Grading the Illini's efforts against Penn State.
Front court: F
Illini seniors Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle came up empty. Pruitt had only two rebounds and disappeared in a zone defense. Randle again found himself in foul trouble. Without these guys leading the way, the Illini don't have a chance.
Back court: D
Calvin Brock has become reliable with his mid-range game, but he had trouble guarding small forwards who outweighed him by 20 or 30 pounds. Meanwhile, Chester Frazier and Trent Meacham failed to become perimeter scoring threats.
Freshman Demetri McCamey earned a starting spot with his ability to score from the perimeter and penetrate the zone. He still must play harder on defense, but McCamey is one flickering bright spot in a season going south.
It gets rougher from here. If the Illini couldn't protect the homecourt against Ohio State and Penn State (not to mention Tennessee State and Miami of Ohio), what's going to happen when they go on the road for games against Wisconsin and Indiana? Somebody grab the bandages. This could get messy.