Illini Basketball 2018-2019

Status
Not open for further replies.
#26
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
Looks like MJ to me. Not going to start about athleticism but he looks quick, can get off the ground quickly and move laterally. Close enough for me.
Waaaay more athletic than the young MJ. Maybe even close to Bird on the athleticism front.
 
#33
The Illini might make the Big Dance with 19 wins this year because of such strong strength of schedule.
Wow...not to be critical.....but I'm not seeing 19 wins with the schedule we have this season, plus a lot of young first year players, even though they maybe talented....thats asking a lot of this group.....hope like hell I'm wrong....but that seems like a stretch
 
#34
Wow...not to be critical.....but I'm not seeing 19 wins with the schedule we have this season, plus a lot of young first year players, even though they maybe talented....thats asking a lot of this group.....hope like hell I'm wrong....but that seems like a stretch
Eh when the prediction thread comes along I’ll pick about 25 Ws like I normally do :whoo::rock:
 
#35
Eh when the prediction thread comes along I’ll pick about 25 Ws like I normally do :whoo::rock:
I like your enthusiasm ...... when they win their 25th game this season, I will gladly admit that I was wrong and wasn't optimistic enough.....to many years of not meeting or exceeding expectations will tend to sour ones optimism I guess
 
#37
The main issue with last season's team was a dearth of talent. Grumbling is universal and pretty much inversely proportional to how well the team fared.
It's a pointless argument, but I do think Trent's quote says a lot about buy-in and heart. I was shocked that as the season went on, I kept seeing many of the same mistakes, and an unrecognizable system. I'd watched many hours of film on SFAs offense, and we were a failure at running it. As the season went on, I'd see some cuts to the basket that worked and looked correct, but overall, I just didn't see it working. I'll freely admit I missed some games, but I didn't feel like last year's unit got it. Maybe you call that talent, but to me, that's mostly attitude and pride in what you're doing.
 
#38
It's a pointless argument, but I do think Trent's quote says a lot about buy-in and heart. I was shocked that as the season went on, I kept seeing many of the same mistakes, and an unrecognizable system. I'd watched many hours of film on SFAs offense, and we were a failure at running it. As the season went on, I'd see some cuts to the basket that worked and looked correct, but overall, I just didn't see it working. I'll freely admit I missed some games, but I didn't feel like last year's unit got it. Maybe you call that talent, but to me, that's mostly attitude and pride in what you're doing.
I haven't studied the offense like I'm sure you have, but it looked nothing like the SFA offense I've seen on the youtube videos. The first two cuts usually looked half-assed and half the time the cutters weren't even looking for the ball.

It was like we were just running the two cutters through so we could reverse the ball to the pinch post and just play the two man pick and roll game.

Lots of choices in that offense that we never even tried or were confident in running. Hopefully our increase in athleticism, bball IQ and passing abilities will correct some of that crap.
 
#39
Watching last year's team, I got the feeling they started tough in the Big, but too many players were accustomed to losing. After reading TF interview, it did seem like he and Black against the world. Black would choke at the end of games (accustomed to losing). Trent still has the fire, I like that. The Great Roster Purge was necessary. In Finke's first couple years he had a fire to win. He would take the shot to win, he would not make them, but not afraid to try. Last year he lost his confidence. Alstork and Lucas were in over their head. This year with Frazier, Kipper and Ayo we should have three of the best guards in the BiG. If Samba does not return, all bets are off.:chief:
Nichols will be the four this year. The third guard will be Feliz or Williams.

I sure don’t remember Black choking at the end of games. Do you have some specifics?

I think it is likely that we still get a fifth year center. Kane, Giorgi and Higgs will compete for time there, too.
 
#42
Nichols will be the four this year. The third guard will be Feliz or Williams.
I agree, although by necessity. Nichols is really a SF, but the lack of inside players makes it almost impossible to play his natural position.

I sure don’t remember Black choking at the end of games. Do you have some specifics?
Never really happened, just makes it convenient to support the "accustomed to losing" narrative. Unfortunately, this narrative breaks down when BU's own recruits, his entire hand picked class (Smith, Alstork, Vesel, Ebo) who were not accustomed to losing, did not exactly set up the world on fire, deciding to move on.

I think it is likely that we still get a fifth year center. Kane, Giorgi and Higgs will compete for time there, too.
I agree that we will look for one, that is definitely the plan. However, it is already July, and going into end of July and August without one, makes it less "likely" that we will find a quality C in the fifth year market. But we will definitely "try" to find one.
 
#43
I agree, although by necessity. Nichols is really a SF, but the lack of inside players makes it almost impossible to play his natural position.



Never really happened, just makes it convenient to support the "accustomed to losing" narrative. Unfortunately, this narrative breaks down when BU's own recruits, his entire hand picked class (Smith, Alstork, Vesel, Ebo) who were not accustomed to losing, did not exactly set up the world on fire, deciding to move on.



I agree that we will look for one, that is definitely the plan. However, it is already July, and going into end of July and August without one, makes it less "likely" that we will find a quality C in the fifth year market. But we will definitely "try" to find one.
Obelix, I generally think you have the most realistic perspective on this board. However, saying that Smith, Alstork, Vessel and Ebo were Underwoods handpicked guys is misleading. He had a short time period to cobble together a class when almost all 2017 recruits were already committed and signed to LOIs. It’s unlikely he would have recruited Ebo or Vessel (and possibly Alstork) if he had a full recruiting cycle to fill out the roster. Even though we swung and missed on most of our top targets for 2018, there was time to pursue backup plans. Now if Kane, Bez, Griffin and Feliz are all flops, I think we can start drawing some conclusions about Underwood.

To address the bigger issue of culture, I think you need to evaluate the program as a whole after a few years rather than look at individual players. I hope Underwood is able to identify high basketball IQ guys who have the personality traits to buy in and work hard for the team. But those might be hard traits to identify among high school players that generally dominate based on athleticism alone. We’re always going to have transfers because players want more playing time or are not good personality fits with Underwood. But if in 2 or 3 years we are consistently fielding a team that collectively outperforms their individual rankings, then Underwood should get credit for the culture. Until he has a couple classes with multiple years in the system, I don’t think we can judge him on that. Also, even if we have a good culture where we outperform individual player rankings, if that overachievement is still only good enough to be mid-big ten because we’re not landing top priority targets, Underwood does not get a pass. We need him to be able to recruit good players and integrate them into a program with a winning culture.
 
#44
I haven't studied the offense like I'm sure you have, but it looked nothing like the SFA offense I've seen on the youtube videos. The first two cuts usually looked half-assed and half the time the cutters weren't even looking for the ball.

It was like we were just running the two cutters through so we could reverse the ball to the pinch post and just play the two man pick and roll game.

Lots of choices in that offense that we never even tried or were confident in running. Hopefully our increase in athleticism, bball IQ and passing abilities will correct some of that crap.
I also feel like some of the players hadn't bought into the system 100% and/or trusted each other. I think I remember AJ coming in and hitting some of those passes and being surprised that it worked.
 
#45
Obelix, I generally think you have the most realistic perspective on this board. However, saying that Smith, Alstork, Vessel and Ebo were Underwoods handpicked guys is misleading. He had a short time period to cobble together a class when almost all 2017 recruits were already committed and signed to LOIs. ItÂ’s unlikely he would have recruited Ebo or Vessel (and possibly Alstork) if he had a full recruiting cycle to fill out the roster. Even though we swung and missed on most of our top targets for 2018, there was time to pursue backup plans. Now if Kane, Bez, Griffin and Feliz are all flops, I think we can start drawing some conclusions about
The point was not that BU was not under a lot of pressure to fill gaps (I do not disagree with that), the argument/statement brought forward was that that players from the previous regime were accustomed to losing versus BU's new players had a winning attitude. That statement/argument was supposedly supported using data (Black vs. Frazier) from last year. My counterpoint was that based on data from last year, this statement is totally unsupported using existing data.

Now, on your new point (nothing do do with the previous statement) that last year BU was under a lot of pressure to recruit during Spring. We all agree. But the same pressure still exists this year, it is not that recruiting Giorgi was part of a grand plan that was put in place last year and was a primary target for a long time. This Spring, we are still under tremendous pressure trying to get on recruits late to fill gaps due to multiple exits and failed recruiting in Fall. This year we were/are still under a lot of pressure to recruit late Spring/Summer.
 
Last edited:
#46
When asked about recruiting, Underwood said this is his first class. He said he signed some guys last year, but this is his first real class. And what a class it is. one 5 star (Ayo), JC All-American (Andres Feliz), two, 4 star (Tevian Jones, Samba Kane) three, 3 star ( Alan Griffin, Anthony Higgs, Georgi Bezanhisvili).
:thumb::shield:
 
#47
The point was not that BU was not under a lot of pressure to fill gaps (I do not disagree with that), the argument/statement brought forward was that that players from the previous regime were accustomed to losing versus BU's new players had a winning attitude. That statement/argument was supposedly supported using data (Black vs. Frazier) from last year. My counterpoint was that based on data from last year, this statement is totally unsupported using existing data.

Now, on your new point (nothing do do with the previous statement) that last year BU was under a lot of pressure to recruit during Spring. We all agree. But the same pressure still exists this year, it is not that recruiting Giorgi was part of a grand plan that was put in place last year and was a primary target for a long time. This Spring, we are still under tremendous pressure trying to get on recruits late to fill gaps due to multiple exits and failed recruiting in Fall. This year we were/are still under a lot of pressure to recruit late Spring/Summer.
I don’t think it was that the players from the old regime were accustomed to losing. I think it was more a matter of them not being held accountable by their coach to do what was required to win. Based on what I saw in games, they weren’t held accountable for not knowing the scouting report on defense or for abandoning the offense in crunch time. I would guess this lack of accountability extended to practices as well. Underwood seems like he won’t tolerate these types of things, but he can’t really enforce accountability until he has a critical mass of players who have bought in and are locked in all the time. Getting to that critical mass may take a few years because each recruiting clas may have guys who don’t fit. The idea is that after three or four years, the guys who are still here are the ones that have the mentality that Underwood demands. Then they can help instill that mentality in each new incomin class.

I don’t mean to imply that this type of culture trumps talent. But I do think it makes the difference in close games. An additional stop due to knowing the scouting report or an additional basket due to executing the offense could have won us several more games last year. I’ve felt like we haven’t had a team that was tough minded in its commitment to the little things since 2005 (and perhaps Chester Frazier’s senior season as well).
 
Status
Not open for further replies.