Connect with us


Illinois Women’s Basketball Needs to Fix Three Things Before Braggin’ Rights



Illinois Women's Basketball
Jan 8, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Taylor Thierry (2) contests the ball with Illinois Fighting Illini guard Makira Cook (3) and guard Jayla Oden (12) during the second quarter of the women’s NCAA division I basketball game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Illinois Fighting Illini at Value City Arena on Sunday afternoon. Basketball Ceb Wbk Illinois Illinois At Ohio State

Illinois Basketball has some things to fix before tipping off against Missouri.

Illinois basketball hosts the Missouri Tigers on Sunday afternoon at the State Farm Center in Champaign. The Illini (5-3) come into this game after a horrific loss to the Michigan Wolverines last week. The Tigers (7-4) also come into this game after a loss. Missouri lost at home to Kansas State on December 9th. Both teams enter this annual rivalry game, seeking redemption from two bad losses.

The Tigers are led by Hayley Frank, who leads them in scoring (17.4 ppg.) and rebounds (7.3). Ashton Judd is second in scoring for the Tigers (15.3 ppg). Genesis Bryant leads Illinois in scoring (14.8 ppg), followed by Katie Bostic and Makira Cook (11 ppg.).

After such an awful loss against Michigan, there are three things the Illini need to fix before tomorrow afternoon.

Heat up that Ice Cold Offense

Illinois shot 29.8 percent from the field against Michigan last Saturday. They have to shoot the basketball better and also find a way to score points in the paint. Michigan out-rebounded them, and Illinois managed only 24 points in the paint. The Illini cannot rely on Genesis Bryant and Makira Cook from the perimeter for four quarters. Katie Bostic and Brynn Shoup-Hill also have to produce more points inside. Also, they need the bench to be more productive. Jada Peebles was the only Illini bench player to score against Michigan.

Neutralize the Size

Illinois had issues dealing with Michigan’s size last Sunday. Three of Illini’s major contributors — Genesis Bryant, Makira Cook, and Adalia McKenzie, are all under six feet tall. Cook and Bryant are 5-foot-5 and 5 -foot-6, respectively. Four of Missouri’s starters are over six feet tall. Shauna Green and her staff have to figure out how to neutralize the Tigers’ size better than they did against Michigan.

Run them out of the Gym.

One way to neutralize Missouri’s size is to create turnovers and increase the tempo. Illinois needs to run the Tigers out of the gym. It could be a long Sunday afternoon if they try to play in the half-court against Mizzou. The Illini had a meager two fast break points against Michigan. Consequently, Green and her staff need to figure out a defensive game plan to create turnovers and get easy baskets in transition and on fast breaks.

Thank you for reading Armchair Illini. For more Illinois Athletics and Big Ten content from Armchair Illini, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Please use our Seatgeek code for 20$ off your purchase on ARMCHAIRILLINOIS. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing Illinois media outlets around!

Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.