(Eds: With AP Photos.) By DAVID MERCER Associated Press Among the things John Groce has preached to his Illinois team is the need to keep their emotions under control. Never get too high with a win or too low with a loss.
A home loss to No. 8 Minnesota this week could prove to be a test of just how well the 12th-ranked Fighting Illini have listened. The 84-67 setback followed a 74-55 blowout win over then-No. 8 Ohio State, a split almost any team would take.
But the loss also left Illinois (14-3) to 1-2 in Big Ten play with a third loss in five games. Maybe worse, The Illini couldn't pin the loss to Minnesota on a lack of effort or toughness.
Illinois did plenty that qualified as tough, Groce said Friday - taking charges, running and diving after loose balls, looking for contact. The Illini just couldn't knock down shots. They hit just 35.4 percent overall and were a miserable 3 of 24 from 3-point range.
And, tough or not, they gave up 21 points in transition to the Goph...