Grand Canyon game (Nov. 8th)

Status
Not open for further replies.
#26
We ought to be a much better team than last time we played GCU, but honestly, who knows. We shouldn't be playing at GCU anyway, and I am still pretty annoyed by the whole concept.
Eh, I get the frustration since as a fan we want to play teams like this on our home court so we have more opportunities to see our Illini win in Champaign. In this particular instance I think some of the motivation behind scheduling GCU away was to try and entice our fan base to go to Arizona for the weekend and potentially get more of a home crowd on Sunday evening. We also have a decent following in the Phoenix area so I'm hoping to see some Orange in the crowd there as well.

Another plus to playing GCU on the road is that it should result in this being a Quadrant 2 win where if we played them at home it would almost for sure be a Quadrant 3 win.
 
#28
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
Eh, I get the frustration since as a fan we want to play teams like this on our home court so we have more opportunities to see our Illini win in Champaign. In this particular instance I think some of the motivation behind scheduling GCU away was to try and entice our fan base to go to Arizona for the weekend and potentially get more of a home crowd on Sunday evening. We also have a decent following in the Phoenix area so I'm hoping to see some Orange in the crowd there as well.

Another plus to playing GCU on the road is that it should result in this being a Quadrant 2 win where if we played them at home it would almost for sure be a Quadrant 3 win.
Actually, it has more to do with (a) GCU was a for-profit institution when we scheduled this game, (b) there really is no upside to a rebuilding team playing a reasonably good mid-major on their home court instead of ours (a win isn't going to move the needle much and a loss will kill our resume), and (c) television for this kind of games is a nightmare.

Also, I don't think it had anything to do with getting Illinois fans to travel to Arizona. If anything, it probably had something to do with Jerry Colangelo, who is associated with both us and GCU.
 
#29
I really hate this GCU/ARI 48hr away game combo.
The only outcome that really matters is if we go 0-2. Thats a real tough pill to swallow this early in the season, regardless of the competition, for a bubble team.

1-1 is what I'm expecting, and 2-0 would be great, but wouldn't move the needle positively the same amount as an 0-2 would negatively.
 
#30
Sure would like to see a game plan that gets us started strong rather than a deficit that we have to dig out. Would have a great advantage in quieting the crowd and giving confidence. Not sure why we have that problem but it has haunted us in the past and we are 1 for 1 this year.
 
#31
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
Sure would like to see a game plan that gets us started strong rather than a deficit that we have to dig out. Would have a great advantage in quieting the crowd and giving confidence. Not sure why we have that problem but it has haunted us in the past and we are 1 for 1 this year.
I don't think that game planning was the issue (at least on offense). I think it was personnel and execution. Ultimately, we just missed a whole lot of shots last year.
 
#32
For a more pessimistic analysis, Massey Ratings has us...

Beating GCU 74-73
Losing to AZ 74-70

But then again, they have us going 12-19, so...
 
#34
For a more pessimistic analysis, Massey Ratings has us...

Beating GCU 74-73
Losing to AZ 74-70

But then again, they have us going 12-19, so...
Massey has Illinois with a 47 % chance to win against Minnesota, 63% to win against Northwestern, and 51% to win against Nebraska... All at Home. I'm going to go ahead and ignore their rankings for now.
 
Likes: BlueLeader
#35
Is the general consensus to be worried about the GCU game? I just don't see it, I know it's a true road game early in the season, but it's a game where the crowd will be 50% orange, the home team is a bad conference also ran, and Illinois is significantly more talented roster wise.

We'll be favored by 5 to 10 points most likely. A game we definitely shouldn't even be playing, but I have very little nerves about GCU.
 
#37
Winged Warrior
For a more pessimistic analysis, Massey Ratings has us...

Beating GCU 74-73
Losing to AZ 74-70

But then again, they have us going 12-19, so...
Yeah, somebody there has a clear anti Illinois bias. I'm not saying we couldn't fart and fall down this year....but to predict it like this is just blatant anti Illini, not sound analysis.
 
#38
San Bernardino, Ca.
Choosing to use Torvik, a clear outlier on Illinois' rankings, is definitely equivalent to throwing on your orange tinted shades and swimming around in a pool full of orange Kool-Aid...

ESPN predicts:
Illinois @ GCU, Tossup (51.1% probability)
Illinois @ Arizona, Loss (35% probability)

Also, remember last time we played GCU we were at home and we only won by 4 points with Leron Black going off for 20 pts / 11 rebounds. Hoping Kofi can replicate Leron's performance in our next meeting and that our supporting cast is stronger as well.
And our Sagarin rank is 43. GCU is 242. I expect a win.........easy win.
 
#39
Scottsdale, AZ
Is the general consensus to be worried about the GCU game? I just don't see it, I know it's a true road game early in the season, but it's a game where the crowd will be 50% orange, the home team is a bad conference also ran, and Illinois is significantly more talented roster wise.

We'll be favored by 5 to 10 points most likely. A game we definitely shouldn't even be playing, but I have very little nerves about GCU.
I would be shocked if the crowd is 50% orange. I’ve been there a few times for games and they have no problem filling the stands and the students are loud. Biggest home game of the year for them
 
#40
Is the general consensus to be worried about the GCU game? I just don't see it, I know it's a true road game early in the season, but it's a game where the crowd will be 50% orange, the home team is a bad conference also ran, and Illinois is significantly more talented roster wise.

We'll be favored by 5 to 10 points most likely. A game we definitely shouldn't even be playing, but I have very little nerves about GCU.
I think we're much more likely to drop the GCU game than the Arizona game since I don't think people realize how loud the GCU crowd is going to be. They're sold out with standing room only tickets and are advertising the game as a "purple out". The already loud crowd is going to be insane and I think that it's going to rattle our players. Players like Kofi and Verdonk won't be used to that atmosphere and I think players that should be stepping into greater roles on the team like Griffin, Kipper, and Da'Monte might be impacted as well. Arizona should be the stronger team, but you can't discredit the effects of our first road game in a stadium as loud as GCU. Factor in that the players might get caught thinking about the "tougher" Arizona game and this is a recipe for our first loss of the season.
 
Likes: illinifan4249
#41
Winged Warrior
I think we're much more likely to drop the GCU game than the Arizona game since I don't think people realize how loud the GCU crowd is going to be. They're sold out with standing room only tickets and are advertising the game as a "purple out". The already loud crowd is going to be insane and I think that it's going to rattle our players. Players like Kofi and Verdonk won't be used to that atmosphere and I think players that should be stepping into greater roles on the team like Griffin, Kipper, and Da'Monte might be impacted as well. Arizona should be the stronger team, but you can't discredit the effects of our first road game in a stadium as loud as GCU. Factor in that the players might get caught thinking about the "tougher" Arizona game and this is a recipe for our first loss of the season.
I kinda agree. I think it will be another rough start followed by better D and a more efficient scoring game in the second half.
 
#42
I kinda agree. I think it will be another rough start followed by better D and a more efficient scoring game in the second half.
Think GCU might land a couple of punches, and the environment is going to be crazy for our guys to adjust to. I am sure the plan will be to go out fast and get their crowd out of the game as much as possible - will be watching how well our guys can do that. Unlike last year, we have Kofi and can pound the ball inside if our outside shots aren't dropping early. Not too worried about the final result.
 
#43
Baltimore, MD
I think we're much more likely to drop the GCU game than the Arizona game since I don't think people realize how loud the GCU crowd is going to be. They're sold out with standing room only tickets and are advertising the game as a "purple out". The already loud crowd is going to be insane and I think that it's going to rattle our players. Players like Kofi and Verdonk won't be used to that atmosphere and I think players that should be stepping into greater roles on the team like Griffin, Kipper, and Da'Monte might be impacted as well. Arizona should be the stronger team, but you can't discredit the effects of our first road game in a stadium as loud as GCU. Factor in that the players might get caught thinking about the "tougher" Arizona game and this is a recipe for our first loss of the season.
I have to strongly disagree. I'm not saying we can't lose the GCU game, but to say we are much more likely to lose the GCU game than the Arizona game is crazy to me and because of crowd noise? GCU's arena has a capacity of 7,000, Assembly Hall seats more than twice as many. Their arena is smaller, so maybe it gets as loud or a little louder than Assembly hall because of the physical volume of the place and acoustics, but I don't think it outweighs our advantage when it comes to talent, an advantage that disappears when playing a top 25 ranked Arizona team, also on the road. I think everyone would agree it's important to start strong and try to keep the crowd out of it as much as possible in both instances. I just don't think our players are going to rattle so easily in a GCU arena, albeit a loud one.
 
#44
Baltimore, MD
I was perusing GCU's roster and it had their hometown listed along with their HS and other colleges they've attended. Oddly enough, Carlos Johnson, a Preseason All-WAC 1st Team selection is from Centralia, IL. He never went to Centralia HS though, as he went to 3 different HS in the SW, finishing at now defunct Findlay Prep. I'm from Centralia, so I found it particularly interesting.
 
#45
I think we're much more likely to drop the GCU game than the Arizona game since I don't think people realize how loud the GCU crowd is going to be. They're sold out with standing room only tickets and are advertising the game as a "purple out". The already loud crowd is going to be insane and I think that it's going to rattle our players. Players like Kofi and Verdonk won't be used to that atmosphere and I think players that should be stepping into greater roles on the team like Griffin, Kipper, and Da'Monte might be impacted as well. Arizona should be the stronger team, but you can't discredit the effects of our first road game in a stadium as loud as GCU. Factor in that the players might get caught thinking about the "tougher" Arizona game and this is a recipe for our first loss of the season.
I mean I'm sure the GCU crowd will be loud, but it's a 7,000 seat glorified high school arena. I'm sure the crowd will be pumped, but it's not like it's some vaunted, feared place to play, they've lost plenty of home games before and have never played a big conference team like Illinois at home. This is slightly an apples and oranges comparison, but they've only been DI since 2017; it's like being scared to go play on SIU Edwardsville's home court.

You never know how freshman will handle things like this, but they've played plenty of high intensity basketball in their careers. And the returning players have played in places like the Assembly hall and Breslin, GCU's home court isn't going to strike fear into them.

That said, it's very dumb they are even playing a true road game in a place like that. I hope Colangelo wrote a very big check for this.
 
Likes: Dren1
#46
Cary, IL
I mean I'm sure the GCU crowd will be loud, but it's a 7,000 seat glorified high school arena. I'm sure the crowd will be pumped, but it's not like it's some vaunted, feared place to play, they've lost plenty of home games before and have never played a big conference team like Illinois at home. This is slightly an apples and oranges comparison, but they've only been DI since 2017; it's like being scared to go play on SIU Edwardsville's home court.

You never know how freshman will handle things like this, but they've played plenty of high intensity basketball in their careers. And the returning players have played in places like the Assembly hall and Breslin, GCU's home court isn't going to strike fear into them.

That said, it's very dumb they are even playing a true road game in a place like that. I hope Colangelo wrote a very big check for this.
I am certain that Colangelo has written plenty of big checks.
 
#47
There are no excuses anymore. This is a team that is returning what....80% of it's scoring, rebounding and assist production? We have, what's supposed to be, an All American at the PG position, we are going to have much more size and again, this is a team that's played almost 35 games together, they've played a full Big Ten schedule together, they've played neutral sight tournament games......if you're not comfortable with them going into this 7,000 seat "Mecca" vs GRAND CANYON....and blistering them by 20, then the prognostications of success for this group is WAY off.

A good team goes in and handles Grand Canyon, with the subs being able to dribble our the clock at the end.
 
#48
There are no excuses anymore. This is a team that is returning what....80% of it's scoring, rebounding and assist production? We have, what's supposed to be, an All American at the PG position, we are going to have much more size and again, this is a team that's played almost 35 games together, they've played a full Big Ten schedule together, they've played neutral sight tournament games......if you're not comfortable with them going into this 7,000 seat "Mecca" vs GRAND CANYON....and blistering them by 20, then the prognostications of success for this group is WAY off.

A good team goes in and handles Grand Canyon, with the subs being able to dribble our the clock at the end.
Amen!!
 
Likes: Hopingfor500
#49
There are no excuses anymore. This is a team that is returning what....80% of it's scoring, rebounding and assist production? We have, what's supposed to be, an All American at the PG position, we are going to have much more size and again, this is a team that's played almost 35 games together, they've played a full Big Ten schedule together, they've played neutral sight tournament games......if you're not comfortable with them going into this 7,000 seat "Mecca" vs GRAND CANYON....and blistering them by 20, then the prognostications of success for this group is WAY off.

A good team goes in and handles Grand Canyon, with the subs being able to dribble our the clock at the end.
I still think early in the year, first road game, Illinois might get "shocked" and it might be one of those too little too late half time comeback attempts we've become accustomed to.

I see your point though. ESPN is saying we have a 51% chance to win which is just barely better odds than NMSU has when they play @ GCU... If we're not significantly better than NMSU this year then things I'm not going to be a happy fan.
 
#50
Madison
Wonder who Michael Finke will be rooting for in this one....he and his brother have both moved on, so.....
 
Likes: Illiniguy90
Status
Not open for further replies.