Illini Basketball 2018-2019

A couple things that I think get lost in the offseason optimism:

One is the usual projection and optimism. Someone sees a highlight video with some nice plays, and imagines the player making those plays all the time, and compare that to what they expect other teams will have. Or worse, imagining them being better than their best plays while adjusting to the college game.

Another is looking at players in isolation. Sure, we have a nice class coming in, but how does it stack up to the competition? Look at other highlight videos of the recruits that are joining us in the BIG. If you go by recruiting rankings for this class, there's a bit of a drop-off after the top 6 in the conference:

1 Maryland
2 Indiana
3 Michigan
4 MSU
5 IL
6 tOSU

Being in the top 6 is nice. But consider that we have significantly more turnover than probably any team in the conference, and that drops our best case scenario to be more like middle of the conference, barring a miracle of catching up immediately to teams with better or more experienced rosters.

I'm ok with wild optimism for the future. Just don't see a reason to believe we'll be equal to or better than the upper third of the conference in the coming season.
 
Middle of the pack would be huge improvement. Not negative on BU but he isn't coaching against idiots. Like to back at favored at home and underdogs on the road.
 
A couple things that I think get lost in the offseason optimism:

One is the usual projection and optimism. Someone sees a highlight video with some nice plays, and imagines the player making those plays all the time, and compare that to what they expect other teams will have. Or worse, imagining them being better than their best plays while adjusting to the college game.

Another is looking at players in isolation. Sure, we have a nice class coming in, but how does it stack up to the competition? Look at other highlight videos of the recruits that are joining us in the BIG. If you go by recruiting rankings for this class, there's a bit of a drop-off after the top 6 in the conference:

1 Maryland
2 Indiana
3 Michigan
4 MSU
5 IL
6 tOSU

Being in the top 6 is nice. But consider that we have significantly more turnover than probably any team in the conference, and that drops our best case scenario to be more like middle of the conference, barring a miracle of catching up immediately to teams with better or more experienced rosters.

I'm ok with wild optimism for the future. Just don't see a reason to believe we'll be equal to or better than the upper third of the conference in the coming season.
I'm simply hoping for similar competitiveness as last year with much better late game execution. I'm also hoping for a little bit better defense at the rim and not as much fouling. If we get the small improvements in those areas I'm suggesting, we'll have a decent record I think. Definitely not thinking we're a tournament team though.
 
I'm ok with wild optimism for the future. Just don't see a reason to believe we'll be equal to or better than the upper third of the conference in the coming season.
Of course we won't be in the upper third. But go with the optimism anyway. It's way more fun.
 
:tsk:
The roster turnover is due to a clash of styles. Coaches build teams to match their personalities—and according to a certain WVU coach, the previous roster was "as soft as baby s***".

Flip the page to last season, when we bring in one of the toughest, most demanding coaches in the NCAA. He wants to build a roster that fits his style, which couldn't be further from what he inherited. As the season progresses, players realize this isn't what they signed up for under the previous regime and look to move on.

Does BU beg them to stay? Heck no.

What's the result of replacing a soft coach with a really demanding one? A complete roster overhaul.

Sidenote: It makes me chuckle how much some people get fired up about losing players that were a part of one of the worst stretches in the last half-century of Illinois basketball.
Well said, Matt.
 
Of course we won't be in the upper third. But go with the optimism anyway. It's way more fun.
Pessimism is interest on a debt you may never have to pay. Weird things happen in sports all the time. Illinois finishing in the top 1/3 is a lot more likely than Leicester City winning the Premiership a couple years ago.
 
Pessimism is interest on a debt you may never have to pay. Weird things happen in sports all the time. Illinois finishing in the top 1/3 is a lot more likely than Leicester City winning the Premiership a couple years ago.
Here's hoping for Illini "weird things" happening on the winning side.
 
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As far as Giorgi goes, from what little I have seen of him, I am going to say he is pretty similar to Augustine, with maybe a better outside shot. We'll see as the season get scloser.


Augie is under-rated in a lot of ways because he was our undersized center and wasn't overly athletic. But Augie had great BBIQ and instincts IMHO, don't recall him overthinking or doubting himself. He was a solid shooter, defender, rebounder, rim protecter, dribbler, passer. At 6-10 he had some small forward skills. Augie was also a tough competitor and gamer, he always held his own against the top PF/C.


Augie played right away as a freshmen and contributed. So there might be clips of players that look better or as good as Augie, in reality their skills may not translate to the court like Augie's did.
 
As far as Giorgi goes, from what little I have seen of him, I am going to say he is pretty similar to Augustine, with maybe a better outside shot. We'll see as the season get scloser.
I feel like this comparison wouldn't be made if they didnt have similar skin tone. They're not similar players.
 
As far as Giorgi goes, from what little I have seen of him, I am going to say he is pretty similar to Augustine, with maybe a better outside shot. We'll see as the season get scloser.
Hope the best for Bez, but his success is all yet TBD. Pretty hard to compare someone who has not even played one college game to someone who had a four-year college career and was on a Final Four team.
 
Giorgi and Augie are nothing alike outside of being left-handed and tall. Augie was more of a hustle 4 playing the 5. Augie was very fast, solid vertical, good rebounder, quick twitch, solid 15 foot jumper, and ultimate team guy. Giorgi is much more skilled in passing, 3 point shot, etc.., but is much slower and not nearly as athletic. At his best, Giorgi can be a Brad Miller type. I also feel it is unfair to pair him with Augie considering Augie came in with Dee Brown, Deron, but also Brian Cook was here as an All Big 10 player. Augie could just do the dirty work while the talented freshman guards paired with up and coming Luther Head/Roger Powell.

Stating that, if we can keep Kane here ready to start, we are off to a great start for years to come to pair with athletic guards in Ayo, Frazier, and wings Higgs/Jones. You have skilled players in Williams and Griffin. We just need more size. However, we are starting to get long athletes to pair with some multi-dimensional players. Griffin looks like he has a chance to be a 3-and-d wing that can handle the ball a little. Williams is a smart player and hopefully he regains some of his vertical ability. Hopefully, we can gain one more big guy for next year along with getting someone like Whitney.
 
Hope the best for Bez, but his success is all yet TBD. Pretty hard to compare someone who has not even played one college game to someone who had a four-year college career and was on a Final Four team.
Nick Smith is someone who had a four-year college career and was on a Final Four team. James Augustine is one of the best players in the history of the program.

The reflexive defense of a recruit whose film screams "Georgian Ibby Djimde" is fine, whatever, let's be optimistic about the possibilities.

But treating a program legend like he was just some guy, just a pair of shoes to be easily filled, is ridiculous.

We shouldn't be calling Kofi Cockburn the next Augie, let alone Giorgi.
 
Giorgi and Augie are nothing alike outside of being left-handed and tall. Augie was more of a hustle 4 playing the 5. Augie was very fast, solid vertical, good rebounder, quick twitch, solid 15 foot jumper, and ultimate team guy. Giorgi is much more skilled in passing, 3 point shot, etc.., but is much slower and not nearly as athletic. At his best, Giorgi can be a Brad Miller type. I also feel it is unfair to pair him with Augie considering Augie came in with Dee Brown, Deron, but also Brian Cook was here as an All Big 10 player. Augie could just do the dirty work while the talented freshman guards paired with up and coming Luther Head/Roger Powell.

Stating that, if we can keep Kane here ready to start, we are off to a great start for years to come to pair with athletic guards in Ayo, Frazier, and wings Higgs/Jones. You have skilled players in Williams and Griffin. We just need more size. However, we are starting to get long athletes to pair with some multi-dimensional players. Griffin looks like he has a chance to be a 3-and-d wing that can handle the ball a little. Williams is a smart player and hopefully he regains some of his vertical ability. Hopefully, we can gain one more big guy for next year along with getting someone like Whitney.
If Giorgi can have the career of a Brad Miller, I don't think we will be complaining.
 
Nick Smith is someone who had a four-year college career and was on a Final Four team. James Augustine is one of the best players in the history of the program.

The reflexive defense of a recruit whose film screams "Georgian Ibby Djimde" is fine, whatever, let's be optimistic about the possibilities.

But treating a program legend like he was just some guy, just a pair of shoes to be easily filled, is ridiculous.

We shouldn't be calling Kofi Cockburn the next Augie, let alone Giorgi.
:clappy:
 
Nick Smith is someone who had a four-year college career and was on a Final Four team. James Augustine is one of the best players in the history of the program.

The reflexive defense of a recruit whose film screams "Georgian Ibby Djimde" is fine, whatever, let's be optimistic about the possibilities.

But treating a program legend like he was just some guy, just a pair of shoes to be easily filled, is ridiculous.

We shouldn't be calling Kofi Cockburn the next Augie, let alone Giorgi.
You and I don't agree too often on a few things Second and Chalmers, but this is one of them. Augie was a great player. I'd love it if Giorgi has a career like that here at Illinois, but he's got quite a ways to go for that!!! LOL!
 
Maybe I haven't looked hard enough to find more tape on him, but I don't think I have seen enough of Giorgi to form many definitive pros and cons for his game. The best video I have seen is of his workouts. Those give me a reason for some optimism, but a lot of guys look great in workouts.

And my biggest fault in his game footage is that he seems to be the 3rd option on the team he was on. I would like to think a power 5 legit big man gets more of a focus, but I don't know who he was playing with.

I would also give the staff credit on evaluating talent, but they have also shown they are willing to take a flyer and if it doesn't work out, part ways.

At this point, I think he's a scratch-off lottery ticket. Maybe we hit big and get an Augie player or even just Mav 2-3 years from now. Both would be wins. Just not right away. He can also become GIB like S&C stated above.
 
Former Krush Cow
South Bend, IN
DP: How is your jump shot developing?

DW: I’m in here every day with AJ. Every morning getting up shots. We get in here between 7:00 and 7:15 every morning. I feel pretty good about my jump shot right now.
I'm not even a little surprised to hear it's AJ he's shooting with at the crack of dawn.
 
Nick Smith is someone who had a four-year college career and was on a Final Four team. James Augustine is one of the best players in the history of the program.

The reflexive defense of a recruit whose film screams "Georgian Ibby Djimde" is fine, whatever, let's be optimistic about the possibilities.

But treating a program legend like he was just some guy, just a pair of shoes to be easily filled, is ridiculous.

We shouldn't be calling Kofi Cockburn the next Augie, let alone Giorgi.
I'm with you in tempering expectations but hopefully we get more than 7 points in 2 years from Giorgi the Georgi.