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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:36 AM   #1
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Audio: First Word With John Groce 1-21-13

http://www.wdws.com/audio/2013-01-21...e-1-21-13.html
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 07:58 AM   #2
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Groce said he's "leaning that way" -- starting Sam McLaurin again in Tyler Griffey's place for Nebraska game. (for a lineup of: Abrams, Richardson, Paul, McLaurin, Egwu)
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:19 AM   #3
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Groce said he's "leaning that way" -- starting Sam McLaurin again in Tyler Griffey's place for Nebraska game. (for a lineup of: Abrams, Richardson, Paul, McLaurin, Egwu)
Ugh. Not a fan of having Egwu and McLaurin out there together. Not sure if there are really any better options, though.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 08:21 AM   #4
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Ugh. Not a fan of having Egwu and McLaurin out there together. Not sure if there are really any better options, though.
Not a fan either....but I don't think there are any other options. Unless he wants to go with JoeTales at the 4.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:14 AM   #5
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Ugh. Not a fan of having Egwu and McLaurin out there together. Not sure if there are really any better options, though.
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Not a fan either....but I don't think there are any other options. Unless he wants to go with JoeTales at the 4.
Curious decision. Must be based on trying to match up defensively with UNL. SML has brought very little to the table in the B1G slate so far, and we got off to a terrible start with him starting vs. NU. SML must be a good practice player, or JG is choosing experience as his primary factor for PT, not that the other options are good.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:43 AM   #6
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Players-only meeting was held recently:

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#illini basketball players had a players-only meeting recently. Players won't divulge any details (where, when, what was said, who talked)
https://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:48 AM   #7
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Curious decision. Must be based on trying to match up defensively with UNL. SML has brought very little to the table in the B1G slate so far, and we got off to a terrible start with him starting vs. NU. SML must be a good practice player, or JG is choosing experience as his primary factor for PT, not that the other options are good.
McLaurin is a better defender than Henry or Griffey.

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Players-only meeting was held recently:
Seems to be an annual event with this group, right after the annual "wheels come off" swoon.

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 09:50 AM   #8
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Players-only meeting was held recently:



https://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU
:rolleyes:

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:23 AM   #9
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Players-only meeting was held recently:

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#illini basketball players had a players-only meeting recently. Players won't divulge any details (where, when, what was said, who talked)
https://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU
I hope Deron Williams was there.

I don't know that it can hurt, but I doubt it can do much good. Hopefully it will. Maybe a leader emerged out of the meeting.

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:34 AM   #10
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Maybe a leader emerged out of the meeting.
I think this team has leaders (DJ, Abrams).

I think many of these players are panic-prone. When things don't go well, they get away from the gameplan with alarming speed. The second half of the Northwestern game was a case study in this - we locked them down defensively, but every trip down on the offensive end we couldn't force a bad shot fast enough, often careening into defenders attempting to draw a foul.

Any by "don't go well", I don't necessarily mean just trailing in a game. We were down against Gonzaga, but were still hitting shots and defending pretty effectively. I think our multi-game cold streak has completely short-circuited our offense, which has exacerbated our defensive shortcomings (see: Minnesota) - any confidence Groce was able to instill over the summer and early season gave way to old habits.

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:38 AM   #11
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hopefully someone brought to the meeting shannon ryan's weekend article which included a number of very critical quotes by stephen bardo about this team's mental make-up. at this point, i doubt anything could get this group of players fired up to play, but if i were groce, I would tape a copy of the article on each player's locker. if a former player's words can't help this group, nothing will.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mattcoldagelli View Post
I think this team has leaders (DJ, Abrams).

I think many of these players are panic-prone. When things don't go well, they get away from the gameplan with alarming speed. The second half of the Northwestern game was a case study in this - we locked them down defensively, but every trip down on the offensive end we couldn't force a bad shot fast enough, often careening into defenders attempting to draw a foul.

Any by "don't go well", I don't necessarily mean just trailing in a game. We were down against Gonzaga, but were still hitting shots and defending pretty effectively. I think our multi-game cold streak has completely short-circuited our offense, which has exacerbated our defensive shortcomings (see: Minnesota) - any confidence Groce was able to instill over the summer and early season gave way to old habits.
Good evaluation IMO. Some have suggested a shrink to help overcome the panic and negativity. A shot of booze (only one) before tipoff might also be beneficial.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:58 AM   #13
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hopefully someone brought to the meeting shannon ryan's weekend article which included a number of very critical quotes by stephen bardo about this team's mental make-up. at this point, i doubt anything could get this group of players fired up to play, but if i were groce, I would tape a copy of the article on each player's locker. if a former player's words can't help this group, nothing will.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ss-tim-beckman

Just read that article myself, and while it isn't anything we didn't already know, these stats just blow my mind:

Quote:
The Illini have made just 8 of 58 3-pointers the last three games. A suddenly porous defense has allowed opponents to make 27 of 53 in the same span.

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:32 AM   #14
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Big Ten teleconference-
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Groce: Guys are looking forward to getting back out there. Guys haven't played well, but opponents have played well.

Groce: Have to get better, have to execute better.

Groce: Defensively team hasn't been linked together enough. Havn't defended 3 well, haven't guarded ball well.

Groce: For the most part, they're getting great effort, just haven't been as aggressive as they've needed to.

Groce: Asked if he's dealing with scar tissue from last year and says he doesn't know for sure.

Groce: Only the individuals know if they're looking through front windshield of car or the rearview mirror.

Groce: (He) D.J.'s the best, love that kid. He's competitive, great job of leading.

Groce: He can mentally handle adversity and move on. Not everyone can do that.

https://twitter.com/MarcusJ_NG
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 11:45 AM   #15
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McLaurin is a better defender than Henry or Griffey.
True, though he's been a poor defensive rebounder and offers nothing offensively inside, outside or otherwise. Of course, TG and MyH have been porous defensively and offered little more offensively. Basically SML is our tallest midget at the 4. Hard to imagine a B1G team with worse options at the 4 right now.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:23 PM   #16
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Sam M is the only player we have in the post putting up competitive offensive rebounding numbers according to the B1G website under stats. With us shooting 15% from 3 in the past few games maybe he wants some better rebounding.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ss-tim-beckman

Just read that article myself, and while it isn't anything we didn't already know, these stats just blow my mind:



These are the comments that I would put on each player's locker:

"Stephen Bardo, an ESPN analyst who played for Illinois from 1986-90, likened the play to the old adage about unfaithful partners. In Illinois' case, once a quitter, always a quitter.

"It has been disturbing to watch," he said. "If you're a team that has quit in the past, it's easy to go there again. They don't seem to have a lot of individual pride. Northwestern has struggled against everyone in the Big Ten. They came in and went right to the rim."...Groce's mantra has been "toughness and togetherness," but Bardo said he doesn't see much of that right now. "I recall seeing (Purdue's) Terone Johnson challenging Brandon Paul in the face, and that's a manhood check," Bardo said. "Teams in the Big Ten know if you punch this team in the mouth, they're not going to punch you back."

At this point, I don't believe much can be done about our players' ball-handling and shooting deficiencies. Those kinds of things should have been corrected and worked on ad nauseum during our seniors' last four years of summer ball. However, defense and rebounding depend primarily upon effort. The fact that our kids didn't come out against NU breathing fire after the Wisconsin embarrassment just blew my mind. Yes, they showed a bit more in the second half, but the sense of urgency should have been there from the opening tip. Instead, ten seconds after the tip we allowed NU to get an uncontested layup and the tone was set from there.

I was at the NU/Indiana game yesterday. From the opening tip, Indiana's defense played with intensity. The same NU team that scored 10 points in the first two minutes against us and shot 83% from three pointland in the first half had 9 (yes 9) points a full sixteen minutes into a game against a team that actually took pride in their defense. And yes, NU also shot only 1 for 9 in the first half against that hard-nosed defense, primarily because, unlike our players, the IU players actually contested most of the NU 3's.

I went into this season (actually the last 2-3 seasons) recognizing the offensive limitations of our players. While I don't like those limitations, I have learned to live with them. However, I cannot condone playing kids who don't play hard all the time and seem to have ZERO pride in themselves.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:37 PM   #18
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John Groce press conference-

Quote:
Audio: Coach Groce talks about the state of the #Illini heading into tomorrow's #B1G road game vs. #Huskers: http://www.fightingillini.com/allaccess/?media=363208

http://twitter.com/IlliniHoops
Quote:
Groce: Had two rigorous days of practice. Went hard today, but not as hard. Just need to execute better.

Groce: Our execution of details has to be better. Certainly have gotten better the last couple days. Guys are eager to play.

Groce on players-only meeting: THat's their meeting. I don't think it's a bad thing. They care. Doesn't surprise them.

Groce: Relying on team captains: McLaurin, Abrams, DJ, Paul. To whom much is given, much expected. Simply need them to play better

Groce: Big Ten is great league, but Butler and Gonzaga are really good too. They're good. They're real good.

Groce: Nebraska plays really hard and they defend well. Role players stepped up in Ubel's absence due to injury.

Groce: Last year against Nebraska is irrelevant. Has nothing to do with now.

Groce: Effort level is good in practice, has been for a while. We don't have an effort issue on our team. Need more aggression

Groce: If you're not "flame-throwing in 15 threes," execution of little things is much more important. Guys finding that out

Groce: Leaning toward keeping Sam McLaurin in starting lineup. Griffey played well coming off bench, will play starter-like minutes

Groce: Tim Miles has a history of improving programs. He's really good at building. I think his kids compete.

https://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU
Quote:
Groce: Players-only meeting is their deal, but not a bad thing. They care a lot.

Groce: Relying heavily on captains (Richadson, Paul, Abrams, McLaurin) to get out of recent funk.

Groce: Last year's Nebraska result is irrelevant, has nothing to do with the game tomorrow.

Groce: Don't have an effort issue on this team, need to play better. Would like to be more aggressive to start.

Groce: Need to play better, not necessarily focused on wins and losses, that stuff takes care of itself.

Groce: Leaning toward starting McLaurin again. Griffey played well against NU, will get plenty of minutes.

Groce: About Tim Miles, everywhere he's been they've gotten better. Really good at building programs.

https://twitter.com/MarcusJ_NG
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 12:44 PM   #19
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I'm not sure I agree with Groce's assessment of the teams effort. I certainly don't think it is on the same level it was earlier. Effort is physical and mental. Defense and rebounding are about effort. We have been bad at both. Very bad at times.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:20 PM   #20
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These are the comments that I would put on each player's locker:

"Stephen Bardo, an ESPN analyst who played for Illinois from 1986-90, likened the play to the old adage about unfaithful partners. In Illinois' case, once a quitter, always a quitter.

"It has been disturbing to watch," he said. "If you're a team that has quit in the past, it's easy to go there again. They don't seem to have a lot of individual pride. Northwestern has struggled against everyone in the Big Ten. They came in and went right to the rim."...Groce's mantra has been "toughness and togetherness," but Bardo said he doesn't see much of that right now. "I recall seeing (Purdue's) Terone Johnson challenging Brandon Paul in the face, and that's a manhood check," Bardo said. "Teams in the Big Ten know if you punch this team in the mouth, they're not going to punch you back."

At this point, I don't believe much can be done about our players' ball-handling and shooting deficiencies. Those kinds of things should have been corrected and worked on ad nauseum during our seniors' last four years of summer ball. However, defense and rebounding depend primarily upon effort. The fact that our kids didn't come out against NU breathing fire after the Wisconsin embarrassment just blew my mind. Yes, they showed a bit more in the second half, but the sense of urgency should have been there from the opening tip. Instead, ten seconds after the tip we allowed NU to get an uncontested layup and the tone was set from there.

I was at the NU/Indiana game yesterday. From the opening tip, Indiana's defense played with intensity. The same NU team that scored 10 points in the first two minutes against us and shot 83% from three pointland in the first half had 9 (yes 9) points a full sixteen minutes into a game against a team that actually took pride in their defense. And yes, NU also shot only 1 for 9 in the first half against that hard-nosed defense, primarily because, unlike our players, the IU players actually contested most of the NU 3's.

I went into this season (actually the last 2-3 seasons) recognizing the offensive limitations of our players. While I don't like those limitations, I have learned to live with them. However, I cannot condone playing kids who don't play hard all the time and seem to have ZERO pride in themselves.
This is a blistering analysis from Bardo of our players and, at the very end, of JG, too (the bolded). It's also spot on.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:21 PM   #21
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I'm not sure I agree with Groce's assessment of the teams effort. I certainly don't think it is on the same level it was earlier. Effort is physical and mental. Defense and rebounding are about effort. We have been bad at both. Very bad at times.
+1. The effort was quite poor in the first half against NU and UW. Our D and rebounding were awful at UW, and our D was bad for the majority of the NU game.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:25 PM   #22
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This is a blistering analysis from Bardo of our players and, at the very end, of JG, too (the bolded). It's also spot on.
I love when Bardo talks the Illini because i almost always agree with everything he says. So to me it's like my voice is being heard. Stupid i know.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:31 PM   #23
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+1. The effort was quite poor in the first half against NU and UW. Our D and rebounding were awful at UW, and our D was bad for the majority of the NU game.
As I've said in the past, it's never been about quitting. It's about not bringing it consistently. Bardo perhaps likens that to quitting.

I must say, this is interesting on his part. I know he wants this team to succeed, but cannot be outward about it given his position in the media. He intentionally gives bulletin board material to a major Chicago newspaper in order to spark them without rooting for them.

Bardo has personal contact with some of the players. If he said this in the media, what do you think he said in private?

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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:36 PM   #24
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This is a blistering analysis from Bardo of our players and, at the very end, of JG, too (the bolded). It's also spot on.
+1.

In defense of Groce, why would he come in and think this team needed more toughness than he was preaching? They went 12-0 for crying out loud, and were playing defense better than under Weber. I have to think Groce is dumb-founded at how easily these guys have folded, especially after showing some pride earlier. How do you fix that as coach?

Tracy is a leader. I'd take him aside and talk to him about how this is a tough spot and we need someone who won't quit to set the tone. 2013 will be better --more guys like him coming.

I'm most disappointed in BP3. Seems like a follower that thinks he's better than he is and IMO needs to sit anytime he starts playing like a diva.

We gotta find some toughness. I don't care how --there's nothing to lose.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 01:53 PM   #25
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His effort is good, but the fact that Sam MacLaurin is our starting power forward tells you a lot about the talent level of this team. Thankfully, upgrades are coming soon.
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