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Old Sep 13, 2017, 09:32 AM   #326
TheFameProtector
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Originally Posted by chief2007 View Post
I don't see anyway he is a one and done
I do. He plays well, really well, and then leaves. Simple as that
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 09:45 AM   #327
Calvin
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If Mark Smith progresses as much this year as he did last year, he could end up in the NBA next year. Remember, he went from the 3rd best player on his high school team to the best player in the state.
No doubt he has a very high ceiling. I find it really hard to project him out with as little as I've seen. His intangibles are excellent, he has good size, and his range is very exciting. I just don't know how athletic he is compared to other future pros, and how well his game translates at this point. I could see him getting more explosive and polished in a year or two, but I could also see him taking longer. Sure am glad we get to watch him in an Illini uniform.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 09:51 AM   #328
IbleedOandB2014
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I am in dire need of more info on this years team. I want player and coach interviews, practice videos, news gazette articles, and strength/conditioning gains.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 10:19 AM   #329
Dan
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Mark Alstork 1-on-1: 'Everybody wants to win'
http://scout.com/college/illinois/Ar...-win-107366183

Alstork 10,000
http://illinireport.info/2017/09/alstork-10000/
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 10:55 AM   #330
Adnarel
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I think we're going to like Alstork an awful lot this year.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 11:06 AM   #331
icengineer
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Originally Posted by FeelYourPaign View Post
Now that our entire team is on campus, any new reports about practices? Team coming together, offensive flow, defensive style, top performers? I know their time together is limited, just wondering
We never did get a single report from that open gym? What's up with that?
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 11:25 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Dan View Post
Alstork definitely has the smooth coach-speak down.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 11:40 AM   #333
combes
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Originally Posted by icengineer View Post
We never did get a single report from that open gym? What's up with that?
There was no open gym. It turned out to be an hour and fifteen minute practice. Lots of drills. No scrimmage.

I'd be happy to answer any of your questions about the practice.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 12:16 PM   #334
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There was no open gym. It turned out to be an hour and fifteen minute practice. Lots of drills. No scrimmage.

I'd be happy to answer any of your questions about the practice.
1) What drills did you see, fundamental or more system based (if so which ones specifically)?

2) Do they do a big/guard breakdown type deal?

OR

3) Have you seen it be more like everyone works on "guard skills" and everyone works on "post moves/big man stuff?"

As I think of more questions I will ask. This can also be about any practice you've seen, not just the most recent.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 12:33 PM   #335
combes
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Most of the drills that they ran were passing, ball handling, finishing at the rim, and drills that simulated the offensive getting up a shot in 7 seconds.

The energy level was amazingly high. Coaches and players. If a bad pass or a mistake in the drill, the coaches stopped it immediately and ran it over. The only 5 on 5 drills run were a coach putting up a shot and a fast break being run until they scored or the defense stopped it.

I was especially impressed with Smith, Finke, Ebo, Frazier and Lucas on this day. Nichols had the play of the practice with a monster jam over Black. Nichols worked with both the bigs and the guards on some drills.

Smith is a man for a freshman. He will be one of the best players out of the gate. Finke made a high percentage of his looks out to three. He was especially effective at the elbow either passing or knocking down the 15 footer. Frazier is very confident and thrives in the up and down play.Lucas was the key man on most of the breaks. He made a few bad passes but they were passes he usually makes. The other players look to him a lot to get them the ball in the right spots. Loved Ebo. So fluid and smart. Had some tough rebounds and really runs the court. I hope he can translate it to games early. Black had a good practice. I just noticed the younger guys more because I was likely concentrating on them.

Jordan had a good practice. He is noticeably bigger and knocked down shots. If he can hit shots in real games, there will be a role for him.

Alstork was familiarizing himself with the drills and was mad at himself a few times, but his talent was obvious. After practice, he and Frazier had an impromptu three point shooting contest with managers rebounding. They moved around the arc. Frazier made 9-10 but Alstork beat him with 10-10.

I forgot to mention that Williams looked good taking into account his missed time. His shot wasn't dropping but he show his athleticism. Looks, walks and runs like his dad. Also, Vesic fit right in. For only being on campus for a few days, he picked up the drills quickly. Even Underwood commented on that. He needs to hit the weights, though. Underwood's kid is like another coach on the court. He obviously knows the drills the best and helped a number of players get to the right spots.

Last edited by combes; Sep 13, 2017 at 12:42 PM.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 12:43 PM   #336
Illini0114
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Originally Posted by TheLegendaryOne24 View Post
I find it hard to think that Illinois Mr. Basketball will not have a chance to play & contribute to team that is needing scoring, big guard play and a team approach ...I've watched a lot basketball (college) and I don't think being a freshman, soph or whatever class has anything to do with a kid/player being able to play....some of you act like the Fighting Illini is the first college to play freshman significant minutes & "actually Win!" It's happened at some of the best programs in the country...
I think there is a difference when it comes to being able to contribute between "being a freshman or sophomore" and "having a freshman/sophomore type body"

I definitely agree that MS will have an impact this year, but physically he is different that your typical college freshman.

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Old Sep 13, 2017, 12:48 PM   #337
FeelYourPaign
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Originally Posted by combes View Post
Most of the drills that they ran were passing, ball handling, finishing at the rim, and drills that simulated the offensive getting up a shot in 7 seconds.

The energy level was amazingly high. Coaches and players. If a bad pass or a mistake in the drill, the coaches stopped it immediately and ran it over. The only 5 on 5 drills run were a coach putting up a shot and a fast break being run until they scored or the defense stopped it.

I was especially impressed with Smith, Finke, Ebo, Frazier and Lucas on this day. Nichols had the play of the practice with a monster jam over Black. Nichols worked with both the bigs and the guards on some drills.

Smith is a man for a freshman. He will be one of the best players out of the gate. Finke made a high percentage of his looks out to three. He was especially effective at the elbow either passing or knocking down the 15 footer. Frazier is very confident and thrives in the up and down play.Lucas was the key man on most of the breaks. He made a few bad passes but they were passes he usually makes. The other players look to him a lot to get them the ball in the right spots. Loved Ebo. So fluid and smart. Had some tough rebounds and really runs the court. I hope he can translate it to games early. Black had a good practice. I just noticed the younger guys more because I was likely concentrating on them.

Jordan had a good practice. He is noticeably bigger and knocked down shots. If he can hit shots in real games, there will be a role for him.

Alstork was familiarizing himself with the drills and was mad at himself a few times, but his talent was obvious. After practice, he and Frazier had an impromptu three point shooting contest with managers rebounding. They moved around the arc. Frazier made 9-10 but Alstork beat him with 10-10.

I forgot to mention that Williams looked good taking into account his missed time. His shot wasn't dropping but he show his athleticism. Looks, walks and runs like his dad. Also, Vesic fit right in. For only being on campus for a few days, he picked up the drills quickly. Even Underwood commented on that. He needs to hit the weights, though. Underwood's kid is like another coach on the court. He obviously knows the drills the best and helped a number of players get to the right spots.
Awesome !
Thanks !

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Old Sep 13, 2017, 12:51 PM   #338
Illini0114
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Originally Posted by chief2007 View Post
I don't see anyway he is a one and done
Getting way ahead of ourselves here, but I'll bite...

Even best case scenario I see it hard for Mark Smith to be one and done. As late to the game as all college coaches were imagine how far behind/off the radar he is to NBA programs. I guarantee you that NBA programs are already looking at MPJ and the incoming freshman that we're rated 1-20ish and already have an idea of what college freshman have one and done potential. MS isn't on that list and I feel like even with a dominant season wouldn't ever get high enough to bolt.

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Old Sep 13, 2017, 12:51 PM   #339
ChazzReinhold
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Thank you Combes.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 01:05 PM   #340
jcgoldie
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Thanks combes we needed that!

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Old Sep 13, 2017, 01:10 PM   #341
IbleedOandB2014
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I am hearing Underwood is really big about sprinting when cutting. If a player is dogging it or jogging through their cuts, he has a treadmill set off to the side for them. It is set at 15 MPH. 20,000 treadmill built with extra padding because players are getting knocked off of it. I personally would always make sure I am sprinting with every cut.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 01:20 PM   #342
icengineer
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Originally Posted by combes View Post
There was no open gym. It turned out to be an hour and fifteen minute practice. Lots of drills. No scrimmage.

I'd be happy to answer any of your questions about the practice.
I believe we had a recruit on campus and thought they were having an open gym so that said recruit (don't remember who it was) could play with the team.

Were any recruits observing the practice that you were aware of?

Thanks for that update btw!
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 01:22 PM   #343
combes
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Originally Posted by icengineer View Post
I believe we had a recruit on campus and thought they were having an open gym so that said recruit (don't remember who it was) could play with the team.

Were any recruits observing the practice that you were aware of?

Thanks for that update btw!
Yes, both Nolley and Castleton were there. Since it was a practice, they didn't play. I don't know if they got to run with the team later or not. Nolley did shoot around a bit after practice. Coaches and current team members paid a lot of attention to both.

I definitely went expecting an open scrimmage and the recruits playing, so that was a little disappointing. However, the practice was fascinating.

Last edited by combes; Sep 13, 2017 at 01:25 PM.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 01:32 PM   #344
combes
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All four of the coaches are very demonstrative. The assistants have picked up Underwood's practice style quickly.

The strength coach spent a lot of time with the recruits and their families.

Last edited by combes; Sep 13, 2017 at 01:36 PM.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 01:39 PM   #345
Ga65
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Thanx Combes😥
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 01:44 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by combes View Post
Snip
This is amazing. Thanks for the practice report, combes! Can't wait for November.

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Old Sep 13, 2017, 02:16 PM   #347
chiefini
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Thanks so much, Combes, for your report. Your knowledgeable insight and in-depth analysis are appreciated. Please continue to update IL as often as you can because with the new staff being so close-mouthed, I'm sure I'm not alone in my curiosity.

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Old Sep 13, 2017, 02:23 PM   #348
combes
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Originally Posted by chiefini View Post
Thanks so much, Combes, for your report. Your knowledgeable insight and in-depth analysis are appreciated. Please continue to update IL as often as you can because with the new staff being so close-mouthed, I'm sure I'm not alone in my curiosity.
Speaking of close-mouthed, this was the first time ever that a team manager came around before the practice and told us to have our phones on vibrate (makes sense) and that no pictures or videos were allowed. I thought it was because the recruits were going to play, but as it turned out, they didn't play.
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 02:57 PM   #349
Illwinsagain
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Originally Posted by IbleedOandB2014 View Post
I am hearing Underwood is really big about sprinting when cutting. If a player is dogging it or jogging through their cuts, he has a treadmill set off to the side for them. It is set at 15 MPH. 20,000 treadmill built with extra padding because players are getting knocked off of it. I personally would always make sure I am sprinting with every cut.
That is 4:00 min/mi pace, how long do they have to stay on?
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Old Sep 13, 2017, 03:05 PM   #350
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Great stuff... thanks Combes! Really looking forward to this season.
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