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Illinois 78, Butler 61 POSTGAME

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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:45 AM   #326
wpr
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
If Leonard was on this team and completely bought in, yes we would be top ten. With his mobility and skills, Leonard would fit very well into what Groce likes to do on offense and defense. But he isn't here, very good players go to the NBA all the team, so let's enjoy the team we have.
well said. no sense wishing for what can't be.

I know people want to see IL in the top 25 this next week. If they are- great. If not I won't mind that either. Actually I would prefer them to not be. I wouldn't mind it if they had to stay a little hunger and work a little more before they got the national accolades. They will come with time.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:47 AM   #327
dgcrow
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well said. no sense wishing for what can't be.

I know people want to see IL in the top 25 this next week. If they are- great. If not I won't mind that either. Actually I would prefer them to not be. I wouldn't mind it if they had to stay a little hunger and work a little more before they got the national accolades. They will come with time.
Since the Illini received no votes at all in the latest polls, I kind of doubt that they'll be ranked when the new ones come out. They will more than likely get some votes, but probably not enough to be ranked.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:52 AM   #328
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Actually I would prefer them to not be. I wouldn't mind it if they had to stay a little hunger and work a little more before they got the national accolades. They will come with time.
+1

the "we get no respect card" is a very powerful one for a coach to play.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:58 AM   #329
DaytonIllini
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I had a stroke watching Tracy hobble around on the court that one possession. Stay healthy!

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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:58 AM   #330
MikeThomas4Prez
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Originally Posted by wpr View Post
well said. no sense wishing for what can't be.

I know people want to see IL in the top 25 this next week. If they are- great. If not I won't mind that either. Actually I would prefer them to not be. I wouldn't mind it if they had to stay a little hunger and work a little more before they got the national accolades. They will come with time.
I Dont agree with this sentiment. This team experienced being ranked last year and lost it, I dont think theyll take it for granted again. Besides if we win a couple more games well be ranked anyways, so its only motivation for a week.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:01 AM   #331
DRS
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I'll echo many others in saying that I get a huge amount of pleasure watching this team play. Not a Weber basher in the slightest, just an Illinois supporter. Groce is pretty awesome to watch coach and the team is awesome to watch play. The buy-in is so evident that you can sense it everytime they hit the court.

A few points of observation from the very short sample size:

DJ is playing fantastic all-around basketball. That game winning shot could be the spark to a rock solid senior year. His defense is well above average again. Say what you want about the past but DJ was the one guy who bought completely into the defense first principles and this new system has that in spades. Also, his ball handling skills have finally reached the average level. He used to dribble the ball too high and lose control, now he is keep a short power dribble when defenders are around. There was a play last night when Butler was fighting back and DJ went inbetween the legs to escape trouble and relieve pressure. He used to not be able to do that. HUGE improvement.

Abrams is a beast. I've made comments in the past that I never understood the lack of faith in his game, maybe it was the flatness of his shot last year. Voted team MVP last year. when the chips were down and the team lost most of its fight he was the only one who showed leadership out there. I'll never forget that. Now his offense has improved dramaticly, making 3s, driving to the hole, getting loose balls...I think his stock couldn't be rising faster. Love his game and I think it gets even better.

And what a pleasant surprise Big Sam is. That play where he tipped the ball to himself after a shaky Paul lob, kept the ball high, took contact and finished was one of the plays of the game. Not to mention after the timeout he converted the old fashioned 3. He has a nose for the ball and fights in the post. Something this team doesn't have much of and he fits the need perfectly, great grab by Groce. I hope that either Shaw or Ibby use this man as a role model and fill that role going forward, it is neither small or easy. It is what winning basketball is made of and either/or both of those guys will have a chance to be part of. We are going to need that in the very near future.

Keep it up, boys.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:05 AM   #332
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Convincing tournament wins with some impressive stats in the course of obtaining the title. Did some number crunching per the box scores and if my math is correct, it showed up the following:

* Had best FG% in all 4 games

* Had best FT% in all 4 games

* Had best 3-point FG% in 3 out of 4 games

* Had fewest TOs in 3 out of 4 games; led all games: 49/57

* Had most BLKs in 3 out of 4 games; led all games: 20/5

* Had most STLs in 3 out of 4 games; led all games: 32/18

* Split 2/2 for most rebounds in the 4 games; led all games: 145/140

* Split 2/2 for most assists in the 4 games; led all games: 49/44

* Per TV commentators, always led every game and never trailed at anytime in all 4 games

* End result with the championship trophy and tournament MVP

The thing that stuck out and maybe was the sleeper in the Illinois/Butler game is the 95.2 FT%, 19/21. Any sizable deviation from that could have spelled a loss.

Coach, staff, players, and fans have to be pleasantly surprised and happy at the same time.

Good things ahead for the team - Go Illini!
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:10 AM   #333
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:21 AM   #334
I Hate Lemonier
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While it is obviously important to keep perspective this early, this was a very impressive victory. I like what Stevens said in his presser. He said that Butlet could not keep up with the speed of Illinois and had to change what they do. It is rare that Butler gets tempo forced on them.

I took a look at Butler under Stevens and this was only the 6th time they allowed 78+ points. Very impressive
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:24 AM   #335
ILLSauce
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TG is a brand new player, can we petition for 3 more years for him? He never really played the last 3. Glad to see him playing so well and confident
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:25 AM   #336
DG1985
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Originally Posted by AK Illini View Post
The TA comments are fair, he isn't a super smooth natural PG and Illinois isn't some NCAA juggernaut. He is a serviceable bulldog that has improved his game in a short period under Groce and I expect him to continue to improve his PG skill over the next couple years. He'll have a great college career.
well serviceable is the last word that should be used to describe abrams. much better than that.

this team is still getting to know each other in Groce's system. TA is going to look better and better as the year goes on because he's going to get better, and he's going to know what his teammates are doing within the system.

tentativeness breeds turnovers. that was a huge part of last year. we had guys trying to pass within a system that they didn't understand. now, they are working in a system that they are understanding, but which they'll understand even more down the road.

our ceiling is pretty high.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:42 AM   #337
ranma08
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If we can rebound the ball better on both ends then we should be a top ten team. Last night Griffey got pushed around in the post and we gave up 2 offensive rebounds on missed free throws, which is absolutely unacceptable on any level. I don't understand how NE and SM gets pushed around so much. Their only job should be defend and then rebound. DJ doubling the rebounding totals of our centers is not a good sign. If we don't improve we will get hammered in the big ten by the likes of zeller and Thomas.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:48 AM   #338
ILL in Iowa
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
I don't think it takes over-analyzing to see that the 04-05 team was far more talented than the current team. I'd guess that most 7-11 clerks could handle that level of analysis, even when stoned.
I agree with the above, however your assertion that Delaware is better then Hawaii I am not so sure. Be happy my man it's thanksgiving, get back to glass half empty tomorrow.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:49 AM   #339
AK Illini
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Originally Posted by DG1985 View Post
well serviceable is the last word that should be used to describe abrams. much better than that.

this team is still getting to know each other in Groce's system. TA is going to look better and better as the year goes on because he's going to get better, and he's going to know what his teammates are doing within the system.

tentativeness breeds turnovers. that was a huge part of last year. we had guys trying to pass within a system that they didn't understand. now, they are working in a system that they are understanding, but which they'll understand even more down the road.

our ceiling is pretty high.

Maybe but he's going to face a lot better guards as well...we still haven't faced the type of athletic ball pressuring backcourt that could really give us problems.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:51 AM   #340
DRS
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Originally Posted by ranma08 View Post
If we can rebound the ball better on both ends then we should be a top ten team. Last night Griffey got pushed around in the post and we gave up 2 offensive rebounds on missed free throws, which is absolutely unacceptable on any level. I don't understand how NE and SM gets pushed around so much. Their only job should be defend and then rebound. DJ doubling the rebounding totals of our centers is not a good sign. If we don't improve we will get hammered in the big ten by the likes of zeller and Thomas.
The missed ft rebounds are a bit head scratching, but Egwu and Sam didn't really get pushed around. From a coaching standpoint we have to realize that this team will give up offensive boards with all the very high hedges we are doing with the bigs. Did you notice how they did severe hedges when a high ball screen was employed. Egwu, Grif, Sam all went way out past the 3pt line to push the shooters. The end result is a bit of scramble back for position under the hoop. Guards have to come in and due their duty on the weakside hence DJ leading the way on the boards. We are capable of doing that with Paul, Bertrand, Henry and now apparently DJ. Not as worried about the rebounds as others.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:51 AM   #341
cali illini
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Congratulations to the TEAM/STAFF!! Mission Accomplished...
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:53 AM   #342
Lovethechief78
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Just can't stop smilin' this morning More than anything, I'm thrilled with the constant intensity/hustle. Just thought I'd share a great quote that my son keeps on his bedroom door.

"Hustle should be a habit. It should be a reflex, like shielding your eyes when you're looking into the sun. Hustle doesn't absolve you of your sins, but it helps. When I was in slumps, they didn't look so bad because I played hard, every play." - Reggie Jackson

GO ILLINI!!
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:54 AM   #343
wpr
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Originally Posted by MikeThomas4Prez View Post
I Dont agree with this sentiment. This team experienced being ranked last year and lost it, I dont think theyll take it for granted again. Besides if we win a couple more games well be ranked anyways, so its only motivation for a week.
probably so.

next week would involve a win over Ga Tech.
The following over Zaga.

If they keep winning they have to be ranked within 3 weeks.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:55 AM   #344
wpr
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TG is a brand new player, can we petition for 3 more years for him? He never really played the last 3. Glad to see him playing so well and confident
naw just 1 year then let him go make some money somewhere.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:59 AM   #345
ILL in Iowa
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very true.

I was thinking the same while watching them play last night. It is an exciting when they are allowed to use all their talents.

You could see Tyler's confidence grow as the game went on. his last 2 shots were simply huge for the team. I loved his defense in the first half when he got right in the face of the Butler player under the basket. he can be tough inside presence.
TG was money no doubt. One thing I would love to see more of from him is aggressive rebounding, especially off of free throws. That being said he looks fantastic so far. Go Illini!
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:00 AM   #346
othawhitemeat
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I am not expecting to be a final 4 team, but as long as we keep progressing, we will be a dangerous team in March to play. The best thing, is we are fun to watch and seem to be in the right direction with recruiting.

While I thought the refs were horrible for about 10 minutes in the 2nd half, I am glad it happened, because we maintained toughness and didn't complain.

This team is fun to watch and hopefully we keep growing. I would still not be surprised to see this team finish 3rd or 4th in the Big 10. If we maintain progress, the worst we will do is 5th in Big 10, but I honestly see us finishing 3rd of 4th.

One thing besides rebounding, I would like to see is for us to grow Henry a little more in time. We have good depth, but if he can gain a little more experience and confidence, we will be even more dangerous.

The good news is we have shooters, drivers, and depth. If Paul is off, Abrams is off, then Bertrand could possibly come in as the 3rd creator. It is hard to imagine all of our shooters off in that Griffey, Richardson, and Henry, and then secondary shooters such as Paul and Abrams.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:01 AM   #347
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Still not much love for our Illini in the national media today. Most sites have a passing story about us winning the Maui title but not much else. Yahoo main page (not Yahoo Sports) has a teaser link about an upstart team being a giant killer. Links to this story about Butler beating NC: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaab-...08--ncaab.html I could see this story a couple days ago but not today. Most sites are buzzing about the MU - Pitt game and even KSU is getting some love. ESPN is previewing the NIT championship game as their main story on the basketball homepage. Where was the lead story for the Maui Championship game?

There was the nice blog entry from Chad Ford on ESPN that was linked by someone earlier in this thread. I will link it again: http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebaske...in-grand-style However, this is the same Chad Ford that in an earlier entry talked about how the Maui field was weak this year. I realize that it will take some consistent wins to get some attention but it is almost as if nobody watched the games. (Maybe they didn't?) We are currently the Rodney Dangerfield of college basketball.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:03 AM   #348
Bruce Bruceton
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Great win over a quality team. Great to sign an Illini team outperform expectations for once. It's scary how good this team has looked already knowing that they are still getting used to the system and style of play.

I think we're going to probably play our best basketball in tournaments this year. We're an incredibly tough match-up. Our pace is fast, we have players from the 1 to the 4 that can all shoot the three at a high percentage, we're deep and we're a long athletic defensive team that looks to get out in transition off turnovers. It'll only help us when teams don't have as much time to prepare and rest for our style of play.

The ball handling comment by the announcers was also a pleasant surprise. Especially considering how concerned the majority of this board has been over a lack of ball handlers on this team.

I realize that none of these teams were ranked and many fans are still trying to temper expectations for this year but I firmly believe this is going to be a top 3 Big Ten team that with our style of play is capable of beating any team in the country. I realize that this team is not without flaws but this team has been really good at playing to their strengths. Only time will tell how good this team will be but in the meantime Go Illini and let's enjoy the ride.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:05 AM   #349
Sure Shot
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Maybe but he's going to face a lot better guards as well...we still haven't faced the type of athletic ball pressuring backcourt that could really give us problems.
It's true, but I think it's more than just that, we haven't really played anyone who has had a real opportunity to scout and prepare for us yet.

I think we're starting to see why Groce has had so much success in short-turnaround tournament type situations, it's hard to prepare for a team that comes at you in so many different ways and doesn't really have a "bread and butter" in terms of putting specific players in specific situations on offense.

I think the real test is going to be the Big Ten schedule where you're playing people multiple times and there's lots of good film to watch and everybody knows everybody. Our unpredictability will still be an advantage there, but the smart coaches and talented teams in the B1G will be able to gameplan into forcing us to take lower-percentage shots.

I think everyone needs to pump the brakes on crowning us at this point, but I don't really feel like being the debbie downer because this week was an awful lot of fun.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:05 AM   #350
stive1
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Great win....great start to the season...so much more fun to watch them play again....this past year got too hard to even watch....go illini.
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