2019-2020 Predictions Thread

#53
Kofi has the potential to make us a completely different team defensively. You do realize we played a 6”5 SG at the 4 last year right?
I totally agree, but the key is potential. If Kofi fouls out in 20 mins then we get small again unless BBV is ready to play in the BIg. Good point guards are going to beat that defense many times IMO. If you compare our roster to other teams we don't lack talent but it has still to win consistently.
 
#54
I totally agree, but the key is potential. If Kofi fouls out in 20 mins then we get small again unless BBV is ready to play in the BIg. Good point guards are going to beat that defense many times IMO. If you compare our roster to other teams we don't lack talent but it has still to win consistently.
A lot of Giorgi’s foul issues last year were when we played teams with significant size advantages. He was an all-freshman type player. Even if Kofi fouls out in 20 minutes of game time, that’s still 15-20 minutes of 6”9 and 7”0 on the court together. Last year Aaron had to play the 4 because Tev was suspended, Kipper was regressing, or Griffin wasn’t ready. There is no reason, given Giorgi, Kofi, BBV, Kipper, Tev, AG and Hamlin, that we should have a guy at 6”5 at the four spot this year. Damonte at the 3 was pretty small too.

Rolling out a starting 5 of:

TF (6”1ish)
Ayo (6-4/6”5)
Griffin/Jones/Kipper (6-6/6-7)
Giorgi (6”9)
Kofi (7”0)

Compared to last season

TF(6”1)
Ayo (6”5)
Damonte (6”3)
Jordan (6”5)
Giorgi (6”9)

that’s 3 more inches at the 3, 4 more inches at the 4, and 3 more inches at the 5. Big difference at the 3-5 spots. Should help tremendously on defense.
 
#55
aka Flash Gordon, earthling
Planet Earth, when not battling Ming the Merciless
Going to put forth a contrarian view.

Honest question: How is this team different from last year's 12-21 team that got destroyed by 21 against Iowa?

Ayo was fantastic last year, improved as he went, but how much better can he get over the summer?
Same for Giorgi, and to a lesser extent, Feliz.
Kofi should be expected to be inconsistent. Even still, I'll give a slight bump to the true freshman over an injured ADR and Kane.
AJ graduated. 27 mpg and shot 42% from 3, and was our best FT shooter (Tevian had the highest FT% but didn't shoot enough to qualify IMO). AJ rebounded well too, and didn't turn it over. People are glossing over the loss of a plus player.
Trent I would expect to be productive if healthy.
Tevian and AG should improve, but it seems like people are expecting miracles.
BU has not shown the ability to install his system quickly, and that's not good if you're in a world of high roster turnover. We looked like crap for half the season. I couldn't stand watching the !!!!-show we put on early. I felt like we were watching one team that hadn't practiced vs a team that had. As far as intangibles, I'm not optimistic about us knowing how to win close games, simply because we trailed off so heavily at the end of the season (2-6 after the winning stretch). There were positives, for sure, and I appreciate the effort these guys put in. Nothing against them, but I see some serious concerns about us getting to the level people here are expecting.

Anyway, I'm not expecting as much as many others. If we get above .500 in conference I'll be pretty happy. The non-conf is a lot more forgiving this year, and hopefully we've progressed enough, that we won't lay an egg in the games that matter. That could put us in bubble territory, something I would be loathe to see for a program that should be well into a strong rebuild.
Thank you Calvin. Earlier, I posted a prediction of 16-15 for the season and was questioned as to how I could come to such a result. I didn't feel the need to respond, but you have done so for me. I totally agree with your analysis. I'm hoping for much better, but I'm not expecting it.
 
#56
A lot of Giorgi’s foul issues last year were when we played teams with significant size advantages. He was an all-freshman type player. Even if Kofi fouls out in 20 minutes of game time, that’s still 15-20 minutes of 6”9 and 7”0 on the court together. Last year Aaron had to play the 4 because Tev was suspended, Kipper was regressing, or Griffin wasn’t ready. There is no reason, given Giorgi, Kofi, BBV, Kipper, Tev, AG and Hamlin, that we should have a guy at 6”5 at the four spot this year. Damonte at the 3 was pretty small too.

Rolling out a starting 5 of:

TF (6”1ish)
Ayo (6-4/6”5)
Griffin/Jones/Kipper (6-6/6-7)
Giorgi (6”9)
Kofi (7”0)

Compared to last season

TF(6”1)
Ayo (6”5)
Damonte (6”3)
Jordan (6”5)
Giorgi (6”9)

that’s 3 more inches at the 3, 4 more inches at the 4, and 3 more inches at the 5. Big difference at the 3-5 spots. Should help tremendously on defense.
Agree with the difference in the starters of Giorgi and Kofi. DaMonte with his 7' wing span plays larger than his height would indicate. My concern (not prediction) is with the next rotation of bigs. We need a freshman (BBV or Jermaine) to play significant minutes. The good news is that both of them look physically ready to compete unlike Samba. However I don't expect another Giorgi. Opposing coaches are going to attack Giorgi and Kofi hoping to get one or both in foul trouble. Maybe Kipper or Tevian can step up to that task but I think that is wishful thinking.
 
#57
Going to put forth a contrarian view.

Honest question: How is this team different from last year's 12-21 team that got destroyed by 21 against Iowa?

Ayo was fantastic last year, improved as he went, but how much better can he get over the summer. Based on Italy 4-6 pts and 3-4 assists
Same for Giorgi, and to a lesser extent, Feliz.
Kofi should be expected to be inconsistent. Even still, I'll give a slight bump to the true freshman over an injured ADR and Kane. Don't believe this is a slight bump. Should be huge difference in defense and rebounding.
AJ graduated. 27 mpg and shot 42% from 3, and was our best FT shooter (Tevian had the highest FT% but didn't shoot enough to qualify IMO). AJ rebounded well too, and didn't turn it over. People are glossing over the loss of a plus player. Still only 8 pts per game.
Trent I would expect to be productive if healthy.
Tevian and AG should improve, but it seems like people are expecting miracles. Not miracle to replace AJ's scoring or rebounds.
BU has not shown the ability to install his system quickly, and that's not good if you're in a world of high roster turnover. We looked like crap for half the season. I couldn't stand watching the !!!!-show we put on early. I felt like we were watching one team that hadn't practiced vs a team that had. As far as intangibles, I'm not optimistic about us knowing how to win close games, simply because we trailed off so heavily at the end of the season (2-6 after the winning stretch). There were positives, for sure, and I appreciate the effort these guys put in. Nothing against them, but I see some serious concerns about us getting to the level people here are expecting. Team experience should be significant although the depth at the 4-5 must come from freshmen.

Anyway, I'm not expecting as much as many others. If we get above .500 in conference I'll be pretty happy. The non-conf is a lot more forgiving this year, and hopefully we've progressed enough, that we won't lay an egg in the games that matter. That could put us in bubble territory, something I would be loathe to see for a program that should be well into a strong rebuild.
Comments in bold.
 
#59
Michigan
Based on Italy
You mean the trip where we got hammered by the Dutch National team? The same team DePaul beat?

I wouldn't bet on Ayo getting to 18-20 pts avg., although it's not unthinkable. Doubling his assists though.....would be truly God-like.
For reference, Deron's Jr year that lead us to the NC game, averaged 12.5 pts, 6.8 assists. Ayo's good, but I wouldn't mark him down for Deron's final college season plus 50% more scoring.
 
#60
22-9

I see 24-7 but sure we will blow a couple unexpectedly
 
#61
You mean the trip where we got hammered by the Dutch National team? The same team DePaul beat?

I wouldn't bet on Ayo getting to 18-20 pts avg., although it's not unthinkable. Doubling his assists though.....would be truly God-like.
For reference, Deron's Jr year that lead us to the NC game, averaged 12.5 pts, 6.8 assists. Ayo's good, but I wouldn't mark him down for Deron's final college season plus 50% more scoring.
I'd like to see if he could in a junior year!
 
#62
A lot of Giorgi’s foul issues last year were when we played teams with significant size advantages. He was an all-freshman type player. Even if Kofi fouls out in 20 minutes of game time, that’s still 15-20 minutes of 6”9 and 7”0 on the court together.
Two things. Giorgi's foul problems last year were because of time played. He committed fewer fouls/min than any freshman big we've had play in the past 20 years. The problem was he played more or less until fouls prohibited him from playing last year. Secondly, if Kofi and Giorgi are playing 20 minutes together, then who is picking up the other 15 minutes at center? I'm still not sure I see how Kofi and Giorgi are spending much time on the floor together when they should probably just eat up all 40 minutes at the 5.
 
#63
Going to put forth a contrarian view.

Honest question: How is this team different from last year's 12-21 team that got destroyed by 21 against Iowa?

Ayo was fantastic last year, improved as he went, but how much better can he get over the summer?
Same for Giorgi, and to a lesser extent, Feliz.
Kofi should be expected to be inconsistent. Even still, I'll give a slight bump to the true freshman over an injured ADR and Kane.
AJ graduated. 27 mpg and shot 42% from 3, and was our best FT shooter (Tevian had the highest FT% but didn't shoot enough to qualify IMO). AJ rebounded well too, and didn't turn it over. People are glossing over the loss of a plus player.
Trent I would expect to be productive if healthy.
Tevian and AG should improve, but it seems like people are expecting miracles.
BU has not shown the ability to install his system quickly, and that's not good if you're in a world of high roster turnover. We looked like crap for half the season. I couldn't stand watching the !!!!-show we put on early. I felt like we were watching one team that hadn't practiced vs a team that had. As far as intangibles, I'm not optimistic about us knowing how to win close games, simply because we trailed off so heavily at the end of the season (2-6 after the winning stretch). There were positives, for sure, and I appreciate the effort these guys put in. Nothing against them, but I see some serious concerns about us getting to the level people here are expecting.

Anyway, I'm not expecting as much as many others. If we get above .500 in conference I'll be pretty happy. The non-conf is a lot more forgiving this year, and hopefully we've progressed enough, that we won't lay an egg in the games that matter. That could put us in bubble territory, something I would be loathe to see for a program that should be well into a strong rebuild.
Calvin, I loved AJ as a player for the last four years. He epitomized what a student-athlete should be. And while he was a positive on last year's team, especially in terms of leadership, I think you are exaggerating how hard it will be to replace him this year. While he shot 42% from 3, he only averaged 8 points per game in 27 minutes. He also averaged just 36% from the field overall - not exactly an offensive threat other than from the 3. While he was the best from the FT line, he was fifth on the team in made FT. Not sure who will get his time this year - AG, Tev or Kip. But I am pretty confident that whoever of those three earns the largest part of AJ's minutes will be a bigger threat in more ways offensively, and will be just as or more effective on the glass. With all but one scholarship player returning, his leadership is no longer nearly as important.

As for comparing last year's record to what can be expected this year, the additional experience of this year's team and the positional balance alone is worth at least 6 wins (all the ones from last year that were a possession or so at the end) - so that is18-15. It is not unreasonable to expect that, given the additional practice and early start to the season in Italy along with being able to match up better to many teams, that a final record of 21 or 22 wins is well within reach. Beyond that I think requires a healthy dose of orange Koolaid; but that is OK.
 
#64
Calvin, I loved AJ as a player for the last four years. He epitomized what a student-athlete should be. And while he was a positive on last year's team, especially in terms of leadership, I think you are exaggerating how hard it will be to replace him this year. While he shot 42% from 3, he only averaged 8 points per game in 27 minutes. He also averaged just 36% from the field overall - not exactly an offensive threat other than from the 3. While he was the best from the FT line, he was fifth on the team in made FT. Not sure who will get his time this year - AG, Tev or Kip. But I am pretty confident that whoever of those three earns the largest part of AJ's minutes will be a bigger threat in more ways offensively, and will be just as or more effective on the glass. With all but one scholarship player returning, his leadership is no longer nearly as important.

As for comparing last year's record to what can be expected this year, the additional experience of this year's team and the positional balance alone is worth at least 6 wins (all the ones from last year that were a possession or so at the end) - so that is18-15. It is not unreasonable to expect that, given the additional practice and early start to the season in Italy along with being able to match up better to many teams, that a final record of 21 or 22 wins is well within reach. Beyond that I think requires a healthy dose of orange Koolaid; but that is OK.
👍 22-9.
 
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#65
Two things. Giorgi's foul problems last year were because of time played. He committed fewer fouls/min than any freshman big we've had play in the past 20 years. The problem was he played more or less until fouls prohibited him from playing last year. Secondly, if Kofi and Giorgi are playing 20 minutes together, then who is picking up the other 15 minutes at center? I'm still not sure I see how Kofi and Giorgi are spending much time on the floor together when they should probably just eat up all 40 minutes at the 5.
This is exactly our weakness. If we get 10 mins with them both on the floor together we will be lucky. That means we are dependent on freshmen Ben and Jermaine or small ball again. Was happy to hear BU mention Jermaine in the interview but we need to strike Giorgi gold again to compete for the top.
 
#66
Michigan
Calvin, I loved AJ as a player for the last four years. He epitomized what a student-athlete should be. And while he was a positive on last year's team, especially in terms of leadership, I think you are exaggerating how hard it will be to replace him this year. While he shot 42% from 3, he only averaged 8 points per game in 27 minutes. He also averaged just 36% from the field overall - not exactly an offensive threat other than from the 3. While he was the best from the FT line, he was fifth on the team in made FT. Not sure who will get his time this year - AG, Tev or Kip. But I am pretty confident that whoever of those three earns the largest part of AJ's minutes will be a bigger threat in more ways offensively, and will be just as or more effective on the glass. With all but one scholarship player returning, his leadership is no longer nearly as important.

As for comparing last year's record to what can be expected this year, the additional experience of this year's team and the positional balance alone is worth at least 6 wins (all the ones from last year that were a possession or so at the end) - so that is18-15. It is not unreasonable to expect that, given the additional practice and early start to the season in Italy along with being able to match up better to many teams, that a final record of 21 or 22 wins is well within reach. Beyond that I think requires a healthy dose of orange Koolaid; but that is OK.
Can't let this go unchallenged. Tell me where you're going to make all the bolded up.

* AJ could reliably take the 3, and other guards like Ayo, Feliz, and a healthy Trent would penetrate. AJ *should* be out on the perimeter ready to receive a pass. Sure it would be great if he was a multi-level scorer, but that wasn't his role. Consider that we were not a great 3 pt shooting team (98th in the country) and you've got a 42% shooter. What do you do with him?
* Took care of the ball. 0.7 Turnovers in those 27 mpg!
* Very close to Giorgi's rebounding! He was 2nd on the team as a SG
* Having a top FT shooting guard on the team who makes good decisions helps you close out games, something we are going to need this year if we're more competitive overall.
* Good defender.

I'm not saying he was the star that Ayo was, or the miracle freshman that Giorgi was, but he was a very solid senior --the type who's production is taken for granted until about half a dozen games into the following season when people realize how important his contributions were.

Just because someone has a flashier offensive ceiling, don't think they're going to be better at taking care of the ball, decision-making, end of game FTs, defense, and getting rebounds. Those are needed to win.
 
#67
Best Case
11/5 - Nicholls State W
11/8 - at Grand Canyon W
11/10 - at Arizona W
11/18 - Hawaii W
11/20 - The Citadel W
11/23 - Hampton W
11/26 - Lindenwood W
12/2 - Miami W
12/7 - at Maryland W
12/11 - Michigan W
12/14 - Old Dominion W
12/21 - Missouri W
12/29 - North Carolina A&T W
1/2 - at Michigan State L
1/5 - Purdue W
1/8 - at Wisconsin W
1/11 - Rutgers W
1/18 - Northwestern W
1/21 - at Purdue L
1/25 - at Michigan W
1/30 - Minnesota W
2/2 - at Iowa W
2/7 - Maryland W
2/11 - Michigan State L
2/15 - at Rutgers W
2/18 - at Penn State W
2/24 - Nebraska W
2/27 - at Northwestern W
3/1 - Indiana W
3/4 - at Ohio State W
3/8 - Iowa W

28-3 (15-3) This is really drinking the Kool-Aid

Optimistic
11/5 - Nicholls State W
11/8 - at Grand Canyon W
11/10 - at Arizona W
11/18 - Hawaii W
11/20 - The Citadel W
11/23 - Hampton W
11/26 - Lindenwood W
12/2 - Miami W
12/7 - at Maryland L
12/11 - Michigan L
12/14 - Old Dominion W
12/21 - Missouri W
12/29 - North Carolina AT&T W
1/2 - at Michigan State L
1/5 - Purdue W
1/8 - at Wisconsin W
1/11 - Rutgers W
1/18 - Northwestern W
1/21 - at Purdue L
1/25 - at Michigan W
1/30 - Minnesota W
2/2 - at Iowa W
2/7 - Maryland W
2/11 - Michigan State L
2/15 - at Rutgers W
2/18 - at Penn State L
2/24 - Nebraska W
2/27 - at Northwestern W
3/1 - Indiana W
3/4 - at Ohio State W
3/8 - Iowa W
25-6 (12-6)

My Approximate Expectations
11/5 - Nicholls State W
11/8 - at Grand Canyon W
11/10 - at Arizona L
11/18 - Hawaii W
11/20 - The Citadel W
11/23 - Hampton W
11/26 - Lindenwood W
12/2 - Miami W
12/7 - at Maryland L
12/11 - Michigan L
12/14 - Old Dominion W
12/21 - Missouri W
12/29 - North Carolina AT&T W
1/2 - at Michigan State L
1/5 - Purdue W
1/8 - at Wisconsin L
1/11 - Rutgers W
1/18 - Northwestern W
1/21 - at Purdue L
1/25 - at Michigan W
1/30 - Minnesota W
2/2 - at Iowa W
2/7 - Maryland W
2/11 - Michigan State L
2/15 - at Rutgers W
2/18 - at Penn State L
2/24 - Nebraska W
2/27 - at Northwestern W
3/1 - Indiana W
3/4 - at Ohio State W
3/8 - Iowa W
23-8 (11-7)
Pessimistic
11/5 - Nicholls State W
11/8 - at Grand Canyon W
11/10 - at Arizona L
11/18 - Hawaii W
11/20 - The Citadel W
11/23 - Hampton W
11/26 - Lindenwood W
12/2 - Miami L
12/7 - at Maryland L
12/11 - Michigan L
12/14 - Old Dominion W
12/21 - Missouri L
12/29 - North Carolina AT&T W
1/2 - at Michigan State L
1/5 - Purdue W
1/8 - at Wisconsin L
1/11 - Rutgers W
1/18 - Northwestern W
1/21 - at Purdue L
1/25 - at Michigan L
1/30 - Minnesota W
2/2 - at Iowa L
2/7 - Maryland L
2/11 - Michigan State L
2/15 - at Rutgers W
2/18 - at Penn State L
2/24 - Nebraska W
2/27 - at Northwestern W
3/1 - Indiana W
3/4 - at Ohio State W
3/8 - Iowa W
18-13 (9-9)
Worst Case
11/5 - Nicholls State W
11/8 - at Grand Canyon L
11/10 - at Arizona L
11/18 - Hawaii W
11/20 - The Citadel W
11/23 - Hampton W
11/26 - Lindenwood W
12/2 - Miami L
12/7 - at Maryland L
12/11 - Michigan L
12/14 - Old Dominion W
12/21 - Missouri L
12/29 - North Carolina AT&T W
1/2 - at Michigan State L
1/5 - Purdue L
1/8 - at Wisconsin L
1/11 - Rutgers W
1/18 - Northwestern W
1/21 - at Purdue L
1/25 - at Michigan L
1/30 - Minnesota W
2/2 - at Iowa L
2/7 - Maryland L
2/11 - Michigan State L
2/15 - at Rutgers L
2/18 - at Penn State L
2/24 - Nebraska W
2/27 - at Northwestern W
3/1 - Indiana W
3/4 - at Ohio State L
3/8 - Iowa L
13-18 (5-13)
 
#68
Can't let this go unchallenged. Tell me where you're going to make all the bolded up.

* AJ could reliably take the 3, and other guards like Ayo, Feliz, and a healthy Trent would penetrate. AJ *should* be out on the perimeter ready to receive a pass. Sure it would be great if he was a multi-level scorer, but that wasn't his role. Consider that we were not a great 3 pt shooting team (98th in the country) and you've got a 42% shooter. What do you do with him?
* Took care of the ball. 0.7 Turnovers in those 27 mpg!
* Very close to Giorgi's rebounding! He was 2nd on the team as a SG
* Having a top FT shooting guard on the team who makes good decisions helps you close out games, something we are going to need this year if we're more competitive overall.
* Good defender.

I'm not saying he was the star that Ayo was, or the miracle freshman that Giorgi was, but he was a very solid senior --the type who's production is taken for granted until about half a dozen games into the following season when people realize how important his contributions were.

Just because someone has a flashier offensive ceiling, don't think they're going to be better at taking care of the ball, decision-making, end of game FTs, defense, and getting rebounds. Those are needed to win.
I'm more bearish on this team than most in this thread, but if losing Aaron Jordan is your biggest issue you can't feel too bad about things. Not bagging on the kid as your points above are well taken, but it's much, much easier to replace a role player than a star.

To return to your original post, I share a number of your concerns. But this team's floor isn't a repeat of 12-21, if for no other reason than the schedule is much easier. They have three difficult nonconference games instead of five, and are more likely to go something like 5-2 against Northwestern, Nebraska, IU, and Iowa this year instead of 2-6 simply by virtue of those teams taking significant steps back (assuming Bohannon sits). So that baseline starts to look more like 16 or 17 wins even if there's no improvement at all.

As for Underwood installing his system in a time of mass player turnover, we're not in a time of mass player turnover. We return 81% of our minutes, which is good for second in the league. UMD is at 83%, but the minutes they lost were far more valuable than ours. No other team returns more than 71%, with more than half of the league below 60%. That alone is worth something, even if the guys we have coming back lost a lot of games last season.

I have them at 19-12, but feel like that's conservative. Like you, I have doubts about how much Ayo and Giorgi improve, and for the same reasons. I think that they'll be better and more consistent, but am not expecting a huge leap. I think that one of Griffin or Jones will take a major leap, and that Kipper lands somewhere between the 2018 version ("good Kipper") than the 2019 version ("bad Kipper"), and "medium Kipper" gives you a lot of things that you've lost with AJ. And I think that Kofi will look like a freshman at times, but even if he does there's a yawning chasm between what he has to offer and what Kane or a one-legged Adonis did.

None of the above is unrealistically optimistic, imo, but I still think there's way more upside than downside. Ayo could blossom into a lottery pick. Giorgi could round out his game and get stronger on defense. Kofi could be a major contributor from day one. Griffin could get stronger with the ball and be the shooter he is in practice. Kipper could consistently knock down threes and help open up the floor. Any one of those things would transform the team. But in terms of downside, what is there? Losing Aaron Jordan and not being able to replace him? That still gets you to the edge of the bubble conversation.

I expect some rough patches but remain hopeful that I'll be pleasantly surprised.
 
#69
I'm more bearish on this team than most in this thread, but if losing Aaron Jordan is your biggest issue you can't feel too bad about things. Not bagging on the kid as your points above are well taken, but it's much, much easier to replace a role player than a star.

To return to your original post, I share a number of your concerns. But this team's floor isn't a repeat of 12-21, if for no other reason than the schedule is much easier. They have three difficult nonconference games instead of five, and are more likely to go something like 5-2 against Northwestern, Nebraska, IU, and Iowa this year instead of 2-6 simply by virtue of those teams taking significant steps back (assuming Bohannon sits). So that baseline starts to look more like 16 or 17 wins even if there's no improvement at all.

As for Underwood installing his system in a time of mass player turnover, we're not in a time of mass player turnover. We return 81% of our minutes, which is good for second in the league. UMD is at 83%, but the minutes they lost were far more valuable than ours. No other team returns more than 71%, with more than half of the league below 60%. That alone is worth something, even if the guys we have coming back lost a lot of games last season.

I have them at 19-12, but feel like that's conservative. Like you, I have doubts about how much Ayo and Giorgi improve, and for the same reasons. I think that they'll be better and more consistent, but am not expecting a huge leap. I think that one of Griffin or Jones will take a major leap, and that Kipper lands somewhere between the 2018 version ("good Kipper") than the 2019 version ("bad Kipper"), and "medium Kipper" gives you a lot of things that you've lost with AJ. And I think that Kofi will look like a freshman at times, but even if he does there's a yawning chasm between what he has to offer and what Kane or a one-legged Adonis did.

None of the above is unrealistically optimistic, imo, but I still think there's way more upside than downside. Ayo could blossom into a lottery pick. Giorgi could round out his game and get stronger on defense. Kofi could be a major contributor from day one. Griffin could get stronger with the ball and be the shooter he is in practice. Kipper could consistently knock down threes and help open up the floor. Any one of those things would transform the team. But in terms of downside, what is there? Losing Aaron Jordan and not being able to replace him? That still gets you to the edge of the bubble conversation.

I expect some rough patches but remain hopeful that I'll be pleasantly surprised.
Agreed. Losing players is college basketball. Every team loses players. We should be able to replace Jordan with others maturing.
 
#70
.4 percent is still in it kids
Virginia
Can't let this go unchallenged. Tell me where you're going to make all the bolded up.

* AJ could reliably take the 3, and other guards like Ayo, Feliz, and a healthy Trent would penetrate. AJ *should* be out on the perimeter ready to receive a pass. Sure it would be great if he was a multi-level scorer, but that wasn't his role. Consider that we were not a great 3 pt shooting team (98th in the country) and you've got a 42% shooter. What do you do with him?
* Took care of the ball. 0.7 Turnovers in those 27 mpg!
* Very close to Giorgi's rebounding! He was 2nd on the team as a SG
* Having a top FT shooting guard on the team who makes good decisions helps you close out games, something we are going to need this year if we're more competitive overall.
* Good defender.

I'm not saying he was the star that Ayo was, or the miracle freshman that Giorgi was, but he was a very solid senior --the type who's production is taken for granted until about half a dozen games into the following season when people realize how important his contributions were.

Just because someone has a flashier offensive ceiling, don't think they're going to be better at taking care of the ball, decision-making, end of game FTs, defense, and getting rebounds. Those are needed to win.
Ok - I'll take a stab. First, I love AJ as an Illini. But the logic is flawed - I don't think you need to take all his stats and try to cram them into one person For example, we have more than enough scorers now, depending on who is on the floor at any given time - we should be able to replace the threat AJ gave us at the 3.

Reliably shoot the 3 - counting on AG or Tevian to step up there if need be, however, with Trent and Ayo also as threats - I expect this to be spread around some and TJ and, yes, Kipper all have the potential. Recall AJ only shot 30% from 3pt range his soph year - so as we are projecting into the year - its fair to project AG and TJ to help with those numbers. TBH - 42% from three was just OK given he did struggle around the rim. AG and TJ are much better prospects there.
Turnovers: always needs to be compared to assists (and really points at the rim) IMO - when you do that - Feliz, DMW and Kipper all look similar. Yes - he had a low turnover rate, he made smart decisions - but he also rarely tried to take anyone off the dribble. Turnovers were a problem for AG last year, hopefully he's cleaned some of that up cause we'll need him for the previous category and for rebounding.
Rebounding: When was AJ a SG? Pretty sure we always had at least two of AF, TF AD and DMW in at all times.He pretty much played anywhere from 3-5 on defense which of course is where most rebounds come from. AG, DMW easily can take up slack here - AG particularly and, oh, that Kofi guy. Given we'll have more height, we don't need to replace all of his stats with one guy(my original objection). AG and DMW are pretty darn impressive however on the boards.
FTs: AJ only attempted 55 FTs last year - see early point about driving to the rim. Tevian was 10-11 and AF of course shot 75%. So if the point is - who do we want taking FTs at the end of the game- i think we have that covered. If the point is - his FT average is high - well it was pretty good - but only took 55.
 
#72
Michigan
Agreed. Losing players is college basketball. Every team loses players. We should be able to replace Jordan with others maturing.
SMH Yes, every team loses players, and who they lose matters. It's why a team can be very good one year, and very average the next. Just to clarify, my post about AJ was not to turn him from a solid role player into a star, but to counter a very specific point: He's a plus player that we're losing.

I'll let the optimists have the last word, at least for now. I've stated the concerns I have, and why I think we'll make a bit less of a jump than many posters are anticipating. We should be watchable most of the season, and put up a fight at home (we won only one BIG road game). I'm pretty excited to see Ayo this year too --he was sooo good in the open court, and improved his playmaking as the season went on. Glad we have him for one more year.
 
#75
I haven't done this in years past. Don't know why I tell you this, it doesn't matter at all.

Regular season, 20-11, with B1G coming in at 11-9.

Tourney time!
 
Likes: Dude