Georgetown 88, Illinois 80 POSTGAME

This team showed serious potential but looks like they haven’t played much together. I’m excited about the future once the team gels and Frazier is back!
Exactly. They played hard, they didn't get down, and they showed flashes of brilliance. They're a little raw, but they're only going to get better. IMHO people posters have been way too harsh. They're fun to watch and will surprise some teams with their speed.
I understand some disappointment in Kipper after the loss, but it is definitely an overreaction. This was one game. And with the exception of the finish, I think he played within himself and had an overall good but not great game. He will learn from this. It will not be a pattern. As stated above, we need Kipper to have a good year, and no one is currently even close to being able to replace what he brings to this team.

Deleted member 8632

Really like the fact that the post game locker room environment was a 180 from that of last years team. Hating to lose is good fuel for improvement. Loses can be great motivation. Hoping that is the case with this group of players.
Likes: CHI 1086
Lots of comments about Kipper, and most reflect positive disappointment and should. Many state that he is needed and they are correct. The Illini cannot afford to bench him, which he deserves, but instead BU must find a way to reach his turn on button and make him realize that playing like an upper class leader is the biggest key for this team. He needs to play smart and hustle against bigger, taller match ups....and that gets old in a hurry. But those battles must be won more than lost and that is a huge ask of any player who will be matched against tough tasks every night. He needs to welcome it and play hard every second he is in the game. Jones needs to work just as hard to give plus minutes which he cannot do right now in that very same challenge. They are the Achilles heel of this team and will be all year. They are essentially playing out of position and their challenge is to come as close to being as close as possible to plus contributors on both ends. That challenge is a bigger one than any other player faces and will not be won every night. But Kipper, especially, must realize that he does not need to be a star, just star in as many moments as possible with smart play and extra effort. Won't be easy at all, but he is still the biggest key to this team's success and fans giving up on him is counter to the team's best interest. BU and Kipper both know that and I am certain both will address it in forthcoming games. Kipper especially is asked to do more than he has ever done. He truly does not have the size and quickness to star on both ends and play huge minutes this team requires. However, the growth of his contribution while on the floor, along with Jones who has lower expectations in the role, are going to play a huge part of any success this team has. Encouragement rather than disdain from fans needs to be balanced in.
Exactly. They played hard, they didn't get down, and they showed flashes of brilliance. They're a little raw, but they're only going to get better. IMHO people posters have been way too harsh. They're fun to watch and will surprise some teams with their speed.
This is Underwood ball. I'm a big fan of the bolded, but this is moot if we can't close out games. I believe last year we failed to close out some winnable games because either 1. Our upperclassmen disappeared and/or 2. we made too many bone-headed plays. We can't have Kipper and AJ disappearing or making stupid plays. We still don't have enough fire power to overcome that.
What I saw from the Georgetown game...

Ayo: What can I say a freshman stepped up into the star role in just his second game on the team. He showed huge confidence and wasn’t afraid to take any shot. He demonstrated a knack to get to the rim against anyone and stroked it nice from 3, the 1 assist and 1 rebound is a product of him taking on the brunt of the scoring on offense. One thing I did notice was his foot speed on defense tended to be slow and was beat on the dribble by McClung and Akinjo, but those are two of the faster guards we will play this season.

Giorgi B: We got a kid that should have been Top 100 recruit that was hidden in a team chalked full of D1 talent. His ability to score on all 3 levels of the offense while hitting the glass is quite impressive. He may be already better than Finke was in any of his years on the Illini. I thought he did an okay job of containing Govan and relegated him to outside shots (which Govan did manage to hit). The potential on Giorgi is enormous and the fact he has already figured out the pinch post pretty well is a good sign for the future.

Kipper: Slow. I mean for a guy who is naturally a small forward it seems like he has a crooked shot and can not dribble down the court at a fast enough pace for this transition offense. Did what he did best mid game by utilizing the ball screens and driving to the basket. Also thought he boxed out well on the boards. His mistakes at the end led to the loss, and it was yet another typical frustration game for Kipper.

Feliz: He energized us when we needed it the most, and his hard work on the defensive end put us in the front of the game towards the end. Great finishing at the rim, but that’s pretty much all I have to say about his offense in which he has turned the ball over 9 times in 2 games, and seems like he has to back the ball out 8 out of 10 times trying to drive to the rim. He is mainly trying to do to much and that can be corrected especially with his ability to stuff the stat sheet.

The Rest:
Aaron Jordan- Needed his 3 pt shot poorly, rebounded well again
Jones- Length added a new dimension for the offense, grabbed boards with two hands.
Williams- Did everything right. His defense prowress is the best out of the guards, and moves the ball efficently on offense. Made shots and drew contact. Needs 20+ minutes a night 10/10.
De La Rosa- Came back from an ACL for his first game but I don’t see where he fits in the offense. Tried to force his shot.
Griffin- Lankier version of Jordan?
Likes: TheVille
New York
We are not Kentucky and Duke. If you expect our freshman and sprinkle of upperclassmen to win against a good opponent with talented guards and a potential pro center without or best player... please snap back to reality... we played well at home and made young mistakes as expected.... a win would have been unexpected with the loss of TF being announced shortly before the game. We were only 6 points over before the announcement. So....
I don’t disagree. If we were Kentucky or Duke we wouldn’t be thrilled if it turned out we were a potential bubble team. I said I’m upset not because I expected to win but because it was winnable and losing this one is not good for our chances of approaching the bubble.
Although we lost, I took a lot of positives from this game. I was impressed how hard the team played with the loss of their best player. We certainly would have won that game with Trent playing. Ayo and Georgi are the real deal and a large up grade to what we had last year. I think once we get Trent back we will be able to finish games a lot better than what we saw last night. Getting Georgi not to get in foul trouble and getting Kiper to contribute is going to be a key.

Dealing with concussions all the time, you first have to pass their concussion test, then the doctor has to sign off that they can practice, then they have to practice without contact with out symptoms, then contact practice without symptoms, if that all goes well they are released to play. Depending on the degree of the concussion it can take a minimum of a week or long as months.
Likes: lexwaldez
I think Underwood understands that a zone (or a different type of defense) may have been more successful last night. But he ultimately wants to play pressure defense, and we can see with S. Carolina and WVU that that type of defense can be very good. I think Underwood also understands that we likely were never gonna be a tourney team this year, and is willing to maybe give up more points on defense last year and this year in order to give his young players the chance to develop in a pressure defense. Look at his year in OSU, he was more than willing to adjust there, because he realized that they were a potential tourney team. So I don't think he's unwilling to adapt, but rather, he is taking his lumps now in order to hopefully have a better payoff next year and beyond. Definitely a very risky strategy though, if accurate.

Deleted member 746094

Watched second half


Pace of play, AYO, Feliz.

Negatives: Defense, Rebounding, Half court offense last four minutes

If we continue to pressure good teams guards at half court, we will get what we got tonight...dribble drives, leading to defensive scrambles, layups, and offensive rebounds. We must get half court offense started sooner, doubling Ayo on pick and roll blew up our offense at end.

Trent will make a big difference obviously. I think Coach needs to mix up defensive pressure or we are going to lose a lot of 90 to 80 games against good teams. We are too undersized to allow all of these dribble drives to the basket. Fun to watch but more losses than we will like.
I agree with the half court pressure. BU has to understand there are guards at this level that literally will blow by any defender we have if they are picked up at half court or beyond. It puts the back end of our D in a bad spot whether we have a legitimate rim protector or not.

What I observed last night was that the pace we dictated from our defensive pressure early almost caused us to play out of control or too fast on the offensive side. When we can create that pace at the defensive end and then learn when to push and know when to pull back on the offensive end this team will be tough to beat. If we don’t find that balance we will lose against teams that are well coached as they will eventually adjust to the pressure. I think we start out pressuring against the Zags early and if they show the pressure doesn’t bother them you will see us go to some sort of zone.

I got back from the game real late last night, and didn't feel like making my run-down post. So here it is. Just some observations:

1) Ayo is the real deal. But he's not perfect. In the 2nd half after we became tired, he went into hero-ball mode on a couple of possessions and just played some real ugly basketball. However, when his body is ready to go and his mind with it, he clearly lives up to his hype. We will not have Ayo for all 4 years, no sirree.

2) We miss Trent badly. Exactly what Trent brings to the table is what we missed the most tonight. We missed a speedy guard with great lateral quickness to contain Maclung. We missed a body to give Ayo a blow. We missed scoring output. We missed another potent scorer to keep the defense honest. Get better soon, TF!

3) Giorgi is a straight upgrade over Michael Finke. He's got Finke's skillset, is faster, and plays with fire. Still commits some freshman mistakes. I think he had 2 moving screens, and those really hurt. But in general, he played with poise, he played with intensity, and he rebounded. He will never be able to be a lane banger to hang with the true centers of the NCAA, but he is more than serviceable and will be a stellar 4-year player for us.

4) Da'monte Williams is explosive. I starkly saw last night what we've been hearing from practice reports, etc. Williams clearly feels much better about his knee, and is making explosive drives to the basket. It's exactly the dimension he needed to add from his game. Williams was incredible last night with tons of hustle plays and some offensive output to boot.

5) Feliz is good, but short. Feliz is an all-around good player, but airmailed a few very easy, open 3's, and in the process of trying to drive to the basket, got badly overwhelmed by height. He has limitations, and the sooner he learns to play around them (especially for the conference season), the better. Feliz is tremendous in transition and only made 1 poor transition decision last night (tried to give it to de la Rosa at the last second - he should have just finished with contact for an and-one).

6) De la Rosa shouldn't have played last night. I question his playtime over Samba. We could have used Samba's quickness in the lane last night, and with his knee still clearly not 100% ready, De la Rosa looked like he was walking through molasses. At one point he got knocked down going after a rebound and was very slow getting up. He favored his knee and limped a few steps. I stopped breathing for a bit.

7) I'm about ready to give up on Kipper. We saw some Good Kipper and some Bad Kipper last night. The Good Kipper was a huge boon to the team. The Bad Kipper gave away the game, as has been extensively discussed here. I'm about ready to pull the plug on Kipper altogether and get Griffin and Jones some quality minutes. By the way, Kipper has permanently lost his role as technical foul free throw shooter, in my book. He went 1/2 again last night. Give it to Ayo or Da'monte instead, Coach.

8) Griffin is better than advertised. I know his box score isn't too flashy, but while out on the floor, he looked like the game was moving at a comfortable pace for him, whereas Tevian was a little bit all over the place yet. Griffin is just really controlled and doesn't have the typical deer-in-headlights look about him. Eager to see him break out of his shell. He's gonna be a good Illini.

9) We are not a good FT shooting team. And it wasn't just one player. Kipper had costly misses. So did Feliz. Even AJ got bit by the bug. I hope they were shooting free throws after the media had emptied out last night.

10) SFC was rockin' last night. If Illinois basketball truly comes back, we are going to pack that house every night. On a random Tuesday night, the place was darn near full, and it was loud. We had ample occasion to speak up to the stripes (but I will emphasize that the team, not the officiating crew, cost us the game).

11) Underwood wore a KSU tie on accident last night.
#11 = Reason we lost. C'mon BU-that's bush league.
The talk about Kipper is nutso! He played pretty good and finished at the rim in traffic multiple times. Did he have some plays where he made mistakes, sure he did. And, I look at that play where McClung got the steal and the dunk a little differently than many on here. I realize he should have had the ball, but he just misjudged McClung's quickness, which many Illini did all night as he beat us off the dribble. I believe he felt he had that ball recovered - it looked to me from the stands like he did at first - with no problem, but then got surprised by the speed the defender showed. I don't see anyone on here mentioning the two offensive possessions late in the game where we could have stretched the lead to six points, but both times we made mistakes and didn't score and it wasn't on Kipper. Georgie committed an offensive foul after we had just forced a turnover and were up 70-66 and we promptly give up an offensive rebound and basket. Then up 72-68 Delarosa gets an offensive foul resulting in a turnover and G-town gets a layup. We go up six in either case and I think it changes things, but we didn't, through no fault of Kipper's, I might add. Bottom line: you lose your best player on a young team and it will be tough to win again a solid opponent. This team will be fine and I expect all you Kipper critics to eat crow down the road. One final thing, I don't see Delarosa being much of a help all year. Dude is way too slow at both ends to score on offensive moves or defend the paint. I know he is hurt, but man his moves are way too deliberate.
... I am hoping Giorgi can somehow contain Happ this year as our previous years efforts have been a complete embarrassment.
I want some of what you're smoking. ;)

Wisconsin is just a horrible match-up for us. Between having Happ who we can't match up with (maybe three years from now SR Giorgi could) and them playing such a deliberate game where our pressure defense doesn't have as much of an effect (and any lapse gets exploited), I expect to see us fall BIG to them.

Even if the Badgers end up not being so good, we simply don't match up well. I hate saying it, would love to CRUSH them, but it is what it is.
Former Krush Cow
Chicago, IL
Any +/- stats? I wasn't able to find any that provided that.
This team showed serious potential but looks like they haven’t played much together. I’m excited about the future once the team gels and Frazier is back!
Yep, agree. While we've seen this story before (end of game mental collapses), the way these freshmen are playing (only 2 games in), including Tevian, I think we are already in a much better position than last year. Also, GTown is a much better team than I thought. Akinjo and McClung are the real deal. McClung was severely under-rated in terms of recruiting ratings in high school. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we'll be playing extra basketball this year. (NIT counts.)

Deleted member 11196

I don't know if this is the right place to ask.... But I've looked everywhere for a postgame interview with the Georgetown coach... Can anyone find one ?
He hustles, I'll give him that and once at the rim did well - but is absolutely no threat from the outside. Looking at comments from the GU boards it looks like both McClung and Akinjo were not getting raves from their first two games. I think a zone might have caused them more issues yesterday - shame we didn't at least give it a shot - especially down a man and with fouls starting to pile up.
I, too would like to see some zone. The way Illinois plays defense without a rim protector is conducive to a lot of easy baskets. I have no doubt Underwood’s scheme works great with elite athletes and size (As do all schemes).
Northeast Iowa
It’s hard for me to imagine that Samba would’ve been more of a liability than Adonis was last night, but I understand the need to get him some live action and film to work with.
I'm not saying we can't take strides, or that I'm not optimistic we will take strides. We have more in Giorgi and Feliz than I thought. And Ayo is a star. There are some raw materials here. And you can see they're playing with more of a clue and not just last year's headless chicken effort.

But wins are strides. Losses in winnable games where we make every mistake necessary to find ourselves on the wrong end are not strides, and that, tonight, remains where this basketball program is.
So you're forming that opinion on our team that played without our arguably best player and PG and were down 1 with 45 secs. to play?
Likes: foby
Would add in defense of Kipper that I believe that he is focused on playing consistently. His FG% is up from mid-40s his first two years to nearly 60% so far this year. He has committed only 1 TO with 5 assists in two games. This is really his first year as a leader and as a vital part of this team. Game two of the season is just a little early to be giving up on him.