Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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Wilmette, IL
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.
Importantly, with at least two solid big men, both can go full speed until they need a sub. Plenty of times last season, you could see Giorgi sucking wind, but the only alternative was putting Kipper or Jordan in to guard Morgan, or Fernando, or Haarms, etc. Giorgi's minutes will go down because he won't need to be in during the exhausted, ineffective times. But his production might not drop much because while he's in, he'll still get his touches and should have more experienced wings to punish those double-teams. It's not a zero-sum game adding another big at Girogi's spot.
 
Importantly, with at least two solid big men, both can go full speed until they need a sub. Plenty of times last season, you could see Giorgi sucking wind, but the only alternative was putting Kipper or Jordan in to guard Morgan, or Fernando, or Haarms, etc. Giorgi's minutes will go down because he won't need to be in during the exhausted, ineffective times. But his production might not drop much because while he's in, he'll still get his touches and should have more experienced wings to punish those double-teams. It's not a zero-sum game adding another big at Girogi's spot.
Agree but we need to be able to play two bigs at times. I was at PSU game...they played two bigs and punished us inside.
 
I'm banking on the fact that we land Holyfield

But a starting lineup of
Ayo, Trent, Tevian, Holyfield, Giorgi with Feliz taking the remaining minutes from the guards and Kofi the first big man off the bench would be a solid 7. Add in Damonte, AG, Kipper, and Samba to round out the minutes and that's a solid, deep rotation
Hearing Holyfield is high on the Illini, mainly because he’s high on Underwood.
Hoping that’s enough to pan out for a commit.
 
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Importantly, with at least two solid big men, both can go full speed until they need a sub. Plenty of times last season, you could see Giorgi sucking wind, but the only alternative was putting Kipper or Jordan in to guard Morgan, or Fernando, or Haarms, etc. Giorgi's minutes will go down because he won't need to be in during the exhausted, ineffective times. But his production might not drop much because while he's in, he'll still get his touches and should have more experienced wings to punish those double-teams. It's not a zero-sum game adding another big at Girogi's spot.
I'm betting on Samba being a reliable option this year. He showed some good things at times last season, and should only improve with a full summer of workouts.
 
I'm banking on the fact that we land Holyfield

But a starting lineup of
Ayo, Trent, Tevian, Holyfield, Giorgi with Feliz taking the remaining minutes from the guards and Kofi the first big man off the bench would be a solid 7. Add in Damonte, AG, Kipper, and Samba to round out the minutes and that's a solid, deep rotation
Hoping that Samba is far enough improved to share the minutes with Giorgi, Holyfield, and Kofi. That gives coach a variety of pieces to create matchup problems. Not at all worried about the other three positions as there are three proven players plus some very talented, but less experienced backups. To me it all hinges on Holyfield unless they have an alternative of which we are unaware or January is still a possibility. With him we have size, depth and reasonable experience.
 
Importantly, with at least two solid big men, both can go full speed until they need a sub. Plenty of times last season, you could see Giorgi sucking wind, but the only alternative was putting Kipper or Jordan in to guard Morgan, or Fernando, or Haarms, etc. Giorgi's minutes will go down because he won't need to be in during the exhausted, ineffective times. But his production might not drop much because while he's in, he'll still get his touches and should have more experienced wings to punish those double-teams. It's not a zero-sum game adding another big at Girogi's spot.
I’m pretty sure Giorgi was sick during part of the big ten season. Lingering cold. As you said, really affected him some games, and needed another big anyways.
 
Is this someone in the program or someone close to Holyfield telling you this?
Insiders never out their source.

This is not any commentary on whether or not this poster is actually an insider (this board maybe has 2 or 3 of them outside of people who simply let stuff slip from paysites). I'm just stating a commonly-understood convention.
 
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Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Ayo needs a lot of work to be nba ready. Just being fast on the break is not enough. The nba doesn't do that much. He needs to be able to hit all kinds of contested shots routinely.
Barring major injury, Ayo is a first round pick in 2020. Lock. The only question is where will he go? (i.e., 12th, 20th). Next season will be his last with us.

To your point, yes, there are several areas of his game that need significant improvement. Won't stop him from being a first rounder though.
 
Random question: is it possible for a player who has been placed on medical scholarship to return to an athletic scholarship? Hypothetically speaking if Higgs is placed on medical due to epilepsy, but it were to get better for any reason in a year or two, would he be able to return to an athletic scholarship and play? If so, how is his years of eligibility determined?
 
Just being fast on the break is not enough.
Ayo is a helluva lot better than just a guy who's fast on the break. He drives at a high level and has that confidence that leaders have. His all around game improved noticeably as the season went on. How many freshman play our schedule and average 14/game? He has things to work on, but I wouldn't discount his strengths. He's 6'5", long, and can play either guard spot. Some of the better moneyball stats (translate well to the next level) are 41 steals and 4 RB/game. Not too shabby for a guard. He's high character and will play defense. You can give him the ball at the end of the game. Those things matter too.

No doubt he needs to take better care of the ball and improve his shot. But if he does that, he's not going to have a weakness, other than his young frame. He could look very good if his intangibles help us make a run towards the upper group in the BIG, or a second weekend in the tourney. That might seem like a long shot given where we've been, but the roster has more talent than it's had in a while, and you can't deny that even with freshman, we put things together for a stretch of the BIG schedule last year.

One thing I really like about Ayo is that there are guys who practice, and guys who practice with purpose. Ayo's in the latter category, and those guys make strides that other players don't. Won't say it's a lock, but I like his chances of a getting that first round guarantee.
 
nbadraft.net ranked their top high school prospects and have Kofi at 38, January at 39 fwiw, Ayo as the 20th ranked Freshman.

Would love to see January get his academics in order and recommit to us for the 2020-21 season if that’s an option.
 
Of the first 18 on the list, the oldest are FR and the rest HSSr or intl. Doesn't quite meet my logic test.
You must not follow the NBA much. Last year, the top 10 picks were comprised of 8 freshmen and 1 international player. The top 18 had 13 freshmen total and 2 sophomores.

In 2017, the top 18 was comprised of 13 freshmen, 1 international and 2 sophomores

Your logic test isn't very logical at all.
 
Random question: is it possible for a player who has been placed on medical scholarship to return to an athletic scholarship? Hypothetically speaking if Higgs is placed on medical due to epilepsy, but it were to get better for any reason in a year or two, would he be able to return to an athletic scholarship and play? If so, how is his years of eligibility determined?
Epilepsy does not just get better when you have it as an adult. It can be under total control with medications, proper sleep habits, proper diet and continued hydration. I had a seizure at 18, first year of college.....I got hammered, went to bed at 4AM and woke up with a hangover. So, I was completely sleep deprived and dehydrated. I never knew I had the issue. I was put on meds and 24 years later....not one seizure, yet I still have an abnormal EEG.

Point being, controlled epilepsy would not keep him from playing competitive basketball(especially since he's been playing since he's probably been five). A severe foot injury......could derail his basketball playing career. Now, does he have a foot injury(like we've heard recently) or does he have uncontrolled epilepsy or seizures resulting from issues far worse than being epileptic?

In either event, I can't imagine BU canning his scholarship.
 
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Epilepsy does not just get better when you have it as an adult. It can be under total control with medications, proper sleep habits, proper diet and continued hydration. I had a seizure at 18, first year of college.....I got hammered, went to bed at 4AM and woke up with a hangover. So, I was completely sleep deprived and dehydrated. I never knew I had the issue. I was put on meds and 24 years later....not one seizure, yet I still have an abnormal EEG.

Point being, controlled epilepsy would not keep him from playing competitive basketball(especially since he's been playing since he's probably been five). A severe foot injury......could derail his basketball playing career. Now, does he have a foot injury(like we've heard recently) or does he have uncontrolled epilepsy or seizures resulting from issues far worse than being epileptic?

In either event, I can't imagine BU canning his scholarship.
I wasn’t trying to imply that epilepsy would suddenly just get better, I hope it didn’t come across that way. I truthfully don’t know the ins and outs of epilepsy, having not been exposed to it in my personal life. I know that it’s certainly possible for some athletes to play with illnesses that can be debilitating for others. Mike Thorne played for us with Type 1 Diabetes, which is only controllable through medication and lifestyle changes, but for other Type 1s, it can be nearly uncontrollable.

That being said, Many people on this board who have contacts within the program all say that Higgs is going to be placed on medical scholarship because he’s unable to play, for whatever reason. It’s certainly not BU canning him since he still gets a full scholarship to attend U of I. I was mainly using Higgs as an example, but my original question still stands. If for some reason advancement in medical treatment, finding out the player was misdiagnosed, or act of God and the illness just got better, would a player on medical scholly be able to go back on athletic scholarship?
 
Stylin' and Profilin'
I've seen it supposed several times in this thread, but I'm having a hard time imagining Kofi not starting from day one.
I agree, because one thing he should be able to do right out of the gate is rebound. He'll have to adjust to the college game for sure. But on the other hand, opponents are going to have problems dealing with him. He's big and mobile. And I don't think he starts over Giorgi; he starts with him.
 
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