Tupper: Illini are thrilling — for now

Now comes the second hurdle — some consistency
2013-02-09T01:00:00Z 2013-02-09T23:23:31Z Tupper: Illini are thrilling — for nowH&R Executive Sports Editor Mark Tupper Herald-Review.com
February 09, 2013 1:00 am  • 

CHAMPAIGN — John Groce’s eyes were still slightly red.

Moments earlier he had hoisted his shirtless, giggling son high into the air while standing on the fringe of the basketball bedlam that raged on around him. When Tyler Griffey’s last-instant layup sealed a 74-72 upset of No. 1-ranked Indiana, Groce had doubled over at the waist, exhaling deeply and practically melting into a puddle of emotion.

Now the party was on.

He had coached, exhorted and fist-pumped his University of Illinois basketball team back from the brink of defeat and now, having settled into his chair in the post-game interview area, Groce knew it was nearly time to shift gears.

After some introductory words of gratitude, relief and praise for his players, Groce issued a cautionary warning that coaches feel obligated to do.

“It’s a big win, but in three days we play in Minneapolis against a really good Minnesota team,” said Groce, who was flanked by Griffey and fellow senior Brandon Paul. “When we wake up tomorrow we can’t be absorbed with one game, win or lose.

“We’ll make the trip to Minnesota and hopefully pack our defense like we did late in this game.”

Groce knew the emotions of Thursday’s victory over

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(3) Comments

  1. notarysojac
    Report Abuse
    notarysojac - February 10, 2013 2:19 pm
    There doesn't look like much doubt that Indiana was looking past Illinois to today's game with OSU. The certainly didn't seem to play that good Wednesday.

    Need a win against the Golden Goofers to gain that all important tie with Northwestern and Iowa oe else drop back with Nebraska.
  2. Pistol Pete
    Report Abuse
    Pistol Pete - February 09, 2013 8:23 am
    Great win for all of Illini nation, especially since it was over IU. The seniors did a great job, even SM. Hope this carries over to the remaining games.
  3. Greenshirt
    Report Abuse
    Greenshirt - February 09, 2013 7:39 am
    "Groce knew the emotions of Thursday’s victory over..." Looking forward to reading the rest of the article.
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