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John Groce press conference & player interviews (1/16)

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Old Jan 16, 2013, 08:16 AM   #1
Dan
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John Groce press conference today, 12:00pm CT.

Free live video, will post the link when it's available.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:16 AM   #2
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Groce: Excited to get back out tomorrow and play. Disappointed with our fight on Saturday. Challenged players' manhood since

Groce: Players have been sharp in practice and receptive from coaches' challenges.

Groce: NW cuts well, screens well, moves basketball well. Rewinds some possessions because he likes watching their execution

Groce: Have not defended 3 well in league play. Important on Thursday and going forward. Offensively, have to take care of ball

Groce: Hearn, Demps have stepped up scoring for NW in absence of Cobb and Crawford. NW defined by good scorers

Groce: NW 13th in country in 3-point production. It's a good game for us to start defending the three better.

Groce: Done with deal being made about confidence, being fragile. If they think they're not going to get hit in the mouth in life.

Groce: Just because something happened in the past, doesn't mean it's inevitably going to happen again. We have to control that

http://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU
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Groce: Excited to get back out tomorrow night and play. Disappointed with Saturday. Guys' manhood has been challenged.

Groce: Guys have acclimated back to the spring semester beginning.

Groce: Looking forward to the challenge for competing against a very precise offense. NU plays the right way offensively.

Groce: Have not defended the three well in league play, important Thursday and the rest of the way.

Groce: Reggie Hearn has stepped up his scoring quite a bit. Demps and Hear wired to score. They can do it outside of scheme.

Groce: Abrahamson has "don't-be-surprised range" on his shot.

Groce: Tired of the deal being made about team having lost confidence.

Groce: Issues in life will arise with these guys when they grow up and this is all preparing guys for that.

Groce: Every game is different. Just because something happened in the past doesn't mean it's going to happen again.

http://twitter.com/MarcusJ_NG
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:19 AM   #3
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Groce: Brandon Paul was more consistent earlier in the season. Wouldn't be where they are now without him.

Groce: Need BP to play better, Griffey, Bertrand, RIchardson. Confident they will play better.

Groce: Didn't think defensively saturday that B. Paul was as good as he's been.

Groce: BP didn't play well on Saturday, so Coach has to lock the gym so he doesn't wear himself out before the next game.

Groce: Haven't defended the three very well, got to have more urgency, that's unacceptable.

http://twitter.com/MarcusJ_NG
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Groce: We need Brandon to play better. He knows that. Griffey, Bertrand, DJ too

Groce: They played well for bulk of season. Some guys are finding ways to add value to team outside of shooting, like DJ on D

Groce: Other guys have to find ways to add value outside of shooting.

Groce: Paul doesn't play well on Saturday, so I have to hide the keys to Ubben so he doesn't wear himself out. He cares.

Groce: Defensively need more of a sense of urgency. Rebounding obviously a weaknesses. Have to hit people.

http://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:21 AM   #4
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I'm convinced now that Groce is feeling out the B1G season and simply sees that some of his players are limited in what they can do in this league, and some might be specialized for the league.

Then again, he might just be grading out Matto points, and plans to play the top 5 "scorers".

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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:25 AM   #5
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Groce: Mike Shaw has been terrific, led team in rebounding Monday. Was second yesterday.

Groce: Shaw has practiced well since Christmas, probably needed an opportunity, but team had been playing well with rotation.

Groce: Wants Shaw to be physical, rebound, block out, run the floor, screen. Things that Sam McLaurin does.

Groce: Shaw doesn't have to make shots, or even take shots.

Groce: Four main perimeter guys have been pretty good. Would like to have a fifth with either LaTulip or Langford.

Groce: Got to do what we need to do, just have to do it better. No need for whole sale changes.

Groce: The mental part is so important with any team he's ever been around. When minds are right, it's a big deal.

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Groce: Mike Shaw has "been terrific" in practice. Led team in rebounding Monday and was 2nd on Tuesday.

Groce: Shaw has earned opportunity to be part of the rotation tomorrow night. Has practiced well since Xmas break.

Groce: Wants Shaw to be physical, block out, screen, run floor, little things that help team win, like Sam McLaurin

Groce: Not automatic longterm playing time for Shaw. He's got to battle for it.

Groce: It's January. We got to do what we do. We got to do it better. There's no need to wholesale change anything.

Asked if he's had to spend more time on mental part this season, #illini Groce says. "No." and repeats it multiple times.

Groce: My whole deal is, man up. Confidence is not a magic wand. You earn the right to be confident.

http://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:43 AM   #6
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 11:44 AM   #7
TCTORNADO
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Once this presser is available for replay, it should be mandatory watching for some our naysayers and haters on here. It addresses some of their concerns in pretty simple terms.
John Groce has the "gets it" factor nailed.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:25 PM   #8
Illinigirl
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Interesting comments about BP - having to "lock the doors" to keep him from wearing himself out. That doesn't sound like the too layed back, doesn't care, & doesn't work hard BP some have been describing.

Overall, every time I read the comments after his press conferences, I am more and more impressed with John Groce.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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not automatic longterm palying time for shaw but griffey has been god awful for how long now and still starts and gets significant minutes
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:11 PM   #10
jhayton
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You can't give up on a shooter like Griffey. He is in a slump, but when he was stroking it from distance was when we were beating GU and Butler. Flat out we need him, does it mean he should start not necessarily, but we have to trust JG's judgment.

I think the comment about finding other ways to contribute other than shooting was meant directly for TG. If we can't trust JG to make the right personnel decisions then we made a bad hire.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Illinigirl View Post
Interesting comments about BP - having to "lock the doors" to keep him from wearing himself out. That doesn't sound like the too layed back, doesn't care, & doesn't work hard BP some have been describing.

Overall, every time I read the comments after his press conferences, I am more and more impressed with John Groce.
His first 3 years at UI, BP was indeed too laid back in too many games and in too many practices, didn't like contact in the paint (even in open gyms), wasn't one of the hardest workers on the team (wasn't the laziest worker but definitely wasn't a gym rat), didn't handle personal success well and struggled with the motivation to consistently bring his best effort. The first 1/3 to half of last season he finally started becoming the bulldog defender BW wanted him to be, leading in Matto points for awhile, but after the OSU game his defensive and offensive energy and focus fell off precipitously. I know this from inside accounts, but things like this were frankly clear to any fan who watched our games.

The new staff obviously lit a fire under BP in the offseason (I only got a few offseason reports before my insider left UI; he said BP was getting after it more so than past offseasons, and so was everyone else), though part of it could be attributed to awareness that he's now a SR and this is it for him at UI and in terms of his hoops future. BP has relapsed some in terms of falling into some old habits in the last few weeks starting with the Mizzou game. He's fading and not holding his follow-through on his 3-pointers, letting physical defenders lock him up without attacking them, not as committed to D or making the extra pass such as when he drives, not consistently looking to attack the paint, settling for jumpers, etc. Good news is NW doesn't have physical guards a la PU (Johnson's physicality took BP out of his game), MN and WI (which similarly challenged him with physical defense). He should have a big game tomorrow, though I hope part of it will be him mixing it up more and looking to drive and then kick out to open shooters, too. He and TA have gotten away from that and are thinking almost exclusively shot only the times that they do drive.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jhayton View Post
You can't give up on a shooter like Griffey. He is in a slump, but when he was stroking it from distance was when we were beating GU and Butler. Flat out we need him, does it mean he should start not necessarily, but we have to trust JG's judgment.

I think the comment about finding other ways to contribute other than shooting was meant directly for TG. If we can't trust JG to make the right personnel decisions then we made a bad hire.
Can't take TG entirely out of the rotation, but his mins must get reduced until/if he regains his shooting mojo. I'm sure the staff is working hard to fix his shot and confidence while working on improving his D, rebounding and other areas, though at this point in his career and the season there isn't much time to make drastic improvements. TG will never be a good defender or rebounder, but he should be able to at least be mediocre in those areas, if that makes sense.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 01:39 PM   #13
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Nice explanation HOC - thanks for the response.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HeartofaChampion View Post
Can't take TG entirely out of the rotation, but his mins must get reduced until/if he regains his shooting mojo. I'm sure the staff is working hard to fix his shot and confidence while working on improving his D, rebounding and other areas, though at this point in his career and the season there isn't much time to make drastic improvements. TG will never be a good defender or rebounder, but he should be able to at least be mediocre in those areas, if that makes sense.
Definitely makes sense to me. I think we are on the same page and I think if JG had an option that he trusted more than TG to play the 4 in his system we would be seeing that.

The fact that Shaw is pushing him for minutes is an obvious sign that he and TG are battling it out. Clearly, Shaw and even Henry (when the latter gets after it) are better rebounders and defenders than TG. The issue that JG faces, IMHO, is getting our offense going. At this point I think that TG gives us the best chance to start a game hot, none of the three mentioned in this paragraph are shooting with much confidence, but I think JG believes that TG is the closest to getting his offensive scheme rolling again. That is why I think he is "starting", but I think it is clear that his minutes will be decreasing.

Bear in mind that this is all just wild speculation from someone who doesn't know a whole lot about basketball just loves to watch it. So this is all just MVHO.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by HeartofaChampion View Post
Can't take TG entirely out of the rotation, but his mins must get reduced until/if he regains his shooting mojo. I'm sure the staff is working hard to fix his shot and confidence while working on improving his D, rebounding and other areas, though at this point in his career and the season there isn't much time to make drastic improvements. TG will never be a good defender or rebounder, but he should be able to at least be mediocre in those areas, if that makes sense.
I think if you listen to groces description of what he wants from shaw you can tell exactly what the issue is with Griffey. We do not need Griffey to score as much as we need a 4 who can defend and board. Griffey seems unable to play that role. We all relish the nice 3 ball he occasionally makes but the 3 boards lost (3 new scoring opportunities for opposition) and the 10 pts he surrenders with Olay defense is the problem in big ten play. We need a power forward with emphasis on power. Shaw is being challenged to be that kid. Certainly has the body.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 02:47 PM   #16
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Bonus!



Rob McColley

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Old Jan 16, 2013, 06:35 PM   #17
finalfour2011
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Robert Archibald interview

I used to love to watch Archie play...he was solid as a rock holding his position in the post and set bone-jarring screens. He holds and Illini record .659 field goal percentage from 2002. Wish we had an Archie on this year's team.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 08:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TCTORNADO View Post
Once this presser is available for replay, it should be mandatory watching for some our naysayers and haters on here. It addresses some of their concerns in pretty simple terms.
John Groce has the "gets it" factor nailed.
The question isnt whether JG can recognize the issues..we all recognize them. The question is whether he can fix them. Hopefully he can. Words are meaningless...the proof is in the pudding(how we play). Hopefully the pudding tastes better Thursday!
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