Illini Basketball 2018-2019

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So, what i read from those who were at the practice Jones and Griffin can't play defense and Kane doesn't have a clue on either end. Jones and Griffin excited BU because of their length and mobility, which is supposed to be an upgrade. For those that say they have to learn the scheme please tell what is so difficult about BU defensive scheme.
It isn't just leaning a scheme. I'm sure if you simply ask guys where they need to be, or what they need to do in film or walk through they can answer the questions. It's being able to play, read, react and anticipate in it and have all of that become habit and routine without having to take that split second to think about where you need to go next. The only way to do that is with reps, and for some, they don't have enough reps yet. Top defensive talent picks it up early like it sounds Ayo has. Others take more time.
 
So, what i read from those who were at the practice Jones and Griffin can't play defense and Kane doesn't have a clue on either end. Jones and Griffin excited BU because of their length and mobility, which is supposed to be an upgrade. For those that say they have to learn the scheme please tell what is so difficult about BU defensive scheme.
There’s a lot of really good (D1) players in high school who don’t have to defend to earn minutes. They’re just that good so you can’t take them off the court. You live with what they give you defensively cause they dominate offensively. Because of that, college is the first time a lot of guys have to defend and really take pride in it. It’s a huge learning curve.
 
Likes: KevinC
This feels like a season where we take plenty of lumps in the early season, then by the end of Big Ten play we're starting to look like a mid-tier team in the B1G. Then, if we can keep most of the team intact, we should be poised to challenge for top 6 (ish) in the B1G next season.

I hope I'm wrong, and this season proves to be better than my gut tells me. But I do strongly believe we'll be watching better overall basketball by January or February than we're used to seeing in the past 7-10 years.
 
There’s a lot of really good (D1) players in high school who don’t have to defend to earn minutes. They’re just that good so you can’t take them off the court. You live with what they give you defensively cause they dominate offensively. Because of that, college is the first time a lot of guys have to defend and really take pride in it. It’s a huge learning curve.
Smith's footwork last year being a perfect example. He couldn't get out of the habit of his first step being a 'false step' and thus putting himself out of position immediately. He did the same thing on back cuts. In HS he could body people and his height/athleticism advantage hid that flaw.
 
Smith's footwork last year being a perfect example. He couldn't get out of the habit of his first step being a 'false step' and thus putting himself out of position immediately. He did the same thing on back cuts. In HS he could body people and his height/athleticism advantage hid that flaw.
Watching only his highlights from high school and comparing it to what I saw last year on the court was baffling to me. I completely understand the immediate step up in competition and athleticism, but he looked like the least athletic individual on the court at times.
 
Ayo should be a huge step up defensively. AJ or DW should be some inmprovement over Alstork. KN should be at least as good as Black. Our success will depend on GBez being a significant upgrade over Finke and the additional experience. Depth in the front court also an unknown with potential but likely an early problem.
 
Likes: foby
This feels like a season where we take plenty of lumps in the early season, then by the end of Big Ten play we're starting to look like a mid-tier team in the B1G. Then, if we can keep most of the team intact, we should be poised to challenge for top 6 (ish) in the B1G next season.

I hope I'm wrong, and this season proves to be better than my gut tells me. But I do strongly believe we'll be watching better overall basketball by January or February than we're used to seeing in the past 7-10 years.
I could go for that!! 👍👍
 
One thing I find interesting is a cluster of guys who were essentially the Illinois Loyalty coaching wish list after Groce

Underwood
Buzz Williams
Scott Drew
Eric Musselman
Steve Prohm
Kevin Keatts
 
Ayo should be a huge step up defensively. AJ or DW should be some inmprovement over Alstork. KN should be at least as good as Black. Our success will depend on GBez being a significant upgrade over Finke and the additional experience. Depth in the front court also an unknown with potential but likely an early problem.
Our success will largely depend on how the newcomers do, unfortunately. And with BU’s complicated system, who knows how they will adapt. When was the last time where we really knew who our core group of guys were and knew what we could expect from that group? Hopefully next year is that year.
 
So, what i read from those who were at the practice Jones and Griffin can't play defense and Kane doesn't have a clue on either end. Jones and Griffin excited BU because of their length and mobility, which is supposed to be an upgrade. For those that say they have to learn the scheme please tell what is so difficult about BU defensive scheme.
I was at practice and Griffin absolutely plays good defense. Jones got out of position a few times like freshmen do, but he has the ability to play defense. Griffin is probably further ahead.

Both are good rebounders. Jones is a plus plus athlete. Griffin is a plus shooter.

It may take some time (Hill, Nunn, Frazier, etc.) but I think both will be players this season.
 
So, what i read from those who were at the practice Jones and Griffin can't play defense and Kane doesn't have a clue on either end. Jones and Griffin excited BU because of their length and mobility, which is supposed to be an upgrade. For those that say they have to learn the scheme please tell what is so difficult about BU defensive scheme.
I was at practice and Griffin absolutely plays good defense. Jones got out of position a few times
 
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