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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:47 AM   #1
Dan
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Audio: First Word With John Groce 2-4-13

http://www.wdws.com/audio/2013-02-04...ce-2-4-13.html
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Illini drop fourth straight at home

"Unfortunately, our answer now is to foul and be undisciplined. I didn't think our defense was very good in the second half. We have to trust one another more out there. We have to trust our system more.

"You can't be on five different islands defensively. It's a team game as much on the defensive end as on the offensive end. In this league, if you don't guard, you will be very ineffective. We have holes in our defense now that we need to patch."

Tupper
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Paul's benching, emphasis on defense fail to snap Illinois out of tailspin

If the Illini are going to find a life preserver, it had better start on the other side of the ball.

"It's not about the offense right now," Groce said. "It's about the defense."

Shannon Ryan
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Home court no advantage for Illini

The Illini's four-game losing streak at home is their longest in five seasons..

"We have been doing the same thing (defensively) since Oct. 12. That's the disappointing part. We have to have more carryover. They've got to trust one another more. They've got to trust the system more."

Supinie
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Wisconsin 74, Illinois 68: 'You have to trust the system'

"They went from semi-confidently in to squarely on the (NCAA) bubble," Yahoo! Sports bracketologist Brad Evans said after Sunday's loss, Illinois' eighth in its last 11 games.

Marcus Jackson
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Broken

But today, in the first half, right about the time where Wisconsin took a 14-9 lead, I broke. I felt it go. The season, my optimism, everything. Broken. I sent out a Tweet saying such (with some "Really? Now? Early in the first half?" responses). I just felt it click. A must win game, at home, after three straight home losses, against the worst Wisconsin team in a decade, and we score 9 points in the first 10 minutes.

http://alioneye.com/2013/02/04/broken/

Last edited by Dan; Feb 4, 2013 at 06:52 AM.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:06 AM   #2
AHSIllini32
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I can't believe the guy from Yahoo! thinks we are still on the bubble instead of somewhat squarely in...
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:07 AM   #3
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Groce this morning on WDWS.

Groce: "Frustrated with our defense right now."

Q: Do you have to simplify things (on the defensive end)?
Groce: "Well, it's pretty simple. It's not real hard."

Groce: "Either we don't care enough and aren't committed enough to do those things on a consistent basis, or we don't have the ability level to do them. And I'm going to choose the former."

Groce: "We need guys that care a heckuva lot more about defense than they do about offense right now."

Groce: "Right now to be honest with you Brian we've got some guys defensively getting some time and earning some spots by default."

Groce: "Yesterday we did not block out very well."
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:35 AM   #4
AHSIllini32
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Groce comin hard after these guys.

Glad to see it. Man up or get out.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:36 AM   #5
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If the emphasis is on defense, why isn't Langford getting more of Griffey and Henry's minutes? Its been a small sample size, but I like what I've seen from his defensive effort.

Also...the defense emphasis makes me miss Crandall Head. That guy could play some D.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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I wonder if we will see the same message board outrage at Groce throwing the players under the bus as we did from Weber doing it.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AHSIllini32 View Post
Groce comin hard after these guys.

Glad to see it. Man up or get out.
Well the good thing is the guys that need to man up.. will be gone in about 5 weeks.. as soon as they blow any invitation to the NIT and NCAA and lose their first game in the B1G tourney..

I never really wanted to believe that the 13 class was the issue with this team but it is glaringly obvious now..BP an TG were completely useless yesterday.. I think a lot of guys on here always go after DJ but I really think he is the only Sr. that gives a rats _ _ _.

I have to apologise to Davis, McCamey and Tisdale.. maybe these 3 guys were not the problem a couple of years back..
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by stlrunner View Post
If the emphasis is on defense, why isn't Langford getting more of Griffey and Henry's minutes? Its been a small sample size, but I like what I've seen from his defensive effort.
Because Langford plays a different position, he's a 3, not a 4. I'd also like to see more of him, but doesn't look like that's going to happen.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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Groce: "Either we don't care enough and aren't committed enough to do those things on a consistent basis, or we don't have the ability level to do them. And I'm going to choose the former."

Groce: "We need guys that care a heckuva lot more about defense than they do about offense right now."

Groce: "Right now to be honest with you Brian we've got some guys defensively getting some time and earning some spots by default."
Ouch.

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by stlrunner View Post
If the emphasis is on defense, why isn't Langford getting more of Griffey and Henry's minutes? Its been a small sample size, but I like what I've seen from his defensive effort.

Also...the defense emphasis makes me miss Crandall Head. That guy could play some D.
I would be very surprised if Langford was on the team next season.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by derekholcomb View Post
I wonder if we will see the same message board outrage at Groce throwing the players under the bus as we did from Weber doing it.
If/when it gets to the level Weber did it then, yes, I suspect we will see it.

But that won't happen, especially after Weber's players are gone.

There's no doubt Weber was at the mercy of his players, just as Groce is now. But he put together his team.

Groce is still in Free Pass Mode in my mind. He needs to be able to turn over the entire roster before we can judge him fairly, IMO.

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by derekholcomb View Post
I wonder if we will see the same message board outrage at Groce throwing the players under the bus as we did from Weber doing it.
Who cares? I'm glad the coach is calling out the players. He's been making excuses for their lazy play up until this point. They need to know it's their fault, and they have to step up. A lot of the best coaches in college basketball have no problem calling out their players, and the fans of those programs don't have a problem with it either.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by stlrunner View Post
If the emphasis is on defense, why isn't Langford getting more of Griffey and Henry's minutes? Its been a small sample size, but I like what I've seen from his defensive effort.

Also...the defense emphasis makes me miss Crandall Head. That guy could play some D.
Langford is not a four. He would not sub for either Griffey or Henry. He could sub for Bertrand, Paul or Richardson. That is where he plays. The fact that he gets no minutes and is even behind LaTulip right now tells you all you need to know about his future here. imo

We do not miss Crandall Head on so many levels. imo
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:09 AM   #14
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I wonder if we will see the same message board outrage at Groce throwing the players under the bus as we did from Weber doing it.
Yeh, the always be positive approach has limits. Weber was frustrated. Groce is frustrated. Time for Groce to recruit a new set of players.

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:10 AM   #15
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Langford is not a four. He would not sub for either Griffey or Henry. He could sub for Bertrand, Paul or Richardson. That is where he plays. The fact that he gets no minutes and is even behind LaTulip right now tells you all you need to know about his future here. imo

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:14 AM   #16
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I have to apologise to Davis, McCamey and Tisdale.. maybe these 3 guys were not the problem a couple of years back..
  • Tisdale was never the problem. He was always limited physically, but a bright kid who got the most out of his ability.
  • Davis was a frustrating player in that for most of his career, he didn't get as much out of his abilities as he could. The light bulb didn't go on until halfway through his senior year.
  • McCamey was yet another very talented player who wasn't always a leader. But boy, he sure could play. And it must have been very frustrating to be about the only guard who could play during his last two years.

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by derekholcomb View Post
I wonder if we will see the same message board outrage at Groce throwing the players under the bus as we did from Weber doing it.
So what you are saying is that it is ok for an entire fandom to throw the players under the bus but the coach should sit there and pretend like they are getting it done?

And no, I didn't have a problem with Weber calling out players either. Weber just didn't have enough in the bank with most fans to get away with it... wasn't cool enough, couldn't relate to kids, had staff issues, too loyal, I could go on. Look, I thought it was time for Weber to go too - it was simply the end of the line. Ask yourself what any coach would be saying about their players given the way they've played the last month. Would Bo Ryan for instance sit there not call out his players in the same circumstance? Doubtful.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:16 AM   #18
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Yep. The guys we wonder about, why they aren't seeing minutes. They aren't seeing minutes now and they likely aren't going to see minutes in the future.

They're either 1) so bad they can't even see the floor on a terrible team and/or 2) not going to be here for long.

I'd heard rumors before the season started that Groce did not like this team much at all. Both in terms of skills and mindset. I don't know how things will go down, but I'd be shocked if at least a couple guys aren't sent packing. And I'm perfectly okay with that. Scholarships are renewed yearly and you gotta earn them. If Groce feels like some guys aren't working hard enough or don't care enough then they don't deserve to just sit on the bench and earn a free degree.

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:20 AM   #19
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McCamey was yet another very talented player who wasn't always a leader. But boy, he sure could play. And it must have been very frustrating to be about the only guard who could play during his last two years.
The criticism McCamey took from both fans and the coach was one of the most disappointing things I've ever seen as an Illini fan.

The kid wasn't Deron Williams, but he could play and he wasn't exactly surrounded by great talent. My memory is that for most or all of his career he was really the only guy who could make any play whatsoever. I have fond memories of D-Mac.

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:24 AM   #20
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Weber just didn't have enough in the bank with most fans to get away with it... wasn't cool enough, couldn't relate to kids, had staff issues, too loyal, I could go on.
You missed by far the #1 factor: he didn't win enough games.

Fans will put up with all kinds of faults, but the one that won't be tolerated and will amplify all other faults is losing. I didn't care for his personality at all, but as long as he won, who cares? But he could have been the coolest dude in the world and I would have wanted him gonzo because he couldn't get the job done.

Edit: 3 posts in a row. I'll stop now.

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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:26 AM   #21
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The criticism McCamey took from both fans and the coach was one of the most disappointing things I've ever seen as an Illini fan.

The kid wasn't Deron Williams, but he could play and he wasn't exactly surrounded by great talent. My memory is that for most or all of his career he was really the only guy who could make any play whatsoever. I have fond memories of D-Mac.
+1000000. I always appreciated D-Mac's play and thought our fanbase ragged on him unnecessarily. Extremely talented, but didn't have any other real guards on the roster and was forced to play a much bigger role on the team than he could handle. I think Brandon is the McCamey of this year's team, but I can't say all the criticism has been undeserved
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
  • Tisdale was never the problem. He was always limited physically, but a bright kid who got the most out of his ability.
  • Davis was a frustrating player in that for most of his career, he didn't get as much out of his abilities as he could. The light bulb didn't go on until halfway through his senior year.
  • McCamey was yet another very talented player who wasn't always a leader. But boy, he sure could play. And it must have been very frustrating to be about the only guard who could play during his last two years.
Put McCamey on this team instead of Paul and I bet the team has another 3-4 wins.

And before everyone jumps down my throat about placing all the blame on Paul for our season let me explain. This is just an exercise in flipping the two "best players" from each respective team.

It would be easy to say "flip DMAC and DJ and this '12-'13 team would be much better!" Well no kidding, but DJ and DMAC aren't close in terms of basketball ability.

This is more of a statement about how much this teams needs a guy who can handle the ball and shoot well consistently.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post
You missed by far the #1 factor: he didn't win enough games.

Fans will put up with all kinds of faults, but the one that won't be tolerated and will amplify all other faults is losing. I didn't care for his personality at all, but as long as he won, who cares? But he could have been the coolest dude in the world and I would have wanted him gonzo because he couldn't get the job done.

Edit: 3 posts in a row. I'll stop now.
Yes, you are right that I did leave that minor issue out! Weber had his detractors from the beginning but you are right the nail in the coffin was the lack of winning. That's what I alluded to when it was time for him to go.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:36 AM   #24
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I would be very surprised if Langford was on the team next season.
After not seeing the floor the last few games and with MLT playing ahead of him yesterday, I now agree with this. It seems clear that ID, DL and MS are buried on the bench as a message that they have no future with this team. Can't blame JG for that. The more of his own recruits he can bring to UI, the faster the transition to his system will be. Keeping guys who don't fit his system and who don't have the skills or mindset to carry out his system doesn't make much sense. Really, he's doing them a favor this way. They can transfer now and still have 2 or 3 years to use at a school where they'll play and that better fits their talent level, and JG can have more schollies at his disposal to bring in his types of players.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:36 AM   #25
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Put McCamey on this team instead of Paul and I bet the team has another 3-4 wins.

And before everyone jumps down my throat about placing all the blame on Paul for our season let me explain. This is just an exercise in flipping the two "best players" from each respective team.

It would be easy to say "flip DMAC and DJ and this '12-'13 team would be much better!" Well no kidding, but DJ and DMAC aren't close in terms of basketball ability.

This is more of a statement about how much this teams needs a guy who can handle the ball and shoot well consistently.
I'm not really in the DMAC fan club as it seems many here are. He always struck me as the second coming of Frank Williams but with less natural talent and clutch play ability.

I don't think McCamey's was a good role model in terms of work ethic for the youngsters coming into the program either... of which we are seeing the fruits of today.
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