Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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#6
First order of business will be player retention. I've got no inside info, but I would be surprised if Kipper stays. Sounds like Higgs isn't likely to be a part of the team for health reasons. I'll be a little surprised if we don't lose one of Kane, Griffin, or Jones (frankly losing two wouldn't shock me though it would be awful). And then the Ayo question. We'll know a heck of a lot more in May I suppose. Part of this is certainly the moment after getting handled by Iowa talking, but it still feels like we've got a long road back to relevancy.
 
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#7
This should be the first season where we can seriously evaluate BU. Experience in the system from every position and a rim protector coming in. I have very serious doubts that this defense scheme can ever work consistently in the B1G. That's what I'm looking forward to seeing the most.

I think we can have a top 20, maybe even top 10 offense next season. Just get that defense into the top 70 and we'll be rollin'.
 
#8
We need Ayo back, Jones playing in Williams' place.
Starters Ayo
Frazier
Jones
Giorgi B
Cockburn
Feliz plays starter minutes.
Griffin plays more than Williams.
Nichols plays the minutes that he earns.
Kane gets some minutes.
January gets some minutes.
I don't know Higgs.
 
#9
This should be the first season where we can seriously evaluate BU. Experience in the system from every position and a rim protector coming in. I have very serious doubts that this defense scheme can ever work consistently in the B1G. That's what I'm looking forward to seeing the most.

I think we can have a top 20, maybe even top 10 offense next season. Just get that defense into the top 70 and we'll be rollin'.
Optimistic on offense, but I'm with you all the way, arrows pointing up, let's see who all we recruit. Off season work will be important also.
 
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#10
As much as anything else, I want us to learn how to handle the ball. Our turnover level has been off the charts at the end of the season.
 
#12
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
I mean, we can talk about getting better but honestly, does this defensive system have a chance to be consistently successful at a P5 program? I can’t see it. I think if this thing is going to turn around, wholesale system changes need to be made.
You could blame the system, or you could objectively look at the fact that we had some pretty major holes in our roster inside with players guarding out of position due to the lack of depth and realize that all is not lost. Kofi will help a lot.
 
#13
next year is tourney or bust for Underwood in my eyes. No excuse
Not fair at all. We just need to see significant improvement. Need to be on the bubble but if we miss the tourney by a game or 2 that's good enough. Don't forget we lose almost nobody after next season too.

17/18 - Garbage year. Roster blown up at end of season.
18/19 - Year 2 but basically year 1 due to roster turnover. Rough year but potential shown. Near bottom of B1G.
19/20 - Growing but not quite there. Middle of B1G. NIT or maybe sneak in the tournament.
20/21 - We've arrived. Top 5 in the B1G. Good NCAA seed with a good shot at making the sweet 16.

That's a pretty traditional rebuild. With that being said, depending on who we lose/add I think this team has the potential to skip the awkward bubble year and go straight to the top 5 of the B1G. But that should be the hope, not the requirement.
 
#14

Deleted member 626650

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Not fair at all. We just need to see significant improvement. Need to be on the bubble but if we miss the tourney by a game or 2 that's good enough. Don't forget we lose almost nobody after next season too.

17/18 - Garbage year. Roster blown up at end of season.
18/19 - Year 2 but basically year 1 due to roster turnover. Rough year but potential shown. Near bottom of B1G.
19/20 - Growing but not quite there. Middle of B1G. NIT or maybe sneak in the tournament.
20/21 - We've arrived. Top 5 in the B1G. Good NCAA seed with a good shot at making the sweet 16.

That's a pretty traditional rebuild. With that being said, depending on who we lose/add I think this team has the potential to skip the awkward bubble year and go straight to the top 5 of the B1G. But that should be the hope, not the requirement.
It shouldn't take that long to rebuild in basketball. This isn't a football rebuild, where you need depth at multiple positions. Unless things don't get better in a hurry next year, there are going to be serious questions regarding BU's ability to turn this thing around.
 
#15
ok this needs to happen.

1. Keep Ayo, Griffin, Jones on the team next year
2. Get January enrolled
3. Pick up a wing/grad transfer 4/5


IMHO if Kane and/or Kipper leave, whatever. Jones is better and more valuable than Kipper, and being quite honest, haven’t seen anything from Kane that tells me that he’ll play over Cockburn or January (January can’t be much worse)...again just going off this seasons results..

4. Not have an absolutely brutal nonconference schedule (@Arizona, Mizzou, ACC, Gavitt will be more than fine)
5. Sophomore leap from 1 of Giorgi, Jones, Griffin (a big leap from Giorgi alone makes us a great team)
6. Keep everyone else, I’d say the likelihood of any of Frazier, Feliz, Giorgi, Williams leaving is very very very unlikely.

I’d also put Ayo very close to not leaving. If he transfers, he’s not in the NBA until 2020-21. He hasn’t been good enough to go pro, is no way a garunteed first round pick, and about a 1% chance he goes Euro. He’ll be back. He wants to win here.

I’d pencil in at WORST: Trent, Williams, Giorgi, Kofi +Griffin/Jones/Kipper as our starting 5. That’s good enough to compete with anyone. I think we keep at least 1 of Kipper, Jones, Griffin. Preferably Jones and Griffin, if Kipper leaves...at this point..so be it.

We will be way better, and we will make the tourney. Go Illini.
 
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#16
Geneseo, IL
Really don't know where this team is headed. On one hand this was probably about the worst season in program history. It's hard to put lipstick on that pig. On the bright side their top players are very young and should improve, and they did have a few noteworthy wins this season. But they still need a massive infusion of talent and athleticism to be a top four or five team in the conference. Just adding Kofi doesn't get them there by itself.
 
#17
Ok basketball savants. What is the version of BU’s offense that allows Kofi and Giorgi to play well together AND what skills need to be worked on (GB jumper for example) to maximize?
 
#18
Really don't know where this team is headed. On one hand this was probably about the worst season in program history. It's hard to put lipstick on that pig. On the bright side their top players are very young and should improve, and they did have a few noteworthy wins this season. But they still need a massive infusion of talent and athleticism to be a top four or five team in the conference. Just adding Kofi doesn't get them there by itself.
But they still need a massive infusion of talent and athleticism to be a top four or five team in the conference. Just adding Kofi doesn't get them there by itself.

AMEN

lipstick on a pig.jpg
 
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#19
North Bethesda, Maryland
Georgi would actually have to regress not to be considered a very good BIG starter next year. If we have Kofi playing solid minutes, at his size, we are infinitely better around the rim with just that one addition. What I would like to see is TJ making a big jump, to me he just looks like a kid who could explode. Once he learns to harness that athleticism and drive, he is going to be a force.
 
#20
Ok basketball savants. What is the version of BU’s offense that allows Kofi and Giorgi to play well together AND what skills need to be worked on (GB jumper for example) to maximize?
Not worried about the offense with Kofi and Giorgi. Have every confidence they will figure that out. The crux will be figuring out a defense that will work with Kofi as he doesn't appear to be quick enough to front his man. However he is sure an obstacle to get around. Convinced that the coaching is too good in the BIG to rely on one defense. Needs to be mixed up and should be much easier to teach with a more experienced team.
Have no inside info but my logic tells me that Higgs won't be back and Kipper will probably leave. Do not see Tevian or Alan leaving as they look to get a lot of time next year. Samba probably depends on the coaches evaluation and the new recruits. Will he be better than at least four other big men? I hate to lose an athletic big, but we may have enough coming in 2019.
 
#21
Not fair at all. We just need to see significant improvement. Need to be on the bubble but if we miss the tourney by a game or 2 that's good enough. Don't forget we lose almost nobody after next season too.

17/18 - Garbage year. Roster blown up at end of season.
18/19 - Year 2 but basically year 1 due to roster turnover. Rough year but potential shown. Near bottom of B1G.
19/20 - Growing but not quite there. Middle of B1G. NIT or maybe sneak in the tournament.
20/21 - We've arrived. Top 5 in the B1G. Good NCAA seed with a good shot at making the sweet 16.

That's a pretty traditional rebuild. With that being said, depending on who we lose/add I think this team has the potential to skip the awkward bubble year and go straight to the top 5 of the B1G. But that should be the hope, not the requirement.
Can you compare that rebuild to another program?
 
#22
Baltimore, MD
I don't think it can be understated how much of a defensive hole we were put in by having players play out of position on defense (AJ having to play the 4; Kipper sometimes as well). By allowing Giorgi or another "big" play the 4, we won't get completely dominated inside. Giorgi had flashes of stopping some of the best big men in the B1G in his freshman campaign and he's only going to get better. Throw in Kofi/January and an improved Samba who's had a year to learn and we've got some depth down low. Offensively, I expect Giorgi to work on his shot from the elbow to keep defenses honest and have to guard him out there which frees up other options if they can't sag in on him like they did this year. I believe it was said in one of Kofi's videos that he has some range already so same goes for him. I don't see us having the same attrition we had last off-season. I really think Ayo, Griffin, and Tev will all stay, watching some of those videos after those wins and the kids seem bought in and seem to really enjoy BU. I think Tev knows he screwed up (at least once) and I don't see Griffin's dad letting his son just transfer out because of a lack of playing time when he wasn't THAT big of a contributor on offense and was a liability on D. I'm not sure on Kipper, but unless he can grad transfer, I don't think he has much option but to stay. I don't think I'll have "Kathy-level" expectations for next year, but with an easier schedule slated for next year, I could see 17-20 wins.
 
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#23
I think if you retain 90% of this roster. GB makes an improvement on his outside shot, add Kofi, Samba gains weight and strength, add January with his athleticism we have a much taller more athletic inside presence That can make us much more competitive in the big 10 and quit giving up the layup lines that we have had issues with all year. If that happens hopefully our guards won’t have to help out as much and can be more productive on the defensive end. Obviously need Ayo to stay. He really needs to work on his outside shot I have a better form and be more consistent. Hopefully Alan Griffin and Tavian Jones can make sophomore leaps and improve their shooting rebounding in defense thus Replacing AJ and giving us a more consistent outside shot.
 
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#24
Step 1 would be to make sure Ayo, Trent, Giorgi and Feliz are all back next year.
Step 2 would be to make sure Tev, Griffin, and Samba all stay as well.
Step 3 get Cockburn and January signed and on campus next year.
Step 4 find an athletic wing who can take his man off the bounce and put the damn ball in the hole.

Step 4 could be Tev or maybe Griffin if one or both make a big soph leap, but hope is not a strategy.

Speaking of hope, hoping DMW or Kipper suddenly morph into productive players is a very risky bet. If 1 or both decide to move on that would be fine with me. Both might be great kids I have no beef with either personally, but at this stage playing either one is how you get to the basement of the B1G. It would be great if the light came on for them but we can't wait.

Every returning player has to be better next year for us to have a shot at the Dance, so time to get to work.
 
#25
You could blame the system, or you could objectively look at the fact that we had some pretty major holes in our roster inside with players guarding out of position due to the lack of depth and realize that all is not lost. Kofi will help a lot.
Werner has a good video with underwood after the game. Some points already mentioned here.
https://247sports.com/college/illinois/Article/Illinois-basketball-Iowa-3-point-bombardment-sinks-Illini-season-in-Big-Ten-Tournament-130096200/
Talks about how this year was really year 1. Culture is in place, players are working hard. Offseason need to get stronger physically, individual plans. Players were out of position especially jordan, need to get physically better. Showed against Iowa. Go out and recruit.
 
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