Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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Listened to part of Beilein press conference yesterday, who most acknowledge is one of the best in the business. Talked about need to be flexible and adapt as a coach. Said the computer changed everything. Basic systems are scouted too well. Think Brad showed some signs of adaptation last year. Must continue. Coaches have to keep improving just like players.
I think our priority right now is adding size and continuity. Having experienced players who know the system will go a long way toward success, and makes it easier to teach them the new wrinkles as the coach learns and adapts.
 
Likes: Mike55
I certainly hope that we practice contested layups and trying to initiate contact in off season. Also fts, shooting, conditioning, strength gain, vertical jump, not fouling, rebounding, assisting, and winning. That's all I want.....and defending superbly, that's all...I....want.
 
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I certainly hope that we practice contested layups and trying to initiate contact in off season. Also fts, shooting, conditioning, strength gain, vertical jump, not fouling, rebounding, assisting, and winning. That's all I want.....and defending superbly, that's all...I....want.
Throw in ball handling and that pretty much covers all aspects of basketball lol
 
We're a work in progress. I don't think we can possibly play as badly as we did at the start of this season with all the new guys, or have as tough a schedule. Keep the roster, and we should be back in the dance. I'll take the over on 18.5. More than half the BIG went dancing this year, and I think we should be in that group.

Side note: kinda sad for Ayo. For sure he can get to the NBA next season, but knowing how hard he's working on his goal of 1-n-done, a little bummed for him that he's a borderline guy as of most scouting reports. I could see him blowing up next year --being a leader on a rising team. His open court play was amazing this year.
 
Likes: YankeeIllini
I'm not. And not for self-serving purposes either. He has talent in spades, but he's clearly not ready for the NBA.
Growing pains. Always feel for young person processing world's feedback that "you're not yet quite where you thought you were."

Ayo seems like a level-headed kid … could just be that he hoped to be one/done but that he wasn't necessarily assuming or expecting it to happen. He might not have a really big bubble to burst.

Whatever the case, I feel very good for him. He wanted to make of difference at IL (he has and will more so); he'll likely get to spend another year in what can be/probably is for him one of the safest, most enjoyable social environments (college) there is; he might well learn something in classes (right?) and make/strengthen some friendships not likely to be as available to him in the next stage of his life; and he has every reason to feel good about the millions of dollars he will begin to see in a little more than a year ...
 
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Side note: kinda sad for Ayo. For sure he can get to the NBA next season, but knowing how hard he's working on his goal of 1-n-done, a little bummed for him that he's a borderline guy as of most scouting reports. I could see him blowing up next year --being a leader on a rising team. His open court play was amazing this year.
I don't think Ayo is feeling sorry/sad for himself ... he's work hard, he's improved ... he's going to rededicate himself to working harder and improving ... I would think he feels good about what he's done, how far he has come, and his outlook about his future
 
I don't think Ayo is feeling sorry/sad for himself ... he's work hard, he's improved ... he's going to rededicate himself to working harder and improving ... I would think he feels good about what he's done, how far he has come, and his outlook about his future
I'm sure that's the case and that his future is bright. Never fun to delay a goal though, don't you think?
 
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I read most of the comments on next years improvement. Here's my 2 cents. All those coming back will have a positive impact on improving, however, we need to get bigger and the new guys or transfers will need to do that. You need big guys to compete in the big ten and I watch the tournament this year and the successful teams have some big dudes. Oregon started 4 guys at 6'9" albiet in a losing effort last nite, but I think our improvement rests with Kofi. He has great potential but will need to lose weight and get in better condition. He is going to go thru a learning curve and need to adjust to the speed, but if he can start to condition and not get 3 fouls in the first 5 minutes, he can but a difference make for us.
 
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
but I think our improvement rests with Kofi. He has great potential but will need to lose weight and get in better condition. He is going to go thru a learning curve and need to adjust to the speed, but if he can start to condition and not get 3 fouls in the first 5 minutes, he can but a difference make for us.
+1 with caveats...Kofi needs much better physical conditioning. As we've seen umpteen times, the leap from HS to high major D1 is huge, particularly for bigs. They are used to a big size advantage. That's gone and their opponents are going to be stronger, better conditioned, etc. A total sea change. Not to mention, going from the Man to a plebe. And myriad other factors. It certainly helps that Kofi played an elite schedule.

I agree with those that see Cockburn (!) playing ~20 minutes. 25 minutes is the ceiling. Yeah, can he defend without fouling? Giorgi will switch to the 5 when Kofi's out. And while I agree that a lot of our success next year depends on how Kofi fares, I think it's far from that simple.
 
BTW, Calvin just took the over on the 18.5 wins for Illinois next year. So yeah, roll your eyes when I say we should win 20, lol.
I think we could certainly achieve that if some things go right. We should have an easier schedule and hopefully a year of experience will help everyone improve. However, given our recent rate of success, it's hard to guarantee anything going right with this team. There is always the possibility of some unforeseen issue arising as well. I mean, Illinois' gonna Illinois right?
I think we could win 20 games next year, but it's anything but a guarantee.
 
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I'm in on the 20 wins or over team! 1 more year of experience and some new players that fit our system. Don't forget Kofi is for Closers!
 
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Count me as one who does not like the defense being employed. I prefer to force teams to take uncomfortable shots rather than relying on them screwing up and turning the ball over. I don't know if it can work in the B1G. Until this defense gets light years better, it's hard to say the team next year will be much better from this year.
We had one effective big guy this season. If we had laid back and played a pack line type of D, teams would've pounded us inside. So Wood felt forced to get in people's face and make post entries hard. Count me as believing that was solid strategy given our lack of size. I think they'll week the D next year, because we'll have a bunch of size down low.
 
Excuse me if this has already been posted but I skimmed and didnt see it...

I think we’ll be better team next year assuming we don’t lose our young core to transfers. For me the big question mark is will we improve more than Iowa, Minnesota, Maryland, Ohio State, Indiana, Rutgers, and Penn State?

All of those teams had better seasons than us. Indiana and OSU already have better classes coming in, etc.

I’ll be sorely disappointed if we don’t improve next year; I’m just not convinced that even with improvement our standing will raise.
IU loses their top two players from this year and OSU loses it's PG and 2nd leading scorer. Mine loses a ton, the Terps might well lose Fernando, who is a ton. We have more coming in than Rutgers or PSU. Iowa loses much the same as us, although a bit more in Baer and now Daily is transferring.
 
....and don't forget our schedule won't be as tough as the meat grinder we played this year.
Exactly. It's very possible that this year's team could have been a 16 win team with next years schedule depending on what it looks like. So an additional 4 wins based improvement from existing parts and addition of new parts isn't too far fetched
 
+1 with caveats...Kofi needs much better physical conditioning. As we've seen umpteen times, the leap from HS to high major D1 is huge, particularly for bigs. They are used to a big size advantage. That's gone and their opponents are going to be stronger, better conditioned, etc. A total sea change. Not to mention, going from the Man to a plebe. And myriad other factors. It certainly helps that Kofi played an elite schedule.

I agree with those that see Cockburn (!) playing ~20 minutes. 25 minutes is the ceiling. Yeah, can he defend without fouling? Giorgi will switch to the 5 when Kofi's out. And while I agree that a lot of our success next year depends on how Kofi fares, I think it's far from that simple.
Agree that Kofi can make a big difference. But, it's possible that a transfer power forward might be even more key for us than Kofi, because I think GB might be strongest for us as a 5 next year.

On defense, I tend to think sophomore GB will be better at the 5 than whatever-weight freshman Kofi we get. GB will be better away from the basket on the other 5, certainly in transition, and maybe even at rim protection (GB was coming on in his blocks at YE, especially help/backside blocks). And, if we have an actual power forward on the floor, I think our defense at 5, whomever is there, will be better - think we would have seen more rim protection from GB if he had less responsibility for supporting an undersized 4.

Remembering "the cone drill" video, I think GB can do a bit of slashing from the outside, if given opportunity, but if he's going to play 4 on offense, then we still need to see his 3pt shot kick in. I'm thinking/hoping he'll be OK as an occasional 3pt shooter next year, if he really works at it, but GB is just so good around the rim on offense (with that Nerf ball he uses), I have a hard time imagining anyone on our team producing in the post the way a sophomore GB should. If GB moves out of the post to the 4 to make room for Kofi, I see us "gaining ground" at the 4 (with GB instead of AG/Kipper), but losing ground on the net difference between GB and Kofi at 5.

Weakness at the 4 was so significant for us this year. I really have my fingers crossed (not predicting/just really hoping) that we get an upperclassman 4 to transfer in and start next year. If that happens, we should get defensive and offensive production at the 4 equal to (maybe better than) what GB might do out there, leaving GB to start at the 5 and give us more than Kofi (or January or Kane).

At this point I'm seeing a grad transfer having a bigger immediate impact at 4 than freshman Kofi at 5. Maybe that shifts, if Kofi really comes on as the year progresses. I know in some ways who starts "doesn't matter," but if we look to put the strongest five on the floor at the same time, then Kofi might not be one of them. If pressure (5* expectations) or confidence boosting dictates that Kofi starts next year, then we might see GB starting at the 4 spot, then sliding down to replace Kofi at 5 (at, say, the five-minute mark) as a transfer comes in off the bench to play 4.

However, it works, I'm seeing us at our general best next year with 2 of GB/Kofi/transfer on the floor at the same time; our specific best, when GB is one of the two and perhaps a transfer 4 is the other.
 
Likes: Elgin7680
Agree that Kofi can make a big difference. But, it's possible that a transfer power forward might be even more key for us than Kofi, because I think GB might be strongest for us as a 5 next year.

On defense, I tend to think sophomore GB will be better at the 5 than whatever-weight freshman Kofi we get. GB will be better away from the basket on the other 5, certainly in transition, and maybe even at rim protection (GB was coming on in his blocks at YE, especially help/backside blocks). And, if we have an actual power forward on the floor, I think our defense at 5, whomever is there, will be better - think we would have seen more rim protection from GB if he had less responsibility for supporting an undersized 4.

Remembering "the cone drill" video, I think GB can do a bit of slashing from the outside, if given opportunity, but if he's going to play 4 on offense, then we still need to see his 3pt shot kick in. I'm thinking/hoping he'll be OK as an occasional 3pt shooter next year, if he really works at it, but GB is just so good around the rim on offense (with that Nerf ball he uses), I have a hard time imagining anyone on our team producing in the post the way a sophomore GB should. If GB moves out of the post to the 4 to make room for Kofi, I see us "gaining ground" at the 4 (with GB instead of AG/Kipper), but losing ground on the net difference between GB and Kofi at 5.

Weakness at the 4 was so significant for us this year. I really have my fingers crossed (not predicting/just really hoping) that we get an upperclassman 4 to transfer in and start next year. If that happens, we should get defensive and offensive production at the 4 equal to (maybe better than) what GB might do out there, leaving GB to start at the 5 and give us more than Kofi (or January or Kane).

At this point I'm seeing a grad transfer having a bigger immediate impact at 4 than freshman Kofi at 5. Maybe that shifts, if Kofi really comes on as the year progresses. I know in some ways who starts "doesn't matter," but if we look to put the strongest five on the floor at the same time, then Kofi might not be one of them. If pressure (5* expectations) or confidence boosting dictates that Kofi starts next year, then we might see GB starting at the 4 spot, then sliding down to replace Kofi at 5 (at, say, the five-minute mark) as a transfer comes in off the bench to play 4.

However, it works, I'm seeing us at our general best next year with 2 of GB/Kofi/transfer on the floor at the same time; our specific best, when GB is one of the two and perhaps a transfer 4 is the other.
Nicely said.
 
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