COVID-19 Illini basketball

Cakewalk Continued

The Mayor has not yet earned the key to the city.

The Illini men’s basketball team will likely face a good opponent during the 2022 B1G season. But not tonight.

Nebraska is winless in conference play, and 6-10 overall. Losses include the Western Illinois Leathernecks, a team that’s 1-3 in the Summit League so far this season. WIU beat Denver before losing to Omaha, St. Thomas and Oral Roberts in league play.

Lat Mayen and Illini Zach Griffith, who got the start on Senior Day

What, you ask, is St. Thomas?

Good question. Evidently it’s a basketball school in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and evidently it became a member of the Summit League after some less obscure basketball team departed for the greener pastures of MVC, or MAC or something. Probably.

Transitive property, that’s how bad Nebraska is.

But Lat Mayen is still in Lincoln. He led the Huskers in scoring during last years overtime “thriller” against Ayo (31 pts) and Kofi (21). Brad Underwood says Nebraska is even better at rim protection this year, so Illinois better find its shooting rhythm from the arc.

Injured guard/bulldog Trey McGowens was the Huskers’ top scorer in the return game, an 86-70 Illini win in Champaign. He scored 16 in that game, and 15 the first time around. Some regarded him as the Huskers best player last season. This year, it’s his kid brother, the first five-star recruit in program history. Bryce McGowens is a lanky scorer

Derrick Walker is also back, and still beefy in the middle. He was Nebraska’s other interior defender last year, but caused the Illini few problems. In the first game, he’d just returned from a major suspension. In the second game, he had foul trouble.

The remaining Husker of interest is Alonzo Verge, whose career has had a lot of ups and downs since the days when John Groce was recruiting him.

This should be a snoozer. Let’s hope you find it restful.