ST. LOUIS - While plenty of questions remain about the strength of No. 12 Illinois and their chances to contend for a Big Ten Conference title once league play starts next week, first year coach John Groce learned plenty about his team last week.
The Illini, winners of their first 12 games and ranked as high as No. 10 in the Top 25 Associated Press and Coaches Polls, found out the hard way on Dec. 22 in St. Louis just how dangerous relying on the three-point shot can be.
One of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation entering the annual Braggin' Rights game at Scottrade Center, Illinois went ice cold from behind the three-point line and lost to rival Missouri, 82-73.
But dropping their first game of the season did nothing to dampen the excitement and potential that Groce sees for his group come later in the season.
"We don't allow one game to define us," Groce said. "I know it's an important game, it's a rivalry game, we certainly have respect for that, but we're going ...