Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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#27
I hope the freshman stay. Good to see flashes from each, can build on offseason and saw how tough big is, need to get bigger, stronger, and also intense all the time every game. Next year will they will probably be inconsistent, but hope more minutes, output, and growth.
Damonte has a more productive first two years than Aaron Jordan. That is what i see as a target; glue guy, defense, rebound, and also facilitate the offense/pass/drive with respectable 3pt shot instead of great.
Trent has a typical sophomore year, I thought. Change from hero ball offense scheme to learning to play within offense, will be great next year. Goes for most players.
Giorgi continue to work, midrange game, know offense to where to pass ball on double teams. So patient.
Iowa this year is a good target for illininnext year (w/o top 25 rank). Finish 500 in conference with some really good wins, probably inconsistent at times, safe in tourney before big tourney. And then a lot of good players coming back the year after.
 
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#28
Color me sentimental and optimistic but I want everybody to come back.
Yeah, after last year, I'm not really itching to lose anyone. People calling for Damonte or Kipper to go have short memories. Kipper scored 31 in BTT last year, so we know he has things we need in him, just need to get them out of him. IDK how to do that, so that's up to Kipper and the coaching staff to figure out.
 
#30
I keep hearing that AYO has a decision to make, but does anyone really believe he is ready for the NBA?
I see a young man who needs to work on finishing around the rim, who needs to get stronger, who needs to work on his shot, and someone who is very capable of being a bulldog on defensive end and needs to take that step.
I'm excited for him if he stays and works on these things because he will have a chance to be a solid NBA player after his junior year. If he leaves now, he is setting himself up to fail. JMHO
 
#32
Color me sentimental and optimistic but I want everybody to come back.
I do too. I have been down on Damonte's game but I also feel another year removed from this injury and some work on his game he can be a major contributor for us the next 2 years.
Kipper is an enigma.......I don't know if we are ever going to see anything more then what we have the last few years, but would be another good rotational piece for next year.
 
#35
Player retention is paramount. Ideally everyone stays but there's the 4 or 5 guys we've mentioned that could transfer and our potential pro in Ayo. If there is a defection, hopefully it is just the one. It will still create the ever present feeling we're all used to of, "Who's next?"

The one thing I'm interested in this off season is, will the staff remain intact? Walker, who was our "StL specialist," didn't really bring in those studs we were hoping for. So will he be replaced with more of a Huggy/Martin/Underwood tree member to emphasize more of the system BU is implementing? I'm sure we will know more about that in the next few weeks as the Final Four is more or less a coaching convention and interview hub.

If we keep most of our roster, we should see an improvement of 5 to 8 wins, baseline. If we lose some key contributors... we'll let's just not see that happen. A lot of "ifs" but that's what happens when you've been a bottom half of the B1G for nearly a decade. Ifs and hope, that's been our motto for far too long. Let's make that change.
 
#36
I really hate to admit this, but when the game came on, I couldn't bear to watch it. The way we limped into the BTT, I figured we were cooked. It was all we could do to get NW to OT. When I finally turned on the tv, well, my fears were confirmed.

So on to next year.

I agree with the folks that have the excuses lined up:

Season 1 was a total write-off. Too much culture to replace Groce's methods with Underwoods. Too much roster turnover, etc.
Season 2 was a young team trying to establish a culture of Underwood's system. The schedule was brutal. The talent has too many gaps for such a young team. Even then, they had some nice moments. They had some bad ones too. Really disheartening the way they finished the season.
Season 3?

First off, I was blown away when we started clicking. Wow, what a sign of progress! So why couldn't we keep that working? Dunno, but that's the $million question.

I think we'll be ok if we can keep the roster intact. But I really worry about that. We can't keep losing key guys and build momentum. We find out about buy-in this offseason, for better or for worse. Underwood won't succeed if he recruits guys that need to develop, but don't stay. And he doesn't seem to give much tick to guys who need it. Not sure what his thought process is on long-term retention, but this is a fragile rebuild IMO. Could go either way. On the incoming class, I've always felt recruiting is best measured by how many guys you miss on, and we missed on a ton. That said, Kofi was a great get. Guys transfer though, and all of a sudden we have holes again.

Couple thoughts:
Giorgi is my MVP. Not only a stud, but incredible attitude. Great IQ out there. He made the freshman leap before he finished his freshman season.
Ayo had many flashes of an NBA guy, but I don't think he'll get feedback that he's ready. He'll be a key guy for next year. His open court play is even better then I thought. A little stronger and more playmaking, and he should make the 1st round draft boards.
Gonna miss AJ. Great young man, and articulate on camera.
Feliz has a ton of heart, and it's hard not to like a shorter player who gets so much out of his talent.

We should be more consistent next year, but a lot depends on guys sticking with it.
 
#38
I keep hearing that AYO has a decision to make, but does anyone really believe he is ready for the NBA?
I see a young man who needs to work on finishing around the rim, who needs to get stronger, who needs to work on his shot, and someone who is very capable of being a bulldog on defensive end and needs to take that step.
I'm excited for him if he stays and works on these things because he will have a chance to be a solid NBA player after his junior year. If he leaves now, he is setting himself up to fail. JMHO
No one said it was a good decision. His goal was to be a 1-n-done. It's hard to give up a goal like that. Also, he doesn't have to play in the NBA --guys can try different routes to the league. I don't know his thought process, but for sure he has options.
 
#39
If all we lose this offseason are the seniors, plus Kipper and maybe Kane, I think we’ll be in a great spot next season. It was always going to be extremely difficult to succeed this season considering we brought in so many new guys (mostly freshman and not the Zion kind) and how brutal our non conference schedule was. It would be nice if we could add a healthy Holyfield into the the fold. After the last 3-4 games, I can’t belive Ayo is going anywhere. He didn’t play poorly, but he looked like a freshman who needs another year. Then our lineup next year could look something like:
•Ayo
•Frazier
•Holyfield
•Giorgi
•Kofi
Bench
•Feliz
•Jones
•Williams (I still belive he can improve)
•Griffin
•January
If all goes well, I think next season can be a lot of fun.
 
#40
What will the B1G teams be losing (Seniors) this season?

Illinois -
Aaron Jordan
Adonis De La Rosa

Indiana -
Zach McRoberts
Juwan Morgan
Quintin Taylor

Iowa -
Nicholas Baer

Maryland -
Ivan Bender
Andrew Terrell

Michigan -
Charles Matthews

Michigan State -
Kenny Goins
Matt McQuaid

Minnesota -

Jarvis Johnson
Dupree McBrayer
Jordan Murphy
Brock Stull

Nebraska -
Tanner Borchardt
Isaac Copeland
James Palmer Jr.
Glynn Watson Jr.

Northwestern -
Jordan Ash
Vic Law
Dererk Pardon
Ryan Taylor

Ohio State -
C.J. Jackson
Joey Lane
Keyshawn Woods

Penn State -
Josh Reaves
Deivis Zemgulis

Purdue -
Ryan Cline
Grady Eifert

Rutgers -
Shaquille Doorson

Wisconsin -
Ethan Happ
Khalil Iverson
Charles Thomas IV
 
#41
Jones needs to play and play a lot. Even though he’s oddly awkward for his run and jump ability, it seems like he caries his body too high and has trouble with change of surectvion. But no one is as athletic as him and as long as him and I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly he gets his shot off as well as his ability to kick them down

Everyone talks about Demonte’s IQ and I want him to do well as HRF is my all time favorite Illini and favorite Peoria area player, but I’m expecting more from him. If his ceiling is a role player and 6th or 7th man, then fine, but then he needs to come in and be explosive against 2 nd unit players.

I also have concerns on if the all out pressure defense is sustainable as your main defensive method. Maybe it works with different personnel. I just think when other teams know you, and you play against good teams and good coaches, it’s not as impactful. The overplay leads to way to many shots at the rim. Maybe that changes with Kofi, maybe he fouls out in the first half.
 
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#42
Ayo a first-round draft pick? That surprises me given the inconsistent nature of his season. He hit some big shots and showed flashes of being able to dominate at times. But I thought there were way too many games where he didn't make much of a contribution (Mizzou comes to mind) and other games where he played well in spurts but not a complete game. Maybe the correct answer is that, yes, it is just a very weak draft class this year.
 
#43
We all want DMW to do well. Just have to look back and see how AJ changed his game and improved his JR and SR years. I think DMW can make a jump in his contributions. I also think that with TF, Ayo, GB, Tev....DMW can carve out a nice role as an energy/defensive stopper. We don't need him to put up 15 a night. I would like to see him carve out a role on this team next year and excel at it.
 
#44
B1G Players who may leave for the NBA - based on ESPN Top 100 prospects

8. Romeo Langford - Indiana
25. Bruno Fernado - Maryland
32. Isaiah Roby - Nebraska
38. Ayo Dosunmo - Illinois
48. Carsen Edwards - Purdue
 
#45
Bonnaroo Land
I really do not expect Kipper to be back, and would not be surprised to see him go to his home state and rejoin Groce at Akron.

I also do not expect any transfers beyond Kipper and maybe Higgs. Samba might think about going, but if he stays, I feel he will take his game to a higher lever, and we will have the most formidable front line we have had in many years.

With a returning roster of Ayo, Trent, Giorgi, DaMonte, Andres, Tevian, Alan, Samba, and add Kofi, (maybe) Mr. January and a good wing to the mix, we are looking at a really fun season, an NCAA birth, an appearance or two in the top 25, and a lot more wins overall.
 
#47
Throwing out a suggestion. If we could limit our critiques of Ayo as a knee-jerk reaction of potentially losing him to the draft, instead focusing on the potential improvements he could make IF he comes back.


I always want them all to come back. (For the most part.) But I'd put the over/under on early leavers at 3.5 this year.
This would be disheartening.
 
#49
Winged Warrior
I really don't think anyone here realizes how much better we are going to be defensively. A full spring with Fletch. A full summer together. More size.

We saw flashes of it during our hot streak. Imagine a wing like Tev with real defensive chops. Imagine having real rim protectors with a stronger Kane and Kofi with a full summer. If you squint hard it's easy to see!

 
#50
I would be surprised if Cook didn't pull a Leron and leave early. I also think Kipper should look at transfer options. I like Kip and think he has potential but his situation feels a lot like Finke to me.
B1G Players who may leave for the NBA - based on ESPN Top 100 prospects

8. Romeo Langford - Indiana
25. Bruno Fernado - Maryland
32. Isaiah Roby - Nebraska
38. Ayo Dosunmo - Illinois
48. Carsen Edwards - Purdue
 
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