Illini Basketball 2018-2019

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I hesitate to write this, but if starting the season 4-7, with 0 P6 wins and only one win being against a mid major is proving BU is capable of winning without 5 stars, we have a different definition of what constitutes real winning. I'm all for morale victories for now, but it gets old real quick, air balls and rim outs only get you so far, and they might help with advanced metrics, but the W-L is what matters, regardless.

Giorgi is probably the best "find" in this class. He's given us some extremely valuable minutes, playing well above his ranking as a freshman, it's highly impressive. But this isn't what I consider proving BU can win without a cast of mainly 4/5 star players. Short term, I judge BU for not retaining some more experience on this team, or having a better plan to get more highly sought after players , but that isn't exactly what I think Whitman (or BU (obviously)) had in mind for this team. I'm all in on our coach getting his guys, whether they be ranked 10th or 300th. I'm also all in on him getting 4 years to prove this (and more if it means we are truly trending upwards). By the time Giorgi et al are upperclassmen, then we can talk about BU proving he doesn't need 4/5 star kids, but right now it's painfully obvious this team doesn't have what it takes to win many P6 games. The multi million dollar question is, what is it? Whether it be knowledge of BU's system, pure experience/age, or talent, it wont be known for a few years, but I will remain skeptical the former two will out weigh the latter in the end.

Winning means having more W's than L's, that isn't the case, Giorgi's good play or not.
I think time will tell that he runs a great system and demands a lot from his players. Much more than the previous staff. Your 4-7 example by a young team with an extremely tough schedule combined with only 4 players knowing the playbook longer than 9 months is completely irrelevant. Let's have this conversation in a couple years. I've said that probably 10 times now in the past 2 months but that isn't gonna stop the same people from grabbing the pitchforks every time someone from Chicago signs with another school other than the Illini.
 
I think time will tell that he runs a great system and demands a lot from his players. Much more than the previous staff. Your 4-7 example by a young team with an extremely tough schedule combined with only 4 players knowing the playbook longer than 9 months is completely irrelevant. Let's have this conversation in a couple years. I've said that probably 10 times now in the past 2 months but that isn't gonna stop the same people from grabbing the pitchforks every time someone from Chicago signs with another school other than the Illini.
Obviously didn't get my point, or really read my post in general. I mentioned multiple times I'm all in on BU for the next 2.5ish years, but there's nothing so far that is indicative of BU getting this team to play winning basketball. I replied to your other post because you literally said:

Giorgi is proving that this coach won't need a whole team of 5 star players to win.
Regardless of what the rest of the teams makeup is, how does a 4-7 record indicate anything other than this team not being ready for a P6 type schedule? I don't get how you translate Giorgi's game (which I mentioned was impressive considering his ranking) to BU's ability to win games? This is textbook "counting your chickens before they hatch" thinking. As it stands now, with or without Giorgi this team has proven literally the opposite of what you said, they've blown leads in most games, failed to comeback in a handful too. They have proven zero. I concede this team is young and unproven, but it also lacks talents.

I give props to BU (or whatever assistant you want to attribute) for finding Giorgi. I never even mentioned Chicago recruiting (and I even mentioned yesterday that I think in state recruiting is blown way out of proportion, though I don't expect you to have that knowledge) so I don't get that soapboxing.

Honestly, at the core of it, we are on the same page. This year was shot when we failed to be GT and ND (and come away without at least a win in Maui). Giorgi has played above any expect the most optimistic fans projections. Feliz, Kane, and Griffin have shown more than enough to warrant being on the roster. I'm exciting for what's next, but saying something as extreme as the fact Giorgi playing well means BU can win with more highly talented players is a ridiculous statement.
 
To add on to the analytics here, Kenpom has our adjusted defense (I believe some sort of opponent adjusted points per possession) at 92nd in the country. That may or may not sound terrible to people, but I'll note that the two Underwood seasons have been the lowest defensive ratings at Illinois since 2002, with the lone exception of 2016 (the catastrophe/injury year). Also, it ranks us 14th in the Big 10 currently. On top of all that, we only have 1 remaining game this year against a team who has not seen our defense already. One of the theoretical advantages of playing a defense that few others do is that it will be hard to prepare for, but that is less likely to be true against Missouri and the Big Ten than against others.
 
I have often wondered the past week or two...

If this team played a similar schedule to last year. I think they would be 12-1 or maybe 11-2 heading into bragging rights game. Possibly a reach, but it was a WEAK non-conference schedule. Does this team benefit more with the confidence of having won heading into the conference schedule or will this year’s tough non-conference and getting beat up a little physically and mentally position us to be more competitive in this year’s deep Big 10?
 
I have often wondered the past week or two...

If this team played a similar schedule to last year. I think they would be 12-1 or maybe 11-2 heading into bragging rights game. Possibly a reach, but it was a WEAK non-conference schedule.
Who knows what would have happened, but we likely would be underdogs in 4 of the 13 with UNLV as a pickem (based on how the other teams played last year). We would be quite fortunate to come out 11-2 IMO.
 
This board has not been too happy since Bragging Rights. Some reasons justified, others not so much. Although I will never tell anyone how to be a fan for their team, it's important to differentiate between the micro and macro moments/conclusions during a season. So I want to discuss out loud the micro and macro below. The micro will be this season, and macro will be the overall program.

Micro Negatives:
- A 4-8 record that started off as the most brutal schedule in the nation when factoring in opponents' and travel
- Fouling is still an issue on a game by game basis
- Recency Bias: The second half of Bragging Rights (n)
- Young team still plays young, and won't be as talented as other teams in Big 10 until more development occurs
- "Veteran" Leader of the team is a Sophomore
- Inconsistent Shooting
- Not enough trips to the free-throw line (two-folded issue between system fluency and ability to attack)
- Rim protection and rebounding still an issue
- Defense faces challenges when 1-1 stops need to be made
- Irrational fan base thinking the world is ending after every loss and some thinking BU isn't a good coach (absurd thoughts)

Micro Positives:
- Only 4-8 record considering the brutal start to the season
- Trent Frazier has taken a leap, the young man is special
- Young team is the most athletic team Illinois has had in years
- Current roster has much higher floor and ceiling
- Team is understanding BU system much more this year as opposed to his first
- Identity has been consistent throughout the season and stay true
- Georgi B (great find) has massively exceeded expectations and will be a significant player during his tenure
- Aaron Jordan being a model Illini on and off the court
- So much room for improvement still to be made this season
- Most growing pains for freshman will be over soon, they have had to grow up really fast this year
- Having BU as our coach

Macro Negatives:
- Fanbase fatigue of irrelevancy and impatience hindering ability to see the forest from the trees
- Behind in facilities arm race (But plans in motion to upgrade)
- The state of Illinois and its overall toxic recruiting atmosphere
- Chicago being a national city for players with adult handlers' caring more about themselves than the future of the young men they claim to care about
- Archaic belief still existing that local recruiting is vital to program success (In 2018 it isn't)
- Not a true understanding of how the last four years of the previous tenure set this program back immensely (for the board)
- Other programs have low-hanging fruit to recruit against Illinois
- Not a national or regional brand
- Damonte Williams ACL tear in high-school robbing him so far of the college career everyone expected
- Critics of BU's record since leaving SFA as if he didn't inherit two programs who fired their previous coaches for pretty obvious reasons that they were not good coaches or program builders
- Pity party Illinois fans love to have, ENOUGH OF THIS GLASS IS TOTALLY EMPTY MENTALITY

Macro Positives:
- BU as the head of the program. He has brought a clear and notable identity that will translate into success
- Illinois will be amongst the nation's leaders in tempo on offense and forcing turnovers on defense
- Ability to get players from different regions of the country, and internationally as well
- Coaching staff's ability to scout players and identify talent... can't stress enough how crucial this is, especially if top-50 players aren't knocking on your door
- An offense that stretches the opposing defense horizontally and vertically, and is nuanced to have counter's for what is happening
- An offense that can play to the strengths of an iso player as well as get the entire team involved
- A defense that takes opponents entirely out of their usual offense and causes them to abandon their ideal game plan
- Strong foundational pieces already in place about 1.5 years into BU tenure
- Better recruiting staff and results opposed to last coach (The losses clearly hurt but BU is only going after guys that will actually be Big 10/ Elite Big 10 talent... no MAC roster)
- State Farm Center is an amazing arena to play home games
- A fan base that is dying for success and will support the Illini
- You. Yes you. Whether you are active and post on this board, or just casually read, or don't even know this website even exists. The fact that there is a passionate Illinois community that cares is the greatest net positive. If the passion and un-dying love for Illini Basketball remains, which it will, then the commitment to excellence put in place by our AD will continue. The sun will shine, all because of you.

I am sure I missed a couple of facts, positive or negative. But if anything, I just hope this helps you realize the differences between one game and one season/tenure. I hope you all had an amazing holiday season!
 
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
This board has not been too happy since Bragging Rights. Some reasons justified, others not so much. Although I will never tell anyone how to be a fan for their team, it's important to differentiate between the micro and macro moments/conclusions during a season. So I want to discuss out loud the micro and macro below. The micro will be this season, and macro will be the overall program.

Micro Negatives:
- A 4-8 record that started off as the most brutal schedule in the nation when factoring in opponents' and travel
- Fouling is still an issue on a game by game basis
- Recency Bias: The second half of Bragging Rights (n)
- Young team still plays young, and won't be as talented as other teams in Big 10 until more development occurs
- "Veteran" Leader of the team is a Sophomore
- Inconsistent Shooting
- Not enough trips to the free-throw line (two-folded issue between system fluency and ability to attack)
- Rim protection and rebounding still an issue
- Defense faces challenges when 1-1 stops need to be made
- Irrational fan base thinking the world is ending after every loss and some thinking BU isn't a good coach (absurd thoughts)

Micro Positives:
- Only 4-8 record considering the brutal start to the season
- Trent Frazier has taken a leap, the young man is special
- Young team is the most athletic team Illinois has had in years
- Current roster has much higher floor and ceiling
- Team is understanding BU system much more this year as opposed to his first
- Identity has been consistent throughout the season and stay true
- Georgi B (great find) has massively exceeded expectations and will be a significant player during his tenure
- Aaron Jordan being a model Illini on and off the court
- So much room for improvement still to be made this season
- Most growing pains for freshman will be over soon, they have had to grow up really fast this year
- Having BU as our coach

Macro Negatives:
- Fanbase fatigue of irrelevancy and impatience hindering ability to see the forest from the trees
- Behind in facilities arm race (But plans in motion to upgrade)
- The state of Illinois and its overall toxic recruiting atmosphere
- Chicago being a national city for players with adult handlers' caring more about themselves than the future of the young men they claim to care about
- Archaic belief still existing that local recruiting is vital to program success (In 2018 it isn't)
- Not a true understanding of how the last four years of the previous tenure set this program back immensely (for the board)
- Other programs have low-hanging fruit to recruit against Illinois
- Not a national or regional brand
- Damonte Williams ACL tear in high-school robbing him so far of the college career everyone expected
- Critics of BU's record since leaving SFA as if he didn't inherit two programs who fired their previous coaches for pretty obvious reasons that they were not good coaches or program builders
- Pity party Illinois fans love to have, ENOUGH OF THIS GLASS IS TOTALLY EMPTY MENTALITY

Macro Positives:
- BU as the head of the program. He has brought a clear and notable identity that will translate into success
- Illinois will be amongst the nation's leaders in tempo on offense and forcing turnovers on defense
- Ability to get players from different regions of the country, and internationally as well
- Coaching staff's ability to scout players and identify talent... can't stress enough how crucial this is, especially if top-50 players aren't knocking on your door
- An offense that stretches the opposing defense horizontally and vertically, and is nuanced to have counter's for what is happening
- An offense that can play to the strengths of an iso player as well as get the entire team involved
- A defense that takes opponents entirely out of their usual offense and causes them to abandon their ideal game plan
- Strong foundational pieces already in place about 1.5 years into BU tenure
- Better recruiting staff and results opposed to last coach (The losses clearly hurt but BU is only going after guys that will actually be Big 10/ Elite Big 10 talent... no MAC roster)
- State Farm Center is an amazing arena to play home games
- A fan base that is dying for success and will support the Illini
- You. Yes you. Whether you are active and post on this board, or just casually read, or don't even know this website even exists. The fact that there is a passionate Illinois community that cares is the greatest net positive. If the passion and un-dying love for Illini Basketball remains, which it will, then the commitment to excellence put in place by our AD will continue. The sun will shine, all because of you.

I am sure I missed a couple of facts, positive or negative. But if anything, I just hope this helps you realize the differences between one game and one season/tenure. I hope you all had an amazing holiday season!
So, awesome potential for growth, got it. (y)
 
Macro Positive:

Despite some minor challenges (e.g., showing up on time for shootarounds, TJ suspension issue), we seem to have a solid group of young adults from an extremely diverse set of backgrounds representing the University of Illinois on the basketball court. I believe that the basketball team has no representatives on the current roster who (if it was a basketball award) would have generated "Fulmer Cup" points during their career
 
This board has not been too happy since Bragging Rights. Some reasons justified, others not so much. Although I will never tell anyone how to be a fan for their team, it's important to differentiate between the micro and macro moments/conclusions during a season. So I want to discuss out loud the micro and macro below. The micro will be this season, and macro will be the overall program.

Micro Negatives:
- A 4-8 record that started off as the most brutal schedule in the nation when factoring in opponents' and travel
- Fouling is still an issue on a game by game basis
- Recency Bias: The second half of Bragging Rights (n)
- Young team still plays young, and won't be as talented as other teams in Big 10 until more development occurs
- "Veteran" Leader of the team is a Sophomore
- Inconsistent Shooting
- Not enough trips to the free-throw line (two-folded issue between system fluency and ability to attack)
- Rim protection and rebounding still an issue
- Defense faces challenges when 1-1 stops need to be made
- Irrational fan base thinking the world is ending after every loss and some thinking BU isn't a good coach (absurd thoughts)

Micro Positives:
- Only 4-8 record considering the brutal start to the season
- Trent Frazier has taken a leap, the young man is special
- Young team is the most athletic team Illinois has had in years
- Current roster has much higher floor and ceiling
- Team is understanding BU system much more this year as opposed to his first
- Identity has been consistent throughout the season and stay true
- Georgi B (great find) has massively exceeded expectations and will be a significant player during his tenure
- Aaron Jordan being a model Illini on and off the court
- So much room for improvement still to be made this season
- Most growing pains for freshman will be over soon, they have had to grow up really fast this year
- Having BU as our coach

Macro Negatives:
- Fanbase fatigue of irrelevancy and impatience hindering ability to see the forest from the trees
- Behind in facilities arm race (But plans in motion to upgrade)
- The state of Illinois and its overall toxic recruiting atmosphere
- Chicago being a national city for players with adult handlers' caring more about themselves than the future of the young men they claim to care about
- Archaic belief still existing that local recruiting is vital to program success (In 2018 it isn't)
- Not a true understanding of how the last four years of the previous tenure set this program back immensely (for the board)
- Other programs have low-hanging fruit to recruit against Illinois
- Not a national or regional brand
- Damonte Williams ACL tear in high-school robbing him so far of the college career everyone expected
- Critics of BU's record since leaving SFA as if he didn't inherit two programs who fired their previous coaches for pretty obvious reasons that they were not good coaches or program builders
- Pity party Illinois fans love to have, ENOUGH OF THIS GLASS IS TOTALLY EMPTY MENTALITY

Macro Positives:
- BU as the head of the program. He has brought a clear and notable identity that will translate into success
- Illinois will be amongst the nation's leaders in tempo on offense and forcing turnovers on defense
- Ability to get players from different regions of the country, and internationally as well
- Coaching staff's ability to scout players and identify talent... can't stress enough how crucial this is, especially if top-50 players aren't knocking on your door
- An offense that stretches the opposing defense horizontally and vertically, and is nuanced to have counter's for what is happening
- An offense that can play to the strengths of an iso player as well as get the entire team involved
- A defense that takes opponents entirely out of their usual offense and causes them to abandon their ideal game plan
- Strong foundational pieces already in place about 1.5 years into BU tenure
- Better recruiting staff and results opposed to last coach (The losses clearly hurt but BU is only going after guys that will actually be Big 10/ Elite Big 10 talent... no MAC roster)
- State Farm Center is an amazing arena to play home games
- A fan base that is dying for success and will support the Illini
- You. Yes you. Whether you are active and post on this board, or just casually read, or don't even know this website even exists. The fact that there is a passionate Illinois community that cares is the greatest net positive. If the passion and un-dying love for Illini Basketball remains, which it will, then the commitment to excellence put in place by our AD will continue. The sun will shine, all because of you.

I am sure I missed a couple of facts, positive or negative. But if anything, I just hope this helps you realize the differences between one game and one season/tenure. I hope you all had an amazing holiday season!
OUTSTANDING!!!
 
Mega negatives
- Two consecutive seasons well below .500
- Last trip to NCAA was when?
- One recruit for next year well into recruiting season

Mega positives
- Georgi was a very good find
- Trent is excellent
-we won a significant recruiting battle with Ayo
-Kofi?


Like to think BU will succeed, but just looked at the schedule, and it is brutal. If we get to last year's skimpy win total it will be a miracle. Granted the schedule has been and continues to be one of the toughest in the nation. Perhaps we have the talent, it young and will be developed. I hope so, but not sure. I have a scary thought that our best game at the end of this season will be the 1st game.

Perhaps the scariest thing is that there is more optimism in the other revenue sport at this time.

GO ILLINI!
GO BEARS!
 
Likes: foby
We are on track to have the worst 2-yr period since 1973-75 when Harv Schmidt and Gene Bartow were the coaches, recruiting is not going well, we just got embarrassed by a pretty mediocre Missouri team and some posters see many macro and mega positives.

 
Macro Negative - The other conference teams are trending toward more macro positives and fewer macro negatives than Illinois.
 
We are on track to have the worst 2-yr period since 1973-75 when Harv Schmidt and Gene Bartow were the coaches, recruiting is not going well, we just got embarrassed by a pretty mediocre Missouri team and some posters see many macro and mega positives.

To be fair, he didn't say that the positives outweighed the negatives, or even the opposite. You can spin pretty much anything to include positives, doesn't mean that makes it a good thing. (Example: The world is ending tomorrow. Negative: We all die. Positive: We don't have to go to work anymore.)
 
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