Illinois is worth watching

Ali Adair

Ali Adair

Dee Brown of the University of Illinois is quite possibly the best college men’s basketball player in the nation, hands down. He has an uncanny ability to read defenders and run a transition as well as being a major threat on offense. His speed is almost un-defendable and as a pure point guard he takes command of his offense. He is unselfish and gives up the rock, but everyone keeps going on and on about how great Dee Brown is. I’m not going to deny it, the boy can play.

He is one of the many reasons that the University of Illinois is so incredibly hot right now. Ranked number one in the nation, with a 22-0 record, they are 8-0 in the Big Ten. The question has been raised if anyone can really beat Illinois. An almost guaranteed Final Four pick, Illinois has a legitimate shot of running the table. No other team has been undefeated and won the Final Four since Bobby Knights’ 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.

Sorry to say it, but I am not here to talk about Dee Brown. He’s good, fun to watch and gets it done, but I want to talk about someone else. Someone I think has been seriously overlooked as a prime time player.

Luther Head is a quiet threat and that’s what gets me excited. Every game he steps onto the floor and quietly gets his job done, and he does it well. That’s what makes him fun to watch. He is a consistent scorer and consistent on defense. You could say that everyone on the Illinois team is good and contributes; actually you have to say that. There is no way a team could be that good and not have five amazing players on the floor. I just love the way Head plays.

Iowa seriously underestimated the talent of Head. He was Illinois leading scorer with 25 points. What about Wisconsin? Eighteen points and helped break a home win streak of 38 games. Minnesota? Okay, so he only had 10 points, but I’m from Iowa so ask me how much I care about the University of Minnesota. (Yeah, that’s right. Sorry, that might make some of you mad. If it did, just go play duck-duck gray duck and get over it. We can talk about that later.) In Illinois’ most recent win at Michigan State, Head was the leading scorer again with 22 points. Head is great from three-point land and at one point during the Michigan State game, he had 11 points back-to-back-to-back, compliments of a couple steals he had in-between. He is a great scorer and averages a little over 16 points a game.

So what else about Head makes him so much fun to watch? He is an all around great athlete and creates opportunities for his teammates to score. He can penetrate the lane and give up the ball to teammates under the basket, or he can kick it out to three-point land. Most importantly, this senior has composure and an un-matched maturity on the floor. He leads by example and that does more than any words ever could.

Head is one of the reasons Illinois is having such an amazing season. Basketball at its best is being played by those boys right now, and with March Madness right down the road I can’t wait to see what this team can accomplish. Not many teams could stand in the way of an undefeated season, maybe Wisconsin, but that game will be played at Illinois and it is hard to beat a team like this at home. Some have said that Iowa would have a chance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, but with the recent dismissal of Iowa star Pierre Pierce Iowa’s season has officially been shot to hell. What about North Carolina? That will remain to be seen since the two teams won’t meet until the Final Four or the National Championship game. I would like to see Illinois run the table. It’s a rare feat and something that is definitely worth watching.