I was Wrong Thread; Now I'm a Believer

#26
Link please
"My god that's the best 4-win team in the country" "They're so hard to play" "They're not what their record says they are at all" etc.

It's funny you post his picture, because he's the type of player I worry about not fitting in. Slow-footed (from what's been said here). Giorgi B is pretty good in this defense because he's quick for his size. Move him to the 4 and that quickness isn't an advantage. Aaron Jordan got beat pretty often when playing as a guard. At the 4 he is fast enough. Mark Smith didn't have the foot speed to guard the ball or defend back doors. Tev and Griffin are both struggling with that as well. Although we have seen both of them make up ground after getting beat and use their length to get a block.
I think we just really need a guy who's gonna block a shot in the middle. Giorgi has had a few, but that's not really his game.

Do I have tremendous confidence that we're ever going to be an elite defensive team with Underwood? No. (It's not impossible though) But will our defense, suitably diversified and matched to our players strengths, be a part of an overall game plan that creates elite offensive efficiency and a winning team? I think so, so long as we've got guys who can execute at both ends.
 
#29
I thought the mass exodus talk was hysteria. I did wonder about Underwood’s sideline demeanor on a team struggling for wins. I thought he backed off a touch when things started to turn around. I don’t know what came first, the chicken or the egg. Maybe he backed off because they started “getting it”?
I wonder if Kipper inadvertently had something to do with this. Underwood lighting into Kipper seemed to make his performance worse. As a result, BU has said he backed off and just let him be, and maybe toned it down with the rest of the team too.
Or maybe our players just started getting it, and gave BU less reason to scream.
 
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#30
Sycamore, Illinois
I had pretty much given up on this season after the string of losses ending with Michigan. I didn’t see any part of our play that looked good. I had serious doubts that Underwood was going to be able to turn this program around. Recruiting didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Parents were venting. Chicago was upset with us. Looked like we were heading for another coaching change/program rebuild. Then Minnesota victory happened but, I was pretty sure that was a fluke after the Iowa game. Maryland game was the first time I was hopeful again. Tevian hasn’t played as well since but, he may have sparked our season turnaround in that game. After that it seemed like things started to click. Especially on defense. All of a sudden (clearly it wasn’t all of a sudden. More likely unsteady progression) it seemed like we were comfortable on the line, up the line on defense and able to provide help when needed without sacrificing the pressure. Giorgi playing more without foul trouble has helped immensely but, better contributions from Kipper and Delarosa have also been a big plus.

Offensively it appears Ayo and Frazier have figured out how to play together and compliment each other. Those two and Giorgi have been making shots on a regular basis during this win streak. Same as with the defense we just look much more comfortable with what we are doing on offense.

Never been so happy to be wrong.
 
#31
I had pretty much given up on this season after the string of losses ending with Michigan. I didn’t see any part of our play that looked good. I had serious doubts that Underwood was going to be able to turn this program around. Recruiting didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Parents were venting. Chicago was upset with us. Looked like we were heading for another coaching change/program rebuild. Then Minnesota victory happened but, I was pretty sure that was a fluke after the Iowa game. Maryland game was the first time I was hopeful again. Tevian hasn’t played as well since but, he may have sparked our season turnaround in that game. After that it seemed like things started to click. Especially on defense. All of a sudden (clearly it wasn’t all of a sudden. More likely unsteady progression) it seemed like we were comfortable on the line, up the line on defense and able to provide help when needed without sacrificing the pressure. Giorgi playing more without foul trouble has helped immensely but, better contributions from Kipper and Delarosa have also been a big plus.

Offensively it appears Ayo and Frazier have figured out how to play together and compliment each other. Those two and Giorgi have been making shots on a regular basis during this win streak. Same as with the defense we just look much more comfortable with what we are doing on offense.

Never been so happy to be wrong.
Agree with everything, and would say AG and Dre should be included also.
 
#33
"My god that's the best 4-win team in the country" "They're so hard to play" "They're not what their record says they are at all" etc.



I think we just really need a guy who's gonna block a shot in the middle. Giorgi has had a few, but that's not really his game.

Do I have tremendous confidence that we're ever going to be an elite defensive team with Underwood? No. (It's not impossible though) But will our defense, suitably diversified and matched to our players strengths, be a part of an overall game plan that creates elite offensive efficiency and a winning team? I think so, so long as we've got guys who can execute at both ends.
In this league we have really excellent coaches and it becomes a chess match each game. That was what bothered me with first half leads that disappeared in the second half. After several meetings coaches will have learned new approaches. However, I believe we are seeing wrinkles added by BU each game that are also effective ala Happ and Winston. It was just not possible to add the wrinkles before the basic system was effective. Sometimes we will win these chess matches and sometimes not. I do believe he views the team differently than I have traditionally with five players and temp subs. He looks at it as a team of ten(?) pieces that he can use to create matchup problems either offensively or defensively. That is why next year will be interesting with a very different piece in Kofi. Doesn't fit the way we are playing now so requires some adaptation. Samba if he develops could be a very different piece as well as a sharpshooter Alan. He starting coaching here with no queen, no knights, and some poor bishops. Next year it looks like he will have the pieces, let the match begin.
 
#34
Sycamore, Illinois
Agree with everything, and would say AG and Dre should be included also.
Agreed. Mostly got tired of typing.

Seeing contributions from multiple players each game. Good to see the chemistry that has developed lately. I did not see it coming earlier in the year. Maybe it was there taking shape but, I didn’t recognize it.
 
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#35
Winged Warrior
.... slate of chess pieces to work with, and it's just what his resume made obvious. The system works. But his resume had a lot less to say about how he'd manage and maintain a big time program as it evolved, and his performance on that front in his first 18 months was catastrophic. It's been better since, and that's the easy part really, but I remain guarded on that until I see more.

Anyway, I can't wait to watch the game on Monday, and I find myself thinking about this team at random down moments during the day. I lost that feeling about Illinois sports for awhile, and it's wonderful to have it back.
Catastrophic! Lmao. Garbage take. You just can’t stop beating this tired drum. Thanks for the laugh though.
 
#36
I had pretty much given up on this season after the string of losses ending with Michigan. I didn’t see any part of our play that looked good. I had serious doubts that Underwood was going to be able to turn this program around. Recruiting didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Parents were venting. Chicago was upset with us. Looked like we were heading for another coaching change/program rebuild. Then Minnesota victory happened but, I was pretty sure that was a fluke after the Iowa game. Maryland game was the first time I was hopeful again. Tevian hasn’t played as well since but, he may have sparked our season turnaround in that game. After that it seemed like things started to click. Especially on defense. All of a sudden (clearly it wasn’t all of a sudden. More likely unsteady progression) it seemed like we were comfortable on the line, up the line on defense and able to provide help when needed without sacrificing the pressure. Giorgi playing more without foul trouble has helped immensely but, better contributions from Kipper and Delarosa have also been a big plus.

Offensively it appears Ayo and Frazier have figured out how to play together and compliment each other. Those two and Giorgi have been making shots on a regular basis during this win streak. Same as with the defense we just look much more comfortable with what we are doing on offense.

Never been so happy to be wrong.
Also agree with most of this. But I didn't so much as give up on the season but rather just put it on hold for a little while. I stopped watching in mid December (just got too painful especially the Missouri loss) with the idea that I would come back and see what was happening in mid or late January. And so glad I did. I had a hunch that like the 1998–99 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team because of how young the team is we would get better and better as the season progressed. The freshmen would not really be freshman anymore playing wise. And actually, I think they are better than I thought they would be, or hoped for. Or maybe I should say I was hoping for a 1998–99 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team turnaround. One could see the 1998–99 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team just get better and better as the season went on. (I think I am citing the right year's team).
 
#37
Underwood's sideline demeanor hasn't changed one iota and probably never will. What caused him to come unglued on the sideline was watching mistakes being made over and over that they had worked on, i.e. playing pressure defense 40 feet from the basket without fouling. He is not coming unglued because we are not doing dumb things nearly as much. SHOCKING.

Fact is that Underwood encouraged to leave, ran off, a number of players last year who, either by talent level or desire level, weren't going to play his type of basketball. He replaced them with 8 new players who didn't even know each others names. They are now catching on against the back drop of a brutal schedule.


You want an outside thought. Go to youtube " Dan Dakich and what is happening to Indiana basketball" and listen for the first 3:20 minutes. Then ask yourself of the two coachs Dakichs is talking about, "which one is Underwood closer to".
 
#38
Underwood's sideline demeanor hasn't changed one iota and probably never will. What caused him to come unglued on the sideline was watching mistakes being made over and over that they had worked on, i.e. playing pressure defense 40 feet from the basket without fouling. He is not coming unglued because we are not doing dumb things nearly as much. SHOCKING.

Fact is that Underwood encouraged to leave, ran off, a number of players last year who, either by talent level or desire level, weren't going to play his type of basketball. He replaced them with 8 new players who didn't even know each others names. They are now catching on against the back drop of a brutal schedule.


You want an outside thought. Go to youtube " Dan Dakich and what is happening to Indiana basketball" and listen for the first 3:20 minutes. Then ask yourself of the two coachs Dakichs is talking about, "which one is Underwood closer to".
His demeanor has obviously changed. They are making fewer mistakes and have learned to play together. It’s good to see them figure it out.
 
#39
I went from optimist to one of the last to say "this system sucks". I wish I wouldn't have lost patience.

Seems like several people who were high volume posters when things weren't going well are now not posting at all. Did they like being miserable?
 
#40
Alex 58, I stand corrected, his demeanor has changed but what hasn't is his acceptance of stupid plays. Revert to form and he is going to revert to form and your ears are going to burn.


Re the Dakich broadcast, I wouldn't be too happy with a coach calling a player out that publicly but that year it definitely worked in the big picture.

I hadn't lost patience but in 60 plus years of watching college BB , if you turn it around it takes generally 3-4 years, K, Izzo, Beilein took 5 years.

And Rick, yes there is an element in society that isn't happy unless they are miserable.
 
#42
Also agree with most of this. But I didn't so much as give up on the season but rather just put it on hold for a little while. I stopped watching in mid December (just got too painful especially the Missouri loss) with the idea that I would come back and see what was happening in mid or late January. And so glad I did. I had a hunch that like the 1998–99 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team because of how young the team is we would get better and better as the season progressed. The freshmen would not really be freshman anymore playing wise. And actually, I think they are better than I thought they would be, or hoped for. Or maybe I should say I was hoping for a 1998–99 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team turnaround. One could see the 1998–99 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team just get better and better as the season went on. (I think I am citing the right year's team).
You are correct on the year. I counseled people to be patient and I'm thrilled that I was right. The team is so young which was my hope. Looks like '99 revised only with a few more wins on the front side. Wood always seem like he had a solid plan to me and seemed to know his business. I also read somewhere that a couple scouts who knew him said he'd get this thing going the right direction soon. Again, very happy that they were right. Go Illini! Props to the crow eaters and glad to hear the excitement for next year. Go Illini!
 
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#44
I like to use the metric: "Let's see what happens when the coach is playing with his players" instead of the players the former coach left him with. I think our last two coaches did better with the former coach's players than they did with their own. I think BU will change this trend.

I must admit I let a slight, slight bit of doubt slide in after the poor start this season following the mass exodus, for I feared the team may start to doubt their coach, but now, that sliver of doubt is gone. From what I see, this team has "bought in".
 
#45
I went from optimist to one of the last to say "this system sucks". I wish I wouldn't have lost patience.

Seems like several people who were high volume posters when things weren't going well are now not posting at all. Did they like being miserable?
I think this board is going a different direction, just a guess. More positive.
 
#48
I never gave up on BU (although I must admit a few dark doubts were starting to creep in) at the beginning of the year. However, I DEFINITELY gave up on this season after the FAU loss. I figured they'd just learn, get minimally better, and come back next year with more experience. I saw growth post-FAU but pre-Maryland, but never thought it would be as significant as it turned out to be.

Glad to be wrong (for the first time in my life ;) )
 
#49
Thought it could be fun to have a thread where the doubters confess, and we marvel at the on the court turn-around.

Hi, my (user) name is Calvin, and I doubted this team and coach Underwood. I'm a believer now. I looked back at my posts, and I was crapping on this team up to the Michigan game, where I thought we were only playing well for relatively short stretches. The Minnesota game blew me away, and even though we lost at Iowa, I felt like we were getting there and simply ran into a good team playing well.

I am THRILLED to eat crow about where this team was at.
I am THRILLED to see the turn-around.
I am not at all bothered by it taking a while (ok, there's a part of me that wishes it was a couple games sooner for the guys, so they could fight onto the bubble without a lot of pressure on the BTT).

Please feel free to rub it in --I'm enjoying watching these guys too much for it to bother me.
Propitious how you phrased this thread since Peter Tork died last night.
 
#50
The FAU game was my low point. I stopped getting mad during the Indiana game and just turned it off. I was wrong and deserve to be punished.