Illini Wonk
Sunday, November 27, 2005
  Add another trophy to the Illini case
The Illinois Fighting Illini add another trophy to the case as they defeat Rutgers 77-57 in the title game of the South Padre Island Invitational. In a contest that was supposed to be a test, the Illini easily handed Rutgers their first loss of the season. The newspaper headlines tell the story:

Chicago Tribune: Title game a romp for Illini

State Journal-Register: Illini rout Rutgers

Elgin Courier News: Illini crush Rutgers, win title

So which Texas performance reveals this year's Illini? The last second victory over Wichita State or the rout of Rutgers? More importantly, which team will show up for their first nationally-televised game of the season against North Carolina on Tuesday night?

In the Chicago Sun-Times, Herb Gould wrote that the Illini are making progress. Mark Tupper believes that is especially true for Randle who had the highest scoring game of his career. Lindsey Willhite agrees, saying Randle took his long-awaited turn in the difference-maker category.

John Brumbaugh analyzes the stat sheet and concludes that the Illini played much better offense than they did against Wichita State. He writes:
The Illini only took 15 three-point shots, and they got the ball inside a lot more as the Illini big men combined for 22 of the Illini’s 51 shots. Another good sign that the Illini were not just a jump shot oriented team against the Scarlet Knights was their 29 free throw attempts were scattered around the lineup, from the big men to the guards. The Illini also took much better control of the basketball, only committing 10 turnovers for the game.

James Augustine continued to play well and was named tournament MVP. Dee Brown and Rich McBride joined Augustine on the all-tournament team.
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