Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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That's a bet I would take. I expect Samba and Kofi to battle it out, and if either is far enough along, it has potential to free up Giorgi for a mismatch. My expectation though, is that Samba still needs to get stronger, and Kofi has too much to learn. Those two should allow us not to lose too much when Giorgi comes out, but I'm very skeptical on a 20 mpg average.

With Ayo announcing he'll stay, I'm excited for that alone. Guy made a lot of great moves for us, and you could see him getting better and better. He'll be stronger, and could be dominant --he had some fantastic games.
Who do you have playing the 4? Believe Kofi will be much stronger 5 than anyone else we have at this point except Giorgi at the 4.
 
Kofi moves pretty good for a HS player his size. The fact that the #1 center couldn't dominant him speaks volumes. He needs to improve technique and understanding of game, think OA will coach him up tremendously. Kofi in the middle pushing Giorgi to the 4 just changes the team so much. Great to have a PF guarding a 6-10 player and not AJ, Kipper or Damonte.
 
That's a bold promise from Ayo. I just hope he keeps it.

(My gut feeling is he probably will)
 
A seductive fiction.

Next season will depend on the improved performance of the players we have returning and their overall cohesiveness and execution as a team.
A good transfer will certainly help, but it'll be Ayo, Georgi and the rest of the crew that will have to carry most of the load.
 
Who do you have playing the 4? Believe Kofi will be much stronger 5 than anyone else we have at this point except Giorgi at the 4.
How Georgi and Kofi get used depends on which side of the court we're on. On defense - I think Georgi gets the more mobile big guy and Kofi gets the banger. In any case - it'll be great to not have a guy outmatched by 6 inches trying to play interior defense.

On offense,... I believe that Coach Underwood will devise a scheme that best utilizes their skills. At first thought - I'd expect Georgi to play the high post and pass a lot - but then again - he scored a ton of points inside with his post moves. I think Coach will figure it out.

I've been an Underwood skeptic in the past,... but I was very impressed at the recent Twitter support the coach received from his players. When you see team cohesiveness like that - it usually means good things. I think we're NCAA bound this year!
 
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A seductive fiction.

Next season will depend on the improved performance of the players we have returning and their overall cohesiveness and execution as a team.
Agree with this in general but believe Kofi can make a significant difference and Holyfield would give us flexibility. Do not expect the players we have to give us the rebounding we need. Any other players we get will be building for the future as opposed to next year's impact.
 
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I don't know what else you need to see from Kipper to know he's not a starter. I'd rather see Tevian in that spot and let him sink or swim.
Kipper is a mismatch nightmare when he’s confident. He can bully smaller players. He can take bigger players off the dribble. In the high post he can face up and shoot, drive, or use the spin move. He can pick and pop or pick and roll. And he’s one of the better athletes in the team which helps on the glass.

But like I said, this is all CONFIDENT Kipper. No better time to regain that confidence than in the summer when nobody is watching.
 
Prediction for 2019-2020 - Top half of the B10 next year with 50% to dance. With Ayo staying and Kofi coming, we will have a strong team that can help the Illini make the turn back. Kofi, Giorgi, Ayo, Trent, and Tevian as the starting 5. Then we will still have 4 very good players good players to contribute Alan, Andre, DeMonte, and Kipper. Then add in Samba, January, ......
 
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Kofi doesn't need to average 15 pts a game to be a success for us. His defensive presence alone with his ginormous frame will help make up for the liabilities Giorgi has on defense, and vise versa for Giorgi and Kofi on offense. His sheer size should enable him to grab a ton of boards, take up space, and help create space on screens. Also would anyone else like to add a big man transfer? I really want Kerry Blackshear from VT; a rotation of Blackshear, Giorgi, and Kofi would be a Top 10 front court in the nation.
 
Kofi doesn't need to average 15 pts a game to be a success for us. His defensive presence alone with his ginormous frame will help make up for the liabilities Giorgi has on defense, and vise versa for Giorgi and Kofi on offense. His sheer size should enable him to grab a ton of boards, take up space, and help create space on screens. Also would anyone else like to add a big man transfer? I really want Kerry Blackshear from VT; a rotation of Blackshear, Giorgi, and Kofi would be a Top 10 front court in the nation.
Yes. Would love to have Blackshear. So would most of the country. He is going to have lots of great options.
 
Iowa City
In this vid, what are those green/red lights on the basketball racks for?
I was coming here to ask the same question. From a pretty basic google search, I am thinking some sort of "smart basketball" that is tracking something.
 
Michigan
Who do you have playing the 4? Believe Kofi will be much stronger 5 than anyone else we have at this point except Giorgi at the 4.
I think that depends on whether we get a grad transfer (Holyfield). Reason I say that is Underwood will put his 5 best guys on the court, and I'm skeptical we'll have the depth to go with a really deep rotation. So to me, you're looking at the roster and thinking who's got passable size, experience, and if not in that group of best 5, close enough to get slotted there. So IMO, you're looking at a battle between Kipper and Tevian. Kipper should have the edge, but that's a wide-open battle IMO.

Kofi is a physical beast who has potential to dominate in the paint, but the way we run our offense, the majority of the time, your center is up at the FT line, looking to hand off or pass, or take the jumper. Giorgi was mostly passing the ball, and of those passes, he often did the hand off and was effectively just providing a screen. I can't see Kofi being trusted with that same job until he can take care of the ball, see the court, make good decisions, pass effectively, and have the conditioning to get down the court on defense. I think Samba is more likely to get the back-up 5, and Kofi gets spot minutes as he develops. Could be wrong, but that's my sense of it today.

I will add this: Giorgi is exceptional. Giorgi made the center position look easy, when it's not. Underwood needs vision, good decisions, passing ability, shooting from close-in, hustle and conditioning, as well as handling a center-piece that defends the basket and keeps opposing players away from good post position. Giorgi did an awful lot of that and will get better. We really lucked out, and he's going to be our best option there next year. We need the depth so we have more options and potential mismatches, but he should be the main guy there.
 
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Iowa City
Kofi is a physical beast who has potential to dominate in the paint, but the way we run our offense, the majority of the time, your center is up at the FT line, looking to hand off or pass, or take the jumper. Giorgi was mostly passing the ball, and of those passes, he often did the hand off and was effectively just providing a screen. I can't see Kofi being trusted with that same job until he can take care of the ball, see the court, make good decisions, pass effectively, and have the conditioning to get down the court on defense. I think Samba is more likely to get the back-up 5, and Kofi gets spot minutes as he develops. Could be wrong, but that's my sense of it today.
I have not watched enough of Kofi outside of the highlight tapes, so I won't attempt to break his game down. But I will go out on a limb and say a major part of his recruitment was him playing early and often for us due to lack of depth at the 5. For this reason alone, I don't see how a highly ranked recruit like Kofi only gets spot minutes. And if he is only getting spot minutes, it will be a disappointment IMO.
 
you feel me, dog?
Elmhurst
Prediction for 2019-2020 - Top half of the B10 next year with 50% to dance. With Ayo staying and Kofi coming, we will have a strong team that can help the Illini make the turn back. Kofi, Giorgi, Ayo, Trent, and Tevian as the starting 5. Then we will still have 4 very good players good players to contribute Alan, Andre, DeMonte, and Kipper. Then add in Samba, January, ......
January? Don't forget Higgs!
 
I was impressed with Kofi at the Hoop Summit. He kept Wiseman #1 player out of paint. Gave up some sky hooks which bounced around and fell. Kofi runs the floor well, but will need to improve stamina. Good hands and decent touch around rim. But his presence on the floor is the difference. We will not get outsized with Kofi and Giorgi on the floor together. Asking our guards to guard Jordan Murphy or 6-9 PF should be a thing of the past.
 
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