Half done...half perfect
The Illini basketball team has now won half of their games in the regular season...and have half of them left. They pushed their record to 15-0 with a 19 point win
against THE Ohio State in Champaign on Wednesday.
The story of the game for the Illini was the play of Junior center James Augustine
. His career tying 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting and 10 rebounds led the way for the Illini. Even more impressive is that the stats came against Terence Dials, one of the most hyped big men in the conference. Dials was coming off back-to-back Big Ten player of the week awards
and Augustine held him to seven points-less than half his average.
Illini Wonk readers will remember a previous post
in which Sports Illustrated
writer Seth Davis wrote:
The only question I have about the nation's top-ranked team is whether it can score enough in the post. But that's nitpicking. James Augustine's 9.2 scoring average is more the result of his teammates' abilities than his own shortcomings. At some point, when Illinois needs Augustine to deliver a strong performance, I believe he will.
Augustine delivered and may have put those questions to bed with his performance on Wednesday night. His stats led Mark Tupper to ask of the 6-10, 230 pounder is he on the brink of consistency?
He also garnered the headlines he deserved. Lindsey Willhite of the Chicago Daily Herald
said Augustine gave the team a Depth Charge
while the Peoria Journal-Star
headline simply read Frontcourt - A
. In the Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph
it was Augustine powers No. 1 Illini past Ohio State
and the State Journal-Register
had the postman delivers
Augustine's career night pushed his season scoring average
to ten, which means that all five Illini starters are averaging double figures in scoring. While his performance may come as a surprise to some of the pundits, Augustine is capable of big games. As Davis, pointed out above, Augustine's 9.2 scoring average is more the result of his teammates' abilities than his own shortcomings
. Illini Wonk believes that one of the primary reasons for the undefeated start to the season has been the plethora of weapons they posess. On any one night, any or all of the five starters are capable of carrying the Illini to victory.