Learnard had a triple and two RBIs while Kaylee McFadden, Lea Hall, Kylie Summers and Camryn Tod

    April 20, 2014

  • Saturday's Local Scores PREP BASEBALL At Danville Stadium Game 1 Normal Community 8, Danville 1 Normal Community 400 003 1 — 8 11 0 Danville 100 000 0 — 1 4 2 WP — Mike Shepard (3-1). LP — Mike Vascura. Two or more hits — NC: Luke McC

    April 20, 2014

  • SPT- CN0419 - Bis-Henn Baseball photo 1 Taylor slows Blue Devils BISMARCK -- After a perfect game from Ross Learnard on Tuesday, the Salt Fork baseball team received another outstanding pitching performance on Friday from Cole Taylor, who struck out nine and allowed only one hit over five innings as the Storm beat

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0419 - Danville softball photo 1 Danville blasts three homers to beat Westville WESTVILLE -- Danville coach Corey Pullin knew it was just a matter of time until junior Alissa Peelman and sophomore Lindsey Lowenstein started seeing positive results at the plate. On Friday afternoon, the duo of Peelman and Lowenstein gave the Viki

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Danville girls track wins Raider Invitational BLOOMINGTON -- The Danville girls track team picked up four wins as they were able to beat the pack at the Lady Raider Invitational on Friday. Sadie Elliott won the 3,200 in 11 minutes, 51.75 seconds for Danville, while Aariona Graham won the long ju

    April 19, 2014

  • Friday's Local Scores PREP BASEBALL At Bismarck Salt Fork 15, Bismarck-Henning 0 Salt Fork 040 0(11) -- 15 14 0 Bis-Henn 000 0 0 -- 0 1 8 WP -- Cole Taylor. LP -- Dustyn Ingram. Two or more hits -- SF: Ross Learnard 3, Max Stutsman 3, Garrett McFadden, Lane West

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT- Cn0418 - Covington softball photo 2 Trojans cruise to victory COVINGTON, Ind. - The Covington softball team had a big first inning as they scored five runs on their way to defeating Attica 11-1. Attica threatened to score in the first, getting Karrah Pattengale to second, but they were unable to drive her home.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lunger steps up for Buffaloes GEORGETOWN -- In only the second start of his career, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman pitcher Tyler Lunger pitched a five-hit complete game as the Buffaloes defeated Milford 8-2 on Thursday in Vermilion Valley Conference action. "I feel I threw well

    April 18, 2014

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: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday