Illini Wonk
Friday, March 04, 2005
  One More Win
Following Illinois' blow-out win over Purdue, prediction of the week goes to Jeff Washburn of the Lafayette Journal and Courier, who in his preview of the game said this one has ugly written all over it. The Illini are now a win over the Ohio State Buckeyes away from the first undefeated regular season in the Big Ten in almost 30 years.

Dee for Three! Dee for MVP?

Not surprisingly, Junior Guard Dee Brown garnered most of the press coverage following his SI-Cover-Curse-Dismissing, carerr-high-tying, 27-point performance. His eight three-pointers (out of 10 attempts) tied an Assembly Hall record and had this blogger laughing uncontrollably at the end of the first half. Highlights of his seven first-half threes are available from ESPN Motion.

In the Peoria Journal-Star, John Supinie wrote They scheduled a party on senior night, but junior guard Dee Brown stole the show for No. 1 Illinois. Mark Tupper wrote in the Decatur Herald & Tribune that Brown turned the Assembly Hall into his personal Big Ten Conference MVP stage.

Brown may have just played his way to the Big Ten Player-of-the-Year, although Dick Vitale says it's Deron Williams. Speaking of Williams, he had a great game last night that was only overshadowed by Brown's performance. Williams had 21 points on 7-9 shooting with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and no turnovers.

The Pupil has now Become the Teacher

In the loss, Purdue Coach Gene Keady heaped praise on the team of his protege, Bruce Weber, saying (here) I think [Illinois is] maybe the best team with three guards that I've ever seen in the history of basketball, and I saw UCLA when it had Walt Hazzard and Cincinnati when it had Oscar Robertson. That was just a tremendous show of shooting. They were just unconscious. They were just great. On the topic of Brown, Keady said (here) I think he's going to be an MVP — good enough to be the MVP of the nation, MVP of the Big Ten. I just think he's a great little guard.

It can't be over

There were lots of tributes to the seniors, who played their last game in Champaign, but none as good as that from Jeff Mayfield in the Lincoln Daily News. John "Brumby" Brumbaugh lists the accomplishments of the seniors here.
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