Rapid Reaction: Texas 90, Illinois 84 (OT)
November, 19, 2010
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score
WHAT IT MEANS: No. 22 Texas notched a win that will pay major dividends come Selection Sunday four months from now, beaing No. 16 Illinois by a score of 90-84 in overtime. Texas goes to 3-0 on the season, while Illinois drops to 3-1.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: The best player in this game happened to be a guy who played his high school ball in the area for a while -- Texas freshman Tristan Thompson.
Thompson -- a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward originally from Brampton, Ontario in Canada -- played at St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey, before transferring and finishing up at Findlay College Prep in Nevada. And in just his third college game, at Madison Square Garden no less, Thompson posted a stat line of 20 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots.
Thompson was the No. 10 player in his high school class, and the No. 4 power forward, according to ESPN's rankings. You're certain to be hearing a lot more about him this season.
Texas sophomore shooting guard Jordan Hamilton also played very well, with 25 points.
(ALMOST) ACHILLES HEEL: Last season, Texas shot just 63.3 percent from the foul line as a team -- the third-worst percentage in Division I basketball. Tonight, they almost shot themselves in the foot -- literally -- shooting 25-for-44 from the line (56.8 percent).
ON THE OTHER SIDE: Illinois senior guard Demetri McCamey was very good as well, leading the Illini with 22 points, six assists and six rebounds. McCamey was one of just four players in the country to average more than 15 points and six assists per game last season -- the others were John Wall, Evan Turner and Greivis Vasquez (thanks to ESPN colleague Dana O'Neil for that info).
WHAT'S NEXT: Texas advances to the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, against No. 4 Pittsburgh here at MSG, Friday night at approximately 7:30 p.m. Illinois will battle Maryland in the consolation game, tipping off at 5 p.m.