Illini Wonk
Saturday, January 29, 2005
  Another day...another record
The Illlini put on a show for the orange-clad crowd today that had gathered to celebrate 100 years of Illinois basketball and watch perhaps the best team in that 100-year history. An almost perfect performance in the first half saw the Fighting Illini take a 21-point lead in route to a 89-66 victory over the Minnesota Gophers.

It was their 17th straight Big Ten victory, which tied a team record that had stood since 1916. More good news for the Illini came from the shooting performances of Deron Williams and Roger Powell. Williams had 18 points on 7-10 shooting and 6 assists, while Powell made 8-12 shots for 21 points. Between the two of them, they were 6-8 from three-point land.

James Augustine added 15 points and 7 boards, while Luther Head added 10 points in only the second game of conference play that he did not lead the team in scoring (complete box score here).

Game photo gallery here. Rebounders luncheon photos here.

When the Centennial Celebration was planned months ago, who would have thought that the festivities would have been eclipsed by the current team. But that's exactly what's happened. Jeff Shelman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (a current blogger and former reporter with Danville Commerical-News) has a quality profile here.

Many of the former players and coaches who made an appearance today had good things to say about the 2004-05 Fighting Illini. Neil Milbert of the Chicago Tribune has some of it here. Trib sports-writer Mike Downey has more from former Illini and speculates what the 150th anniversary will look like here.

Not to be outdone a windy-city paper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch has a recap of the game here and a column by Bryan Burwell here.

From Illini Wonk, happy 100th birthday Illinois hoops. May this year be your best.
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