Illini battle inconsistency, look for bench to step up -

Illini battle inconsistency, look for bench to step up

If there was a bright spot in Illinois’ loss to No. 13 Purdue, it may have been the reemergence of junior Mike Davis. The 6-foot-9 forward entered Tuesday’s matchup on the heels of back-to-back disappointing performances against Penn State and at Michigan State.

The Illini rely on Davis for his rebounding and have come to expect double-double performances from the forward. But Davis had just four rebounds and two points when the Fighting Illini defeated Penn State. His lack of production stood out even more in Illinois’ loss to Michigan State, as Davis tallied 11 points but just four rebounds.

But Davis turned that around against Purdue, turning in his Big Ten-leading ninth double-double of the season with 17 points and 15 rebounds. The improved performance wasn’t enough to console the junior after the loss, though.

“(We) still lost,” Davis said. “It doesn’t matter.”

“We’re a little down right now,” Davis added. “We’ve got an off day (Wednesday) to get our heads cleared, watch a little film, get better, come back Thursday and Friday for two hard practices and then go up to Northwestern and try to get a win.”

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