Illini Basketball 2018-2019

Glenview, IL
Groce's class didn't have to stay in CU and a number did not, including the top rated player, so Coach U never had those players and they aren't being left to the new program, they would have to be re-recruited in short order. Second, don't cherry pick records and say we were 8-10 in conference, what matters is the overall record. Third, saying that what Weber left was pathetic is ludicrous. They didn't perform under Weber the prior year, but there was a lot of talent left. Paul made the NBA. Who that Groce left will even sniff the NBA (Note, players that had to be re-recruited and could've gone elsewhere at the drop of a hat don't count)? Fourth, NIT is no better than not making one of these silly tournaments, period. It's make the Dance or nothing. 4 NITs in a row is worthless. You make the playoffs or you don't. Stop trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear to make your argument.
 
Likes: IllFanInMi
As any Illini fan I am rooting for BU's success but I am having an increasingly difficult time. New coach needs time to recruit and install his system, but I keep looking at other new coaches who have impressive recruiting classes and are winning immediately. Last season was the worst for many years and this is looking to be similar and these include the Groce and Webber years. Rationalize recruiting as he goes by fit not stars and Georgi and Trent are looking great. However, just plain tired of losing to inferior talent with excuses that they are freshmen, nonathletic, lower rated, or undersized. Bottom line is either the system doesn't work or the coaches can't teach it. Our defense this year seems to be as bad as last year which was worse than our previous horrible coaches. Not interested in hearing they look good, winning looks good.
This is one of the toughest schedules I can remember, so that should be considered when judging this team at this early date. As far as losing to teams with inferior talent, who....maybe ND on the road? Remember, v. Georgetown there was no TF, so add that in when analyzing who had more talent on that day. Half of our frickin' team are freshmen and that rarely works unless you are Duke or UK.
 
Beating a dead horse, but still not convinced Giorgi can guard the four. Guys drive past him know like he's standing still. Maybe because he is! He is a Euro Five. Maybe January might be more of a four or maybe Higgs next year, but we are much better off if Giorgi isn't at the four.
Giorgi is a solid if not spectacular 5 by time he is Junior...January is a 4/5 combo, Higgs is a 4 hopefully. Jones at 3, solid guards all around....actually doesn't sound bad when I put it that way....
 
When I was growing up, I remember how awful Northwestern was at basketball and football in the late 70s and throughout the 80s and couldn’t imagine anyone rooting for programs like that. I have come to realize that we are now those Northwestern teams of that era. I feel sad for myself and other Illini fans😞. How did we get to this point?
 
Likes: KevinC
When I was growing up, I remember how awful Northwestern was at basketball and football in the late 70s and throughout the 80s and couldn’t imagine anyone rooting for programs like that. I have come to realize that we are now those Northwestern teams of that era. I feel sad for myself and other Illini fans😞. How did we get to this point?
Agree wholeheartedly
 
Likes: KevinC
When I was growing up, I remember how awful Northwestern was at basketball and football in the late 70s and throughout the 80s and couldn’t imagine anyone rooting for programs like that. I have come to realize that we are now those Northwestern teams of that era. I feel sad for myself and other Illini fans😞. How did we get to this point?
Self left for Kansas and we've been basically chasing recruits ever since. Land one 5* here of there but mostly it's been mediocre to bad ever since.

I remember how exciting it was October 11, 2007 when B. Paul and D.J. Richardson both committed alongside Joe Bertrand. Other than that, what class has really been complete?
 
There was a year back in the late 90’s when Lon was here where we really struggled. But, we had Frankie, Sergio, and Griffin lined up for the next year. And that is what makes this season so troubling. We have a donut in the hopper. I know we have a verbal from January, but since he didn’t sign I can’t help but think that’s not very solid.

We can’t expect these players in these systems to magically be awesome with an additional year. There are gaps in the schemes that really don’t match our players skill sets - we are severely lacking speed and athleticism needed to press/trap for example.

I just don’t see much hope going forward.
 
There was a year back in the late 90’s when Lon was here where we really struggled. But, we had Frankie, Sergio, and Griffin lined up for the next year. And that is what makes this season so troubling. We have a donut in the hopper. I know we have a verbal from January, but since he didn’t sign I can’t help but think that’s not very solid.

We can’t expect these players in these systems to magically be awesome with an additional year. There are gaps in the schemes that really don’t match our players skill sets - we are severely lacking speed and athleticism needed to press/trap for example.

I just don’t see much hope going forward.
Also, that 14-18 team went 4-14 against ranked opponents, so the schedule was absolutely brutal, although this season is probably comparable. I had season tickets that year, and it sucked watching them lose a bunch, but it had a completely different feeling than this season. You could see the makings of a good team, and like you said we knew Frank (prop 48) and Griffin (Juco) were coming the next season along with Cook, so there was a lot of hope for the future, at least with me and my roommates. Obviously the BTT run beating 3 ranked opponents in 3 days also did a ton to boost the confidence in how we'd play the next season.

Actually, looking back on that season makes me feel a little better about this year, because you can see the scores getting closer as the season wore on, and all 4 wins against ranked teams came after Feb 6th. Maybe we'll actually see a similar improvement in results this year? Let's hope, because we definitely don't have Frank, Griff, and Cook coming next year.
 
Likes: WizardBill
Could this next stretch of 4 games be must wins for this program & BU? I don’t think it is that critical, but at a minimum they could be as vital as any stretch of games in a long while, and will tell a very true picture of where this team is at.

Per ESPN, Illinois is favored to win each game, except Mizzery, based on their matchup predictor. I don’t believe Illinois will be favored to win 3 of 4 games at any remaining point this year. Just looking at games that potentially indicate these teams are not gimmes.

Their combined record is 23-11:

UNLV lost by 4 to Cincinnati
ETSU lost to Creighton by 6, beat GA Southern, who beat FAU.
FAU beat UCF
Mizzery beat UCF in OT

Undoubtedly none of these teams have the records we do with our schedule, BUT, this is where a tough schedule SHOULD provide Illinois with a significant advantage, hence my support of playing a tough schedule.

It’s easy to say nobody should expect us to win the games we played outside of the 2 cupcakes, after the fact. Without going back, but most predictors here didn’t have this team at 2-7, so I find it somewhat troubling to change expectations after the fact, most expected more despite the schedule.

These next 4 games in most years (except rivalry/Mizzery) are no way we lose, but are now just winnable, this is a sign of how low expectations, perhaps rightfully so, are becoming.

My expectations are 3-1. 4-0 and I’m thrilled and able to see more positively where this team is in the pack of 300+ D1 teams. Conversely, 2-2 or worse is a HUGE problem for BU and a really bad look and feel for this program
 
Likes: KevinC
No matter how bad this team is (and I don't think they're horrendous), the one goal is to beat Miznoz. I think UNLV is a toss-up, ETSU is one we should win, but I'm not expecting a blowout. FAU should be a comfortable win and the Miznoz game has too many storylines for us to not win. It'll also give me bragging rights, since most of the people in my age bracket and area that care about sports are at least nominally Miznoz fans.
 
Could this next stretch of 4 games be must wins for this program & BU? I don’t think it is that critical, but at a minimum they could be as vital as any stretch of games in a long while, and will tell a very true picture of where this team is at.

Per ESPN, Illinois is favored to win each game, except Mizzery, based on their matchup predictor. I don’t believe Illinois will be favored to win 3 of 4 games at any remaining point this year. Just looking at games that potentially indicate these teams are not gimmes.

Their combined record is 23-11:

UNLV lost by 4 to Cincinnati
ETSU lost to Creighton by 6, beat GA Southern, who beat FAU.
FAU beat UCF
Mizzery beat UCF in OT

Undoubtedly none of these teams have the records we do with our schedule, BUT, this is where a tough schedule SHOULD provide Illinois with a significant advantage, hence my support of playing a tough schedule.

It’s easy to say nobody should expect us to win the games we played outside of the 2 cupcakes, after the fact. Without going back, but most predictors here didn’t have this team at 2-7, so I find it somewhat troubling to change expectations after the fact, most expected more despite the schedule.

These next 4 games in most years (except rivalry/Mizzery) are no way we lose, but are now just winnable, this is a sign of how low expectations, perhaps rightfully so, are becoming.

My expectations are 3-1. 4-0 and I’m thrilled and able to see more positively where this team is in the pack of 300+ D1 teams. Conversely, 2-2 or worse is a HUGE problem for BU and a really bad look and feel for this program
The team NEEDS to win the next 4 hands down, must have, can't lose. Reputation, Respect, we need to for alot of reasons, most importantly the morale of the team and to lift the spirits of young men who are working and trying to get this program back to respectability. We are young, they have ot work through that. We don't have 5* young we have 3* average at best...keep working it guys. 6-7 going into more play against B1G teams.

6 game winning streak headed into the game against Michigan! 8-7....loss here at 500 gives us a chance to get to 16-14 for the year. BEST case scenario imo!
 
Likes: deucemu
Funny thing is this game will represent a large portion of our lineup that most think we could of had if Groce would have stayed...

Tilmon
Pickett
Smith

Lets see...I think Giorgi if he stays out of foul trouble will easily negate Tilmon
Williams on Pickett no problem
Ayo on Smith with Frazier...we WIN easily...he will have to drive, he can't create.

I think we win this one alot easier than most think we will.
 
The Eternal Optimist
Denver, CO
I like the timing of these games leading up to Mizzou. We have played some very good competition, taken beating(s), but showed some good signs of what this team can be.

UNLV: W
ETSU: W
Mizzou: W (This is going to be such a fun game to watch this year)
FAU: W

Sure hope they can do this and head into tough Big Ten season with some momentum. I'm still holding out for some amazing results this year and think they are a top 20 team next year. We need some positivity around here, and I do think this is a realistic outcome for this team/program. We are getting there!
 
We will be favorites in the next four games, likely double digit favorites in 3 of the next 4 games. If we lose any of those games it will be an upset (including Mizzou...they are brutal).
Attending a Christmas party for wife’s company tomorrow night. One of her colleague’s husband has been season ticket holder for Mizzou football and basketball for 30 years and is legit financial booster. He and I exchanged a few rivalry text this morning. My overall impression is they feel as excited in year two with Cuonzo as we do BU. He doesn’t like the idea of IL coming in to the game with a couple more wins under our belts and confidence. FWIW.

Big Ten is going to be tough for this squad. It would be tough this year for any young team not named Duke. We need to beat UNLV and then move to the next one. A win and a little confidence will help with team a ton.
 
Funny thing is this game will represent a large portion of our lineup that most think we could of had if Groce would have stayed...

Tilmon
Pickett
Smith

Lets see...I think Giorgi if he stays out of foul trouble will easily negate Tilmon
Williams on Pickett no problem
Ayo on Smith with Frazier...we WIN easily...he will have to drive, he can't create.

I think we win this one alot easier than most think we will.
I like your outlook, but I just don’t see this team beating any high major team with ease. We just don’t have the talent and depth. Right now the drop off from Giorgi to DelaRosa/Higgs is so significant. It’s why BU elects to go small a lot.
 
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
Funny thing is this game will represent a large portion of our lineup that most think we could of had if Groce would have stayed...

Tilmon
Pickett
Smith

Lets see...I think Giorgi if he stays out of foul trouble will easily negate Tilmon
Williams on Pickett no problem
Ayo on Smith with Frazier...we WIN easily...he will have to drive, he can't create.

I think we win this one alot easier than most think we will.
Agree - I think Giorgi is already as good as Tilmon and he's a year behind in tenure.
 
Likes: TMC999
I like your outlook, but I just don’t see this team beating any high major team with ease. We just don’t have the talent and depth. Right now the drop off from Giorgi to DelaRosa/Higgs is so significant. It’s why BU elects to go small a lot.
Valid points, but I think BU elects to go small also because his scheme is predicated on smaller athletic types as well. But you are right the difference between Giorgi and well DeLaRosa (higgs who knows) is like the grand canyon and a creek bed.