Smile Politely

Illinois Finds Its Stride Versus Purdue

I don’t know whether E’Twaun Moore dreams in color. But I’ll bet he nightmares in Orange and Blue. Moore managed only six points against Illinois on Sunday, and his Purdue Boilermakers lost to the Illini for the second time this year.

Trent Meacham climbed out of his hole, hitting 3 of 5 from long-range, and doing much of the work on Moore. Moore waited until the 9:17 mark to score. Meacham especially was glued to him during that first half, as the Illini rotated defensive assignments, switched, and helped on weak side penetration. When Moore finally got his bucket, it was Calvin Brock who gave up the deuce.

It was a much needed all around effort for Illinois, who have collectively looked like festering gangrene for three weeks straight. Even their victories were ugly.

I’d like to thank the coaching staff for reading, and heeding, all of my advice. The guard penetration, recognizing the flashing pick-setter, making shots. These were the missing ingredients for success. After reading my column, and appreciating the tasteful representation of feminine nudity therein, the staff and players got to work making adjustments.

The picks and rolls were fun to watch. Squared shooting brought forth made baskets. And Illini guards attempted a lot of free throws Sunday. That means they were going to the hole. Demetri McCamey was seven of seven from the line.

Thanks to Mike Davis, too. He obviously took notice of my call for more double-doubles. With 14 and 16 Sunday, he picked up his sixth of the year, and second in as many games.

Purdue was without its two best players. Robbie Hummel’s back problems kept him off the court. E’Twaun Moore was only present in a physical sense. Who knows where his mind was.

Mike Davis is also a bit of a headcase. Davis’ double-double may keep him from thoroughly obsessing over his triple-miss. It began when Marcus Green pushed him too far under the basket. Davis recovered, then jammed the ball into the side of the rim. (Oops!) Then he recovered again. Thoroughly flustered, he missed a lay-up.

Green wasn’t whistled until he mugged Meacham at the other end. When Davis is Eddie Johnson’s age, he will no longer lose sleep contemplating the millions and millions of people who saw him miss that dunk on CBS. He only casually mentioned it in the postgame interviews. But he’ll be thinking about it.

Davis’ psyche is also burdened by his endocrinological problems. His tonsils have, as Bill Cosby once quipped, joined the other side. They are now working against him.

Bruce Weber said the illness affects Davis’s mental condition. Physical, mental, spiritual, intellectual, they’re all intertwined. The hip bone is connected to the mind bone. Davis has been getting psychological advice from his coaches, his dad and a volunteer psychiatrist.

If you were 6-foot-10 and had a baby soft jumper, you might get free professional advice, too.


At the second half’s under–16 timeout, Matt Painter defeated Bruce Weber in planning. On the ensuing possession, Purdue shut down the Illini offensive scheme, completely. Perhaps Painter also alerted the officials to Mike Davis’ frequent moving picks. That was the end of the next possession. On the third possession, the Boilers forced a turnover. That was it for them. From then on, they died.

Lately, Demetri McCamey has been lofting his game-opening three from 2–point land. It’s long, every time.

What will be Dominique Keller’s punishment for dipsy-doodling a fastbreak lay-up? As Kenny Battle could tell you, it’s all right to show off if the bucket counts. If you miss, prepare for a bout of Piney Bottom.

For some reason, these two defense-oriented teams combine for a fast pace, rather than a slow grind. It was true at West Lafayette, also.

It was fun watching Lewis Jackson get stuck in Demetri McCamey’s wicket.

g1871904c88fcb1ae2a97f4ac8400f82-1.jpg picture by legalrecords

Mike Tisdale scored two points for Purdue. The bucket was credited to JuJuan Johnson, padding his double-double to 17 and 11. Dude is good.

Frazier’s inbounding hesitancy, with 2 seconds on the shot clock and following a timeout, might have been serious in a close game. It’s nice to be cautious with the ball. But there’s a limit to the value of caution.

Mike Davis is going to break himself setting halfcourt picks. He lacks Brian Cardinal’s physique.

Bruce Weber got his 250th win Sunday.

Illinois is now 4–2 against ranked teams this year.

Purdue shot 32.2 percent and 2–of–15 from three. That helps.



Kate Ramshaw’s nifty corduroys came from J. Crew.

Staci Smith – Ann Taylor

I went to law school with Erick Van Dorn. Later, he met Michelle Van Dorn.


Chester Frazier’s two free-throws were not close to good. He may have been rattled by The Paint Crew, Purdue’s student section, which was much louder than the Orange Krush. In the second half,
the Boilerkinder were hypnotized by an Orange & Blue bat signal.


Eddie Johnson returned to the Hall Sunday. He and Don Freeman
watched their jerseys lofted to the rafters.

Related Articles