Illinois outplays Indiana; Davis happy with energy

By Lucas Deal

Three days after resigning as the head coach at Indiana University, Mike Davis’ month took another awful turn as his Hoosiers lost their fifth game in a row, 70-58, against Illinois on Sunday at the Assembly Hall.

Davis will be stepping down from his position at the end of the season, which appears to be approaching sooner rather than later due to his team’s recent trend.

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And yet, despite the losing streak, Davis still thinks his team has the ability to send him out in style.

“We came out with a lot of energy, and after last week I thought that was pretty good,” he said. “Today easily could have been a 25-point loss.”

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    Illini head coach Bruce Weber was also impressed by the Hoosiers’ play, especially because of the emotions they were carrying entering the matchup.

    “We didn’t know how they would react,” he said. After such a tumultuous week, Weber thought they played pretty well. But, he added, they’ve still lost a lot since they beat the Illini 62-60 in Bloomington, Ind., last month.

    “They’ve lost their swagger,” he said. “They’re not the same team.”

    No matter how Indiana’s season turns out, Davis thinks his team needs to move on.

    “Last week is over,” he said.


    After struggling on offense for the better part of three games, senior forward James Augustine broke out for a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds on Sunday.

    With Indiana focusing its new zone defense on Dee Brown, Augustine said he felt it was his turn to step up.

    “I tried to be more active and take more pressure off Dee,” Augustine said. “I didn’t play very well against them the first time and I wanted to show them that I could play with them.”


    For the 22nd time in 26 games, Illinois out-rebounded its opponent on Sunday. The Illini had a 37-25 edge on the glass, including a 19-11 edge in the second half.

    Augustine led the Illini with 10 boards while Brown, Chester Frazier and Warren Carter each grabbed five.


    Brian Randle re-aggravated a sore right wrist early in the first half during a struggle for a loose ball under the Indiana basket.

    Randle left the game clutching his wrist in pain, but returned minutes later wrapped and ready to go. He ended up playing 36 minutes.

    “It’s a nagging thing,” he said about the injury. “It looks much worse than it is. (Monday) it will be fine.”


    While the performances of Augustine and Randle had the biggest impact on the box score, freshman guard Frazier proved to be Illinois’ sparkplug for much of the game.

    From his intensity and energy on defense to his cheerleading on the sideline, Frazier made sure he was involved in the entire game.

    And with fellow freshman Jamar Smith being given the day off for not “taking care of business in a timely manner,” Weber said Frazier’s effort proved to be that much more valuable.