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John Groce press conference (2/20)

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Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:34 AM   #1
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:48 AM   #2
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What's the over/under on how many times coach says "I thought our guys were tough and together"?
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:27 PM   #3
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What's the over/under on how many times coach says "I thought our guys were tough and together"?
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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Yes, John Groce mandated that the #illini stop tweeting. Wants to limit outside distractions. Knows he can't stop them from reading it tho

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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Groce: Exicted more than anything else about the direction of the defense.

Groce: Got to continue to doing those things. Defense is the partner that has brought them to the dance.

Groce: Concentration is better, defensive concepts are becoming habit and that's biggest difference for turnaround.

Groce: Penn State is a team whose two guards can really drive the ball and put pressure on the defense.

Groce: Still need to play harder without fouling. Had some issues with that even the other night at Northwestern.

Groce: Penn State is getting better and choosing to get better. Speaks to mental toughness of team. PSU plays hard. physical.

Groce: Guys weren't trusting the defense before, now they're committed accountable.

Groce: Players have taken ownership of improving, notably D.J. Richardson and Sam McLaurin.

Groce: Always helps when players take on more of a leadership role. Others are starting to follow suit.

Groce: People make too big a deal about starting lineup and guys being benched. Tracy wasn't benched, played 30 minutes.

Groce: All the guys are grading out so high on defensive end. Tracy got a B and other guys graded out higher. That's rare.

Groce: Players respect the process of who's starting and who's not. Tracy making guys better on offensive end. Best all year.

Groce: Tracy graded out as an A defensively on Sunday.

Groce: Tyler Griffey has nearly tripled his production on the defensive end. Everybody is playing better on that end.

Groce: This stretch is the best they've defended all year. Still have to foul less, make fewer mistakes.

Groce: Wants to coach guys who are ticked off when they get scored on.

Groce: Northwestern missed some shot during Illinois' 26-0 run. SOme were contested, others were not.

Groce: Talk about maturity all the time regardless of opponent. More focused this time of year on themselves.

Groce: Guys have been through a lot through their careers, they've been resilient.

Groce: Have to go through some adversity to reach potential and guys have more of an appreciation for things.

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Groce: Excited about direction of defense more than anything. We have to continue to do that.

Groce; When things are going favorably for you, you can forget the dance partner that got you there. THat's been D.

Groce: Concentration better. Knowledge has turned into havits so they're seeing more carryover from practice into games.

Groce: Got to bring our hard hat tomorrow night. Marshall and Newbill can really drive, get to FT line a lot. ILL fouling too much

Groce: Respect energy and passion of Pat Chambers. PSU players mirror his personality. Played best two games of B1G season recently

Groce: They play really, really hard. Very physical. I really admire that.

Groce: D.J. Richardson has stopped a drill, saying it's not good enough. High level of leadership from him

Groce: DJ feels responsibility for the team, responsible for his play. Holds himself accountable, takes criticism well.

Groce: DJ one of more detailed guys defensively, doing a good job of getting others to be that way. They feed off him defensively

Groce: I laugh when people say players get benched. Abrams playing 30 minutes.

Groce: Abrams making guys better on offensive year, best he's done all year. Graded as an A defensively on Sunday. 3 others did too

Groce: Griffey "has darn near tripled" his defensive grade with how he's rebounding and communicating

Groce: This is the team's best defensive stretch of the year. Need to improve rebounding and cut down on fouling

Groce: I want to coach guys that when they get scored on, they're ticked off. Guys developing more of that mindset

Groce: They were all right on offense Sunday. Missed open shots. "Sometimes that happens in ball." D carried them

Groce: "We got the best of the best. We got unbelievable officials in our league."

Groce: They've had to show a lot of resiliency. They've been through a lot in their careers. They've been through a lot this season.

Groce: We went through adversity and that's made us stronger as a group, more appreciative of each other. Learned a lot from that

Groce: Don't think we've been where we are now if we didn't go through that.

Groce: Paul unbelievable against NW. Rebounded, shared the ball, graded high defensively. He played. Well rounded effort.

Groce: He's a gifted scorer but he needs to continue giving them consistent effort in all other areas.

Groce: Hard to officiate Rayvonte Rice in practice. Can tell he played football. He loves contact now.

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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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Last year, Weber lifted the mandatory ban on Twitter use. We saw how that went. I noticed the players stopped using it recently, but wasn't sure if that was forced or just them going into hiding.

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Old Feb 20, 2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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Is it just me or do others have a ton of problems with streaming content on fightingillini.com/allaccess? I can watch the ones Rob uploads to youtube without any problems, but FI.com just buffers, pauses, and works terribly.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:32 PM   #9
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Is it just me or do others have a ton of problems with streaming content on fightingillini.com/allaccess? I can watch the ones Rob uploads to youtube without any problems, but FI.com just buffers, pauses, and works terribly.
Today was bad, I had to turn off the live presser because it kept skipping.

The video feed doesn't downgrade, it just pauses & skips which is not good. In December I had to use the service to listen to a live radio broadcast, the audio feed did the same thing from time-to-time.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 04:22 PM   #10
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I'm excited about Illinois basketball.

That's all I got.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 07:16 PM   #11
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I'm excited about Illinois basketball.

That's all I got.
Calvin, I am right there with ya! I made a prediction before the season started that was something like 26-4 or some such silly Kool-Aide driven thing. But, I knew we were going to be ok, and I knew our new courtside chief was the right person to take us to new heights. I was just a little early on my prediction.

NOTHING about HCJG makes me nervous. He says the right thing almost every time, and he gets it. I might have been a bit off on the final season record, but making the Final 4 will NOT be a surprise to me.

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Old Feb 20, 2013, 07:33 PM   #12
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I might have been a bit off on the final season record, but making the Final 4 will NOT be a surprise to me.
I love what JG is doing and how the team is playing right now, but making the FF would stun a lot of fans, including me. We can beat any team on any given day, but winning 4 straight games over the likes of a 10 or 11 seed, a 2 seed, a 3 seed and a 1 seed on neutral floors, while possible, still isn't likely. I think we could definitely reach the S16, though I'd be happy with making the Dance and winning a game.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 07:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HeartofaChampion View Post
I love what JG is doing and how the team is playing right now, but making the FF would stun a lot of fans, including me. We can beat any team on any given day, but winning 4 straight games over the likes of a 10 or 11 seed, a 2 seed, a 3 seed and a 1 seed on neutral floors, while possible, still isn't likely. I think we could definitely reach the S16, though I'd be happy with making the Dance and winning a game.
While I understand your point and realize that I am probably dreaming, I do think it depends quite a bit on the draw we get. We have already beaten a #1, and a #2, and a #3 seed this year. So, it should not be out of anyone's mind that we can do it.

A few things:

1.) Teams have very little time to prepare for the next game, so scouting already existing footage is crucial, but we are getting better all season.

2.) Teams have less time to prepare for US.

3.) Teams that get substantially better as the season ends do much better in the tournament.

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Old Feb 20, 2013, 07:47 PM   #14
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While I understand your point and realize that I am probably dreaming, I do think it depends quite a bit on the draw we get. We have already beaten a #1, and a #2, and a #3 seed this year. So, it should not be out of anyone's mind that we can do it.

A few things:

1.) Teams have very little time to prepare for the next game, so scouting already existing footage is crucial, but we are getting better all season.

2.) Teams have less time to prepare for US.

3.) Teams that get substantially better as the season ends do much better in the tournament.
True and I hope we go on a big tourney run. There are just so many variables to making the FF that I won't allow myself to expect it or anticipate it. We have shown we can beat anyone in the country, and we've also shown we can play flat and lose some clunkers. Too unpredictable, but at least it looks like we'll be dancing. UI is the type of program that should be in the dance 9 out of every 10 years and make noise in at least 3 or 4 of those 10 years.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 07:50 PM   #15
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True and I hope we go on a big tourney run. There are just so many variables to making the FF that I won't allow myself to expect it or anticipate it. We have shown we can beat anyone in the country, and we've also shown we can play flat and lose some clunkers. Too unpredictable, but at least it looks like we'll be dancing. UI is the type of program that should be in the dance 9 out of every 10 years and make noise in at least 3 or 4 of those 10 years.
Yeah making a FF may be a bit much. Ill be flippin excited, if we're able to make a S16.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 07:55 PM   #16
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Yeah making a FF may be a bit much. Ill be flippin excited, if we're able to make a S16.
That's my benchmark as well. We should be favored in our first round match up. There is a slight chance we're favored in our second round match up too, depending on the draw and/or potential first round upsets. Even if we're not favored, the field isn't so strong that we can't upset someone in the 2nd round. I want to stay far away from that 8/9 seed. A S16 this year would be bliss. I'd be anxious to see how JG follows that up on the recruiting trail as well.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 12:58 AM   #17
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Kool aid drinkers again. A while back and folks got mad at you if you disagreed we didn't deserve to be top five in the country. Then all the folks wailing about how the B1G would destroy us and the coach wasn't competitive in B1G play. Now we're back to sweet 16 talk. Good lord.

I'm still hoping to come out .500 in the B1G (and I think it's doable). As for the tournament... last summer if you told me we made the tourney I'd have been ecstatic. If we are not one and done we'll have exceeded my wildest expectations. Looking back to the beginning of our season and all the talk of our back court and inability to match up with bigs on the inside. Well I think the kids and the staff have done an amazing job of making the very most of what they had, getting better throughout the year, and playing to their strengths. I am so happy for the kids. They all deserve a massive round of applause regardless of how the rest of the season goes. Basketball is fun to watch again. We have over a month left before people start saying the F word again. *shudder*

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Old Feb 21, 2013, 01:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by HeartofaChampion View Post
but making the FF would stun a lot of fans
heh, that's putting it mildly.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 01:22 AM   #19
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We have already beaten a #1, and a #2, and a #3 seed this year.
Going from the current AP & coaches rankings, we actually have wins against 2 #1 seeds, to date, and are 4-5 against potential 5-seeds or better -- with a long-shot chance of getting to 6-5.
Wins
1-seed: Indiana, Gonzaga
4-seed: Butler
5-seed: OSU

Losses
1-seed: MSU (x2)
2-seed: UM
5-seed: WI (x2)

TBD
2-seed: UM
5-seed: OSU
Any given day...
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 02:31 AM   #20
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I will be honest, if we make it past the first rd then the boys will have passed my expectations for the season.

Also, I would be shocked if Gonzaga got a 1 seed. They just play in to weak of a conference. If they lose even once more before the tournament there is no chance for them to be a 1.

I think St. Mary's knocks them off in their conference tournament.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 05:27 AM   #21
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Going from the current AP & coaches rankings, we actually have wins against 2 #1 seeds, to date, and are 4-5 against potential 5-seeds or better -- with a long-shot chance of getting to 6-5.
Wins
1-seed: Indiana, Gonzaga
4-seed: Butler
5-seed: OSU

Losses
1-seed: MSU (x2)
2-seed: UM
5-seed: WI (x2)

TBD
2-seed: UM
5-seed: OSU
Any given day...
Only played them once.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 07:26 AM   #22
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 07:43 AM   #23
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Our current odds to win the NCAA dance are 100-1 and there are roughly 32 teams ahead of us. So I don't know what odds to make FF or SW16 are but some math whiz can figure that out.
BTW, that particular service had Florida winning it all. Their odds for that 5-1. IU was 2nd @ 11-2 odds.

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Old Feb 21, 2013, 08:33 AM   #24
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I think a Final Four is pretty hard to achieve for any team, really, no matter who you are... That said, though, I have thought a few times during conference play that games are so much tougher to win because coaches around the league already have a leg up on preparing for Illinois. Once you get to the dance, you might draw 3 teams in a row who know nothing about the team... Maybe that can help Illinois push a little further into the tourney than most expect.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 09:16 AM   #25
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I think a Final Four is pretty hard to achieve for any team, really, no matter who you are... That said, though, I have thought a few times during conference play that games are so much tougher to win because coaches around the league already have a leg up on preparing for Illinois. Once you get to the dance, you might draw 3 teams in a row who know nothing about the team... Maybe that can help Illinois push a little further into the tourney than most expect.
Agree with you completely.
Of course, the obvious counter is that if they have limited time to prepare for us, we have limited time to prepare for them. Fine, I'll take that. Embrace it even.

End of the day, think you are saying "there is a lot to hope for here. Might not be a gimme, but we are in the game." Absolutely. This is exciting stuff
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