No Substitute for Good Substitutes
Rotolu Adebiyi, Mike Gotfredson and Herb Gibson, three senior walk-ons who were awarded scholarships this year, generated the final seven points of the first half. Adebiyi recorded the first Big Ten points of his career with 3:49 left on a layin set up by inbounds pass by Gotfredson off the baseline. Following his assist, Gotfredson hit the fifth three-point field goal of his U-M career with 43 seconds left. Gibson then connected on a pair of free throws stemming from a foul with no time remaining in the half.
Michigan junior forward LaVell Blanchard led the team in scoring for the 32nd time in his career. Blanchard contributed 17 points against the Fighting Illini in a team-high 31 minutes.
Four Score (in Double Digits)
The Wolverine box score against Illinois featured four players who scored in double digits. LaVell Blanchard led the way with 17 points, while Gavin Groninger added a 12-point performance off the bench. Sophomore Bernard Robinson Jr. and senior Chris Young chipped in 10 points apiece. Fifth-year senior Mike Gotfredson nearly became the fifth Wolverine to score in double digits but fell just one point short with a career-best nine points.
Ro Reaches New Heights
Senior co-captain Rotolu Adebiyi surpassed career bests in two categories with his play against Illinois. Adebiyi played a career-high 14 minutes, surpassing his previous best of 10 minutes set against Fairfield (Nov. 20, 2001). In that time, Adebiyi scored a career-high four points. His previous high was two on three occasions, the last being Dec. 22, 2001, against Eastern Michigan.
Senior guard Herb Gibson made the most of his career-best nine minutes on the court against Illinois. In that time, Gibson tied a career best with one block and fell just one short of tying career bests in two categories with two points and one assist. Gibson's previous high in minutes was seven against Fairfield (Nov. 11, 2001) and he last recorded one block against IUPU-Fort Wayne (Dec. 9, 2001).
Gotfredson Bests His Best
With nine points in 30 minutes of play, fifth-year senior Mike Gotfredson surpassed his career highs in both points and three-pointers made (three). Additionally, the points were Gotfredson's first in Big Ten Conference play in his career. In his previous career-best performance, he made two threes for six points against Eastern Michigan (Dec. 22, 2001). All of Gotfredson's career points have come off of three-pointers (7-of-15).
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