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Illinois Vs. Wisconsin: Illini Look To Stay On Pace With Ohio State In Standings

TIME / TV: 3:00 PM ET on Big Ten Network

Illinois knows it isn't easy to go into Wisconsin and win, but Illinois has strangely been a team that has had success when they visit the Kohl Center. Illinois will be looking to keep that reputation tonight, as they try to stay on pace with the conference leader, Ohio State. 

Illinois and Wisconsin are just coming off loses. Illinois lost at Penn State in one of their worst shooting performances of the season. If the Illini want to win at the Kohl Center, there is no way they can shoot like that. That was the Illini's first Big Ten loss of the season. Wisconsin just lost at Michigan State, in a win that the Spartans really needed. Wisconsin needs to win today, as they already have two Big Ten losses. They do not want to fall farther behind, at this point in the season. 

For Illinois, Demetri McCamey averages 15 points a game. In the PSU loss, he only had 10. He will be key for the Illini at the Kohl Center. Mike Tisdale leads the team in rebounding with seven rebounds per game.

For Wisconsin, Jon Leuer leads them with 18 points per game, but Jordan Taylor isn't far behind with 16 points per game. Jon Leuer does it all for the Badgers as he leads them in rebounding, as well, with seven boards per game.

Keys to the game after the jump

When Illinois Has The Ball

 

  • Get the ball to Demetri McCamey, he needs to touch it every time Illinois has a possession. He can not afford to only score 10 points if Leuer and Taylor get hot. 
  • Convert on turnovers and get fast break away points. It will be key to disrupting the Wisconsin defensive effort. Keep them guessing. Make good passes.

 

When Wisconsin Has The Ball

 

  • Two words: Leuer, Taylor. Those two names mean everything to the Illini in this game, these two have to get hot, convert their shots into baskets for a chance at the win.
  • Pound the paint. Drive to the lane. If you don't make the shot, you have a pretty good chance of drawing the foul with Mike Tisdale down low. 

 

Overall

It could be a close game. It probably will be. Wisconsin is at home, and they very very rarely lose there. They can't take Illinois for granted though, Illinois should come to play after their Penn State loss. If Illinois has a poor shooting performance, look for a Wisconsin blowout. Illinois can not afford another shooting night like they had against UIC or Penn State this season.