Long Way Down

Walking to Assembly Hall to watch Illinois battle Indiana, I was hopeful we could beat them on our home floor. I thought someone might have a breakout game. I thought the Orange Krush might get into the crybaby head of Eric Gordon.

Walking out I realize two out of three ain’t bad, but it doesn’t get the team another win. DMac had a coming out party with a career high 30 some odd points. Gordon was flustered by the cacophony of boos every time he touched the ball. Unfortunately, Illinois still lost by four in double overtime.

The game is over. The Eric Gordon situation should pretty much never be brought up again. Indiana will probably be put on probation next season because their coach is a cheater and a liar. Finally, Illinois has some great recruits coming in the next three years and this rock bottom season will be forgotten.

I can’t wait for the two seniors on this team to graduate. Shawn Pruitt’s dreams of playing in the NBA will remain fantasies. As I understand it, Brian Randle is a pretty smart fellow, so I’m sure he will do fine. Buh-Bye. See ya. Good riddance.

Regarding the actual game, I’m not going to dog the free throw shooting. We were actually pretty good if you exclude Pruitt’s 1 for 7. Unfortunately, when you have three chances to win the game at the line and your blow all three chances, I don’t think you belong on the floor.

When you have a team that pisses away ten to twelve point leads and can’t put away teams at the end because of stupid fouls or poor free throw shooting, I blame the coach. I like Weber, but he doesn’t know what to do with this team. He seems lost. Of course, we have a bunch of role players and no leadership. It comes down to fundamental basketball and either the players don’t understand it or the coach can’t teach it. It’s probably a bit of both.

In the next few years, we will have some great athletes wearing the orange and blue. I look forward to supporting the team. For now though, I think I might be done.

I’m not a fair-weather fan. I’ve been in Champaign for seven years and I watched the good, the bad and the ugly. This year, the only game I wanted them to win was this one and they threw away their chances. I am profoundly disappointed. And so, I’m done watching this year.

When I have a choice to watch the game or talk to the two and a half hours away girl, I’m taking the call. If I can play with my daughter or watch the game, I’m goofing around with my teenage daughter. When there’s a choice… and there always is a choice… I’m choosing the other.

I hope they win more games. I hope the players learn from a season like this and vow never to let it happen again. I hope I can find it in myself to watch Illinois basketball again this season, but I doubt it.