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.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 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.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 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.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.
#11 = Reason we lost. C'mon BU-that's bush league.Hi!
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.
I want some of what you're smoking.... I am hoping Giorgi can somehow contain Happ this year as our previous years efforts have been a complete embarrassment.
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.)
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).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.
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?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.