Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/17/14
Illinois got off to a surprising start using some of the best perimeter shooting in the country. Its offense has since fizzled and it's lost two of three. The 11th-ranked Fighting Illini will likely need to heat up again to get back on track as they host No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday. Illinois first-year coach John Groce and Ohio State coach Thad Matta are very familiar with each other, as Groce spent eight years as an assistant under Matta, including four with the Buckeyes. "First of all, he's a friend," Groce said of Matta. "He's done a lot for me personally and professionally. I wouldn't be standing here with this wonderful opportunity to be at the University of Illinois without him." Groce got the Illini (13-2, 0-1 Big Ten) off to a 12-0 start, and they played particularly well in their eight November games, shooting 41.9 percent from 3-point range while averaging 79.3 points. In their last five contests, however, they're hitting just 28.6 percent of their 3-point attempts an...
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