Nai’s role remains important to Illinois | Women’s Basketball

Champaign — Aaliyah Nye’s emotional reaction to the Illinois women’s basketball team, who lost 71-62 in Edwardsville, southern Illinois on November 18, arose from frustration.

Nai wept in her eyes as she tried to explain what went wrong with losing to Cougars at a post-match press conference. The second grade guard was angry with himself. And her team.

Nai questioned the spirit of Illinois. Irini wasn’t focused enough. Illinois disrespected the non-conference partner.

Illinois coach Nancy Fahey said Nai’s reaction after SIUE’s defeat showed the native “care” of East Lansing, Michigan, and Nai’s post-match expression feels like another Illinois teammate’s locker room. Said that it shows.

For Nai (and Illinois), it was a season up and down through 14 games. Since Illinois won the first two games of the regular season against North Carolina Central and Miami (Ohio), Illinois (6-8, 1-2 Big Ten) has been unable to conclude a streak.

However, these struggles are not limited to the 2021-22 season in Illinois. Irini will attempt to win the Big Ten Conference for the first time in the Fahei era when playing against Pennsylvania State University (7-7, 1-3) at 1:00 pm on Sunday. Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania.

“I tell them that when you stop compassion, you really start losing. Every match and every moment is important,” Fahey told Friday. Her Illinois team is also aiming for 16 consecutive losses in a true road game. Illinois benefited a few more days in preparation for the Nittany Lions after losing 74-57 at home in Michigan on Thursday night, but Illinois was originally scheduled for Thursday night. Northwestern University was rescheduled on February 21st in the Home Games of.

“It’s the remaining (14) games,” Fahey continued. “This is what it is. Now we are in the middle of it. And this team is working to change the dialogue that everyone keeps talking about us. It’s these. It tells us how much we care about our kids. It starts with Nai. There is honesty in what we are trying to do and it hurts. When it stops being hurt, it’s us. Is having a problem. “

Nai plays an important role when Illinois turns the season around.

The 5’11 guard finishes her best match in almost two months. There was a 21-point explosion last Sunday when Irini made a 68-47 home route in Wisconsin. Nai set the record for a single game in Illinois and created seven three-pointers to lead Fahei’s team to victory at the first meeting of the season.

In 12 games between Nai’s 23-point win at North Carolina Central in the opening round of the season and 21-point win at Badgers on Sunday, Nai scored less than 9 points in seven games, but when he reached the double. Had only 5 games. Numbers. Her top-point effort in the last five games was 17 against both SIUE and Florida on December 2.

Opponents couldn’t easily make Irini’s top outside shoot option.

“I think they’re trying to get out of the stagger and screen and stay attached to me,” said Nai, who leads Illinois with 11.8 points per game, on average in double-digit Illinois. The only player. “They don’t go under me. They go. One of the things I tried to do is to get away from the ball a lot. Just set everything. Set the screen. That’s the way I’ve been open recently.

“I think it’s also trying to expand my game. If a team takes my three-point shot, drive to the basket or open another teammate. Get three. If not, I think I can drive and drive him out to Jada (Pebbles) or Demyra (Brown). “

Additional attention from hostile teams could bring a sense of frustration to Nai.

It focuses on getting better treatment for sophomores. Nai understands how it affects not only his game, but his teammates’ games as well.

“I was in my head with that (SIUE) game,” Nai said. “I wasn’t hitting a shot. I was also compelling a shot. I was trying too hard to get my shot. Sometimes I’m a team instead of myself I have to think about. In that game I wasn’t tough at all mentally. It stuck to me in a few other games as well. I tried clicking in each of the subsequent games. ..

“I think (these feelings) can be good or bad. I think it’s just whether I choose to make it better or worse. I’m in a bad mood. I wasn’t able to cheer on my teammates, cheer on my teammates, or open up my teammates, so I’ve been really trying to make it a positive impact. I did. “

Fahey understands that Illinois goes the same way as Nye.

The Illinois coach said he emphasized as a coaching staff as the 84-65 home loss in Missouri on December 22 “opened up an attack” to create a better opportunity for Nai.

These changes weren’t much different in the first game from the Illinois COVID-19 pause — 90-69 in Ohio when Illinois was a 4 of 22 from a range of 3 points. Defeat — I saw it in a Wisconsin match when Illinois shot 40% as a team.

“I feel like we’re talking about looking for shots without hesitation, especially in the last match,” Fahey said. “(No) obviously there was a green light. She shoots the ball really well. That’s what we need for her. There are games where we couldn’t shoot the ball well … but , Her consistency is something you have to count on. “

Nai’s role remains important to Illinois | Women’s Basketball

Source link Nai’s role remains important to Illinois | Women’s Basketball

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