Illini Basketball 2019-2020

#51
Kofi a top 50 player WILL be starting. Anyone that says he has to earn it is off their rocker Do you think he would really commit knowing he could possibly come off bench?
 
#53
Kofi a top 50 player WILL be starting. Anyone that says he has to earn it is off their rocker Do you think he would really commit knowing he could possibly come off bench?
I think there is an obvious need for a player like Kofi, but I definitely think he'll have to earn playing time on a team with a center the caliber of Giorgi.
 
#54
Bonnaroo Land
Anyone who has followed college b-ball closely for any length of time realizes that A) Ranked players sometimes fail to live up to their rankings and 2) Non-Burgerboy bigs often take longer to develop into starter type contributors. So expecting Kofi to come in and be a world-beater (or even simply a starter) from the first tipoff of the season is unrealistic......IF it happens, then AWESOME! However, expecting it as a given might lead to your frustration.
 
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#55
Best players play. If you think playing time is handed out based on a subjective number of stars by a high schooler’s name you must not know who our coach is.
Yes, I know who our coach is. He is the same guy that continued to roll out Mark Smith in the starting 5 when it was clear he no longer deserved it. It wasnt because of the stars on his recruitment but the promise made to get him to come to CU.
 
#60
To be a tourney team in 2020, the big 3 of Giorgi, Ayo, and Trent need to be markedly better than last year. One of Tev, Griff or DMW needs to be leaps and bounds better. Kofi will need to be effective enough to stay out of big time foul trouble and Kane or a transfer will need to be good enough to spell him and Giorgi. Feliz 2020 needs to be like Feliz 2019. That's a lot. It would be great if Kipper had a plus senior year but we've waited on Kipper so much I have little hope of him being much of anything, whatever we get will be better than an empty seat on the bench.
 
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#61
King Kofi
Urbana, IL
That rumor was from the anti Kipper crowd.
No it was actually happening but the staff convinced Kipper to stay. It's no secret he loves it here, but why stay if you're not going to play?

And he will be graduated by Summers end but he's not walking because he's staying. He wants to walk next year after he has an NCAA appearance under his belt.
 
#62
To be a tourney team in 2020, the big 3 of Giorgi, Ayo, and Trent need to be markedly better than last year. One of Tev, Griff or DMW needs to be leaps and bounds better. Kofi will need to be effective enough to stay out of big time foul trouble and Kane or a transfer will need to be good enough to spell him and Giorgi. Feliz 2020 needs to be like Feliz 2019. That's a lot. It would be great if Kipper had a plus senior year but we've waited on Kipper so much I have little hope of him being much of anything, whatever we get will be better than an empty seat on the bench.
A lot of "If"s. What is the over/under?
 
#63
Winged Warrior
I think some are under-appreciating how close we were last season with a freshman 5 and freshman 1/2 combo guard....as well as underestimating how much a full off season AND a full summer of practice and games will prepare the team. If the team avoids injuries, I tend to agree with the top 5 B1G finish projections. With our conference schedule, that puts us easily in the dance with a 1-5 seed.

Giorgi knows, and he can dance.
 
#64
I think some are under-appreciating how close we were last season with a freshman 5 and freshman 1/2 combo guard....as well as underestimating how much a full off season AND a full summer of practice and games will prepare the team. If the team avoids injuries, I tend to agree with the top 5 B1G finish projections. With our conference schedule, that puts us easily in the dance with a 1-5 seed.

Giorgi knows, and he can dance.
I agree. We have a great chance to finish with at least a top 5 in B1G. I'm not sure how deep we will go in the tournament though. Was hoping to land a couple more prospects, like Holyfield, but still think we'll make the big dance.
 
#66
South Carolina
I think some are under-appreciating how close we were last season with a freshman 5 and freshman 1/2 combo guard....as well as underestimating how much a full off season AND a full summer of practice and games will prepare the team. If the team avoids injuries, I tend to agree with the top 5 B1G finish projections. With our conference schedule, that puts us easily in the dance with a 1-5 seed.

Giorgi knows, and he can dance.
I'm going to be a negative Nancy here. What were we close to accomplishing? They didn't even come close to sniffing the NIT. And how much improvement was there in returning players from year 1 to year 2? (small sample size, but still). I'm confident the team will be better, but to what extent I am unsure
 
#67
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
I'm going to be a negative Nancy here. What were we close to accomplishing? They didn't even come close to sniffing the NIT. And how much improvement was there in returning players from year 1 to year 2? (small sample size, but still). I'm confident the team will be better, but to what extent I am unsure
2nd toughest schedule in the NCAAs while relying on 3 underclassmen to carry the load makes it a hard season to judge. We did manage to beat some highly ranked teams however, and the mental grind should help us for the upcoming season - that and keeping all our players vs rebuilding from only 4 the previous.

All things being equal, its hard not to see the potential for pretty good jump assuming no player suspensions of course.
 
#69
Winged Warrior
I'm going to be a negative Nancy here. What were we close to accomplishing? They didn't even come close to sniffing the NIT. And how much improvement was there in returning players from year 1 to year 2? (small sample size, but still). I'm confident the team will be better, but to what extent I am unsure
I get it, but this is what I meant by "under-appreciating how close we were". We beat the #'s 3, 13, and 9th ranked teams....two of those were legit FF teams. With the exception of 3 games that I can recall, we weren't blown off the court. So one could argue that we were within ~10-15 possessions of an NIT spot. IMO, that's pretty close. You don't compete...much less beat....Final Four caliber teams unless you are close. We are closer than many think.
 
#72
I'm going to be a negative Nancy here. What were we close to accomplishing? They didn't even come close to sniffing the NIT. And how much improvement was there in returning players from year 1 to year 2? (small sample size, but still). I'm confident the team will be better, but to what extent I am unsure
I almost commented on this post as well. I wonder if he meant how "close" relationship wise the team was?

We were close in a lot of games, but with our record, you can't really say we were close to being a good team.
 
#73
I almost commented on this post as well. I wonder if he meant how "close" relationship wise the team was?

We were close in a lot of games, but with our record, you can't really say we were close to being a good team.
Out top 3 scorers were 2 freshmen and one sophomore, plus we had one of the toughest schedules I've seen in 50 years. Now add a top 50 center. Don't believe me, look what other people are already predicting for Illinois.
 
#74
Out top 3 scorers were 2 freshmen and one sophomore, plus we had one of the toughest schedules I've seen in 50 years. Now add a top 50 center. Don't believe me, look what other people are already predicting for Illinois.
Great point Ptown. I think what people are not considering fully is that we had an exodus of players including our best and most experienced players. What do you think our record would have been if Leron and Finke had stayed? IMHO that would have made a huge difference in number of games won. People talk about other teams being competitive with 2 and 3 star players - I think that is very possible but don’t expect it to happen with a majority of underclassmen. Talent is important but so is experience.
 
#75
South Carolina
Out top 3 scorers were 2 freshmen and one sophomore, plus we had one of the toughest schedules I've seen in 50 years. Now add a top 50 center. Don't believe me, look what other people are already predicting for Illinois.
Somebody had to be top scorer and it's not like they beat out a bunch of upperclassmen for those points. I am obviously really high on Giorgi, Ayo, and Trent. And Kofi should be a big contribution. Hopefully the other players can contribute more and the stars can get it going at the same time instead of taking turns.