It is always tough to beat slow-paced Northwestern, but the Illini managed to win on the road in Evanston behind Demetri McCamey.
The sophomore scored 21 points and banked in a jumper with 2.9 seconds left to help Illinois improve to 20-5 overall and 8-4 in the Big Ten.
Despite trailing for much of Thursday’s game, the Illini were able to win behind strong defense and timely baskets. Illinois is one of the best defensive teams in the nation and could make a run in the NCAA tournament.
The Illini are certainly not overly talented, but Demetri McCamey is a good scorer and a capable play-maker. He has improved his jumper and decision-making, and is fairly athletic and able to get his shot off against bigger defenders.
Although Illinois doesn’t have any marquee wins besides an early-season victory against Missouri, the Illini are likely to finish in the top four in the Big Ten this season.
A strong finish should garner Bruce Weber’s team a four or five seed in the NCAA tournament.