PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Deron Williams spent last season looking for
an open Brian Cook and let him do the bulk of the scoring. With
Cook in the NBA, Illinois was looking for other options.
Williams has emerged as one of those options.
Illinois (3-0) opened the game on an 18-5 run, keyed by four
3-pointers, including three by Williams. The Illini broke Temple's
2-3 zone by making almost all their baskets from the outside.
"Last year, if I took my shot and missed, I didn't want to
shoot any more," Williams said. "Last year with Cook here, my
mind-set was just get it to Cook. Now, he's gone and other people
have got to step up. I think I'm one who can do that."
The Illini raced to a 27-7 lead and made eight of their first 12
Illinois coach Bruce Weber shouted, "Zone buster! Zone buster!
Move it!" and the Illini would make four or five crisp and
uncontested passes around the perimeter before sinking a long-range
They were usually on target.
Powell was 6-for-7 from the floor, Williams 6-for-8 and Brown
6-for-15. Williams and Brown each made four 3's.
When the outside shot wasn't open, Powell was there with a
bucket in the paint or he would put back a miss.
"Coach says rebounding is the thing we need to do," Powell
said. "I try and focus on that. We have shooters on this team. I
can shoot, but I'm not really a shooter. I'm a rebounder and a
slasher. If they miss, I try and find the ball."
Illinois had 22 assists.
"I thought our kids did a great job of moving the ball and when
you make 3's, it makes it easier," Weber said.
David Hawkins led Temple (0-2) with 28 points on 10-for-18
shooting. No other Owl was in double figures.
"We need a few more people that can score," said Temple coach
John Chaney, who remained stuck on 693 career victories. "I just
don't have enough firepower. David can't carry us for the rest of
Temple was smothered by Illinois' man defense and had few good
looks at the basket in the first half. Many of the Owls' shots were
often forced, wildly off target and always contested. They finished
only 6-for-23 in the first half and were outrebounded 20-14.
It was the second straight lackluster effort for the Owls, who
were coming off a 25-point loss to undermanned Villanova. The Owls,
picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Eastern Division, had
eight days to prepare for Illinois. They could have used a few
Temple had little ball pressure until switching to a 1-2-2
trapping zone early in the second half which forced two straight
turnovers and led to four points. Still, that only made the score
Williams then sank his fourth 3-pointer on Illinois' next
possession to push its lead back to 15. The Illini rolled from
there, getting two more 3-pointers to finish with nine.
"We didn't get pressure on the ball, so there were more
mistakes made," Chaney said.
Luther Head, Aaron Spears returned for the Illini after serving
suspensions for violating team rules. They missed two preseason and
two regular season game. Richard McBride is scheduled to miss two
more games for violating team rules.
Head scored nine points and Spears was scoreless.
Weber expects both to play more when the Illini play No. 9 North
Carolina next week.
"We feel good going to Carolina and hope to get a sweep on the
road," he said.