Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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Thing I'm most looking forward to next season... Everyone will be a year older and experienced. Can't understate the impact of Freshmen becoming Sophomores, Sophomores becoming Juniors, etc. #GoILLINI
This will be nice to see, but I'm most excited to see a roster full of returning athletes. We've had so many guys transfer, suspended, kicked off, etc the last several years. It will be nice to get some consistency.
 
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Arizona, USA
I'm guessing what he MEANS is that Ayo has to prove to the NBA folks that his shot is better and thus focus on showing that, which may lead to bad shots or too many shots. It would be hard being a college athlete that is probably an NBA player if you improve "this or that" and you try to balance personal goals vs. team goals.
Except he has an entire off season to work on his shot, not just the season, so, you know he might actually have an improved shot before the season.
 
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Apparently, yes, according to the interview video above. BU mentioned classes and being here in June around June 10. If I understood it correctly, June 10th is when summer classes begin so actual arrival may be before that I suppose
And and even better bonus for the big guy: He gets to go to Italy with the team, and participate in the 10 extra practices leading up to the trip. Positives on top of positives for our new big guy!!
 
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And and even better bonus for the big guy: He gets to go to Italy with the team, and participate in the 10 extra practices leading up to the trip. Positives on top of positives for our new big guy!!
I don't know about anybody else, but I feel like this is a HUGE BONUS!
 
He's 6'10 290. Yes, I don't think it's crazy to think he will be limited in some way by his conditioning, especially considering the tempo we will want to be playing at. Combine that with the fouls that will likely be an issue for him at various times throughout the season, and 20 min/game seems like a fair estimate. We'll have to wait and see.
I agree, 20 minutes seems reasonable.
I'll take the under on 20mpg...just for reference Egwu averaged 9.8 mpg as a freshman & just over 5 min/foul. So at 20 minutes he would have averaged about 4 fouls. Meyers averaged 8.2 mpg and 5.4 minutes/foul. We have a bigger need this year than either Egwu or Leonard's Freshman years, but if he averages 20 mpg I would take that in a heartbeat.
 
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I'll take the under on 20mpg...just for reference Egwu averaged 9.8 mpg as a freshman & just over 5 min/foul. So at 20 minutes he would have averaged about 4 fouls. Meyers averaged 8.2 mpg and 5.4 minutes/foul. We have a bigger need this year than either Egwu or Leonard's Freshman years, but if he averages 20 mpg I would take that in a heartbeat.
What kind of competition did Egwu and Meyers play at the school level?

Seems to me that Kofi played some pretty darn good competition. ??????????

And, then we have OA to coach.
 
Underwood mentions that Giorgi was playing with an injured thumb for a good portion of last year that affected his shooting and passing. I don’t think I’d heard hay before. If he starts knocking down shots next season, that would be amazing
That was news to me, too.
I wonder if that is why he was quite willing to put up a 3 for a while there, then pretty much stopped completely?
As you said, if he is fully recovered next season . . . good news !
 
What kind of competition did Egwu and Meyers play at the school level?

Seems to me that Kofi played some pretty darn good competition. ??????????

And, then we have OA to coach.
It is certainly possible Kofi gets to 20 mpg, Giorgi playing as many minutes and being as effective as he was is proof a freshman big can get there. I'm sure Leonard had some good competition in AAU with the fire, it is just another step up to be playing against Juniors & Seniors in the B1G and most college freshman struggle a bit. I like OA, but development doesn't happen overnight, you can point to Giorgi again as a plus, but the same magic didn't work for Kane or Vessel. Kofi may get to 20 mpg, but i'm not expecting it, & if he does I hope it is because he is earning it over we are just short bigs and someone has to play.
 
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He's 6'10 290. Yes, I don't think it's crazy to think he will be limited in some way by his conditioning, especially considering the tempo we will want to be playing at. Combine that with the fouls that will likely be an issue for him at various times throughout the season, and 20 min/game seems like a fair estimate. We'll have to wait and see.
No he was measured recently at some Games/camp at 7'0". I don't see tempo as that much of a problem for a guy we'll rely on to get the rebound and outlet the ball. He's got speed too. Sure, he can't play 30 minutes at this point, but Fletch and the staff will get him into better shape, especially with 10 extra practices, plus games in Europe this summer.
 
It's good to see Underwood grinning like a Cheshire cat. The top of the Big had a size advantage that showed up in too many games. He'll have DEPTH --Giorgi, Kane, Kofi. He's got options this year to get mismatches, rather than having to scramble and react with a patchwork of limitations. With the key freshmen staying, plus significant practice time from the Italy trip, we should be better and more consistent.
 
It is certainly possible Kofi gets to 20 mpg, Giorgi playing as many minutes and being as effective as he was is proof a freshman big can get there. I'm sure Leonard had some good competition in AAU with the fire, it is just another step up to be playing against Juniors & Seniors in the B1G and most college freshman struggle a bit. I like OA, but development doesn't happen overnight, you can point to Giorgi again as a plus, but the same magic didn't work for Kane or Vessel. Kofi may get to 20 mpg, but i'm not expecting it, & if he does I hope it is because he is earning it over we are just short bigs and someone has to play.
Neither Kane or Vesel got there in the summer, both arrived in Sept. I believe that makes a big difference in conditioning and adjusting. Kofi playing against Giorgi in scrimmages will make both better. BU also had very positive things to say about Samba and we will need him, particularly if Holyfield doesn't commit. However if Kofi doesn't struggle with fouls it will be a big surprise. Hopefully they can limit the offensive moving screen fouls. Giorgi was actually pretty good in that regard as opposed to Mav, etc.
 
I think an underrated aspect of next year’s team is whether or not Trent can add some real strength. He has gained some weight and size in the past 2 years, but he still has a kids body. He got banged up quite a lot last year when driving, and seemed to interfere with his aggressiveness as the year went on. Would love to see him gain 5-10 pounds of core and upper body strength. If he can start driving through people he’s going to get a lot more calls and not just have to fling it off the backboard like he has been doing. Granted, he is pretty good at circus shots, but him being able to penetrate and finish stronger at the rim will get us more calls and keep him healthy. Him and Ayo have potential to be not only one of the best duos in the big ten, but in the country. No reason they can’t combine for 30-35 a night.

The next key is gameplanning around Kofi. Yes, he could benefit from losing 10-15 pounds, but having a guy who’s 7” 290 is not something a lot of teams can contain. He either needs to cut weight and work on his dribbling, passing, shooting, or we make some tweaks to our offense that play towards his strengths. If him and Giorgi can gel well together (the Italy trip is going to be great for them) than there’s no reason we can’t get 20-30 a night from those too as well.

Id say those are pretty realistic expectations, and already would account for 50-65 points a night. If we can get 20-30 from a combination of Jones, Kipper, Feliz, Damonte, Griffin, Kane, than our offense is going to be really really good. Remember, Underwood had the most efficient offense in the country at OSU. This roster is really coming together well, and I’d say 4/6 of our potential starts (Ayo, Trent, Giorgi, Cockburn, Feliz, Holyfield/Jones*) would all compete for a starting spot on those teams. (save a spot for Juwan Evans, it’d be a battle for that 2 guard spot).

The talent is there, Id say our top 6 is just as good as any other non-top 10 team in the county. There’s too much firepower and athleticism at all spot. We FINALLY have a legit big ten roster top to bottom.

This team is going to be really special. Top 5 big ten, and second weekend potential is very realistic.
 
It is certainly possible Kofi gets to 20 mpg, Giorgi playing as many minutes and being as effective as he was is proof a freshman big can get there. I'm sure Leonard had some good competition in AAU with the fire, it is just another step up to be playing against Juniors & Seniors in the B1G and most college freshman struggle a bit. I like OA, but development doesn't happen overnight, you can point to Giorgi again as a plus, but the same magic didn't work for Kane or Vessel. Kofi may get to 20 mpg, but i'm not expecting it, & if he does I hope it is because he is earning it over we are just short bigs and someone has to play.
My point was that there are just too many variables. Which is why, IMVVVHO, it is best to leave the topic alone and enjoy the next year.

But ................................. this is the internet.
 
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I think an underrated aspect of next year’s team is whether or not Trent can add some real strength. He has gained some weight and size in the past 2 years, but he still has a kids body. He got banged up quite a lot last year when driving, and seemed to interfere with his aggressiveness as the year went on. Would love to see him gain 5-10 pounds of core and upper body strength. If he can start driving through people he’s going to get a lot more calls and not just have to fling it off the backboard like he has been doing. Granted, he is pretty good at circus shots, but him being able to penetrate and finish stronger at the rim will get us more calls and keep him healthy. Him and Ayo have potential to be not only one of the best duos in the big ten, but in the country. No reason they can’t combine for 30-35 a night.
Trent definitely was banged up this year and that definitely affected his play but I’m not sure if he can gain much more muscle mass OR that it would necessarily help him. He has an extremely narrow frame but is actually very muscular. I think he felt he had to do more offensively during the first half of the season and that came with bumps and bruises. With a year more experience of our players and help on the way I think he can be more effective and hopefully stay healthier next year.
 
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