Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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I know all of the players you are referring too. We had season ticketsxstarting in 1972.. To compare Sambas skill level to those guys just is silly. Meents used to handle the ball in high school. Samba us big, agile, and can run but was a long way skill wise from playing meaningful minutes. That's is likely why he left and also why his offers mentioned so far are what they are. Teams and coaches know who he is dont youbthink? A D3 shooter we are after has great options. I wish Samba the best. However why after a year on a B10 squad doesnt he have top tier D1 offers. That says a alot imo. The D3 kid has some Notre Dame, us, Crieghton and others. Because he has skills. I wish him the best but I see more skill from BK and others. I think in a few years he could develop that. Other power 5 coaches it diesnt appear are after Samba and it is due to his lack skills imo not his size or agility.
You still aren't answering his question though. What is wrong with wanting an agile backup 7ft. center that can give the team 10 min. a game? The team is going to miss that this year with Samba gone.
 
You still aren't answering his question though. What is wrong with wanting an agile backup 7ft. center that can give the team 10 min. a game? The team is going to miss that this year with Samba gone.
I hoped samba would stay just as much as anyone but, was he going to get 10 mins a game this year.....???? I thought he had good potential but as many have said why set the bench when you can play at a mid major ? you only get a certain number of years to play and if he is a competitor he wants to play asap...IMHO, he wasn't going to get the minutes here so move on....BU is always trying to get the best players for the team so we could see more of this if recruiting ever gets where we are getting 4 and 5 star recruits.
 
You still aren't answering his question though. What is wrong with wanting an agile backup 7ft. center that can give the team 10 min. a game? The team is going to miss that this year with Samba gone.
I said I see more skill in other players this year just like last year. I dont think Samba would have been ready to play meaningful minutes for a few years. I think that does answer it. Samba imo was never going to see 10 minutes a game this year in a close game.. He isnt skilled enough. We have better options. I think if he was gonna play that many minutes he would still be here. He is not ready to play meaningful minutes in the B10. If he was he would have better offers dont you think?
 
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I do like the fact that we notched a win last season vs. the top 3 projected teams in this article: Michigan State, Maryland, Ohio State
I took notice of Ohio State's win over Iowa State in the tournament last year. Good for them, but man, I just can't see them being top 3 in conference. Wesson is a good player and we know EJ will be good enough to contribute right away, but I'm not buying it. They weren't that great last year and probably didn't deserve to make it into the tourney in the first place. I also really think we can take Maryland.
 
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you feel me, dog?
Elmhurst
I took notice of Ohio State's win over Iowa State in the tournament last year. Good for them, but man, I just can't see them being top 3 in conference. Wesson is a good player and we know EJ will be good enough to contribute right away, but I'm not buying it. They weren't that great last year and probably didn't deserve to make it into the tourney in the first place. I also really think we can take Maryland.
CJ Walker (FSU transfer) is going to be a load.
 
I said I see more skill in other players this year just like last year. I dont think Samba would have been ready to play meaningful minutes for a few years. I think that does answer it. Samba imo was never going to see 10 minutes a game this year in a close game.. He isnt skilled enough. We have better options. I think if he was gonna play that many minutes he would still be here. He is not ready to play meaningful minutes in the B10. If he was he would have better offers dont you think?
At this point we won't know if Samba was ready or not. But there was clearly an opportunity to step up, improve and play 10+ minutes/game. We struggled a lot last year at the 4 against teams like Iowa with a Cook at the 4 & the mostly likely solution seemed to be Samba allowing us to play bigger & giving GB some time at the 4. With Kouma coming late, he seems like even more of a long shot to have displaced Kane, so far pulling guys straight from Europe is only a sample size of Matic, but seems optimistic that Verdonk would have been ahead of Kane either. So now, I suspect we play more small ball, with Kipper/Jones/Williams playing the 4 & honestly maybe Kipper fits the bill of a stretch 4, but not sure Jones/Williams are even legit stretch 4's at this point.. We may have ended up there anyway, but it sure was nice dreaming that we could potentially match up with a traditional 4.

As far as offers, I wouldn't make too much of it one way or the other. It's late so openings are limited, the fact that Kane didn't play much last year means that he likely wasn't on anyone's radar, & since he reclassified before going to Illinois I imagine it somewhat limited schools that had spent much time recruiting him initially, that now might want to jump back in the mix, & rumors are just rumors. He is a wild card for other teams as well, add that he had an opportunity to play at Illinois & is moving on anyway, has to sit a year and I could see his response going either way. There is certainly no guarantee that he was going to do good things this year, but there was still an opportunity to fill in the back end of the rotation & give us the ability to play more traditional sized than we have had the opportunity to play in years.
 
I don't think many people are arguing that it's better to have an empty roster spot than it is to have Samba on the bench. There might be a couple posters who are predicting a more capable replacement that has yet to be announced, or join the team. Beyond those posters, I think everyone would prefer to have Samba on the bench.

I just don't think his absence is going to change the outcome of the season, or the tenure of the staff.

Last year we had 4 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Samba, Adonis, Higgs. Outside of GB the other three players accounted for 13.5 minutes, 4 points, and 2 boards.

This year we have 3 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Kofi, and Kouma. I expect the Kofi/Kouma combo to produce more than 13.5 mpg / 4 ppg / 2 rpg.

Sure it would be great to have Samba on the roster as backup, but him leaving isn't going to change the season, IMO.

As a whole the team is losing 40.5 minutes per game from departing players. Let's say Kofi averages 25 mpg (GB averaged 26 last year). That leaves 15 minutes per game.

Last year Alan Griffin averaged 8, Tevian averaged 9. If they don't get more minutes this year, then they'll be gone the following year. At minimum lets say they each get 5 additional minutes.

Then you have the final 5 minutes total to BBV and Kouma who Samba would've been fighting with for tick.
 
Illini optimist
Charleston
I don't think many people are arguing that it's better to have an empty roster spot than it is to have Samba on the bench. There might be a couple posters who are predicting a more capable replacement that has yet to be announced, or join the team. Beyond those posters, I think everyone would prefer to have Samba on the bench.

I just don't think his absence is going to change the outcome of the season, or the tenure of the staff.

Last year we had 4 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Samba, Adonis, Higgs. Outside of GB the other three players accounted for 13.5 minutes, 4 points, and 2 boards.

This year we have 3 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Kofi, and Kouma. I expect the Kofi/Kouma combo to produce more than 13.5 mpg / 4 ppg / 2 rpg.

Sure it would be great to have Samba on the roster as backup, but him leaving isn't going to change the season, IMO.

As a whole the team is losing 40.5 minutes per game from departing players. Let's say Kofi averages 25 mpg (GB averaged 26 last year). That leaves 15 minutes per game.

Last year Alan Griffin averaged 8, Tevian averaged 9. If they don't get more minutes this year, then they'll be gone the following year. At minimum lets say they each get 5 additional minutes.

Then you have the final 5 minutes total to BBV and Kouma who Samba would've been fighting with for tick.
Good explanation. This is why my optimism is high.
 
I don't think many people are arguing that it's better to have an empty roster spot than it is to have Samba on the bench. There might be a couple posters who are predicting a more capable replacement that has yet to be announced, or join the team. Beyond those posters, I think everyone would prefer to have Samba on the bench.

I just don't think his absence is going to change the outcome of the season, or the tenure of the staff.

Last year we had 4 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Samba, Adonis, Higgs. Outside of GB the other three players accounted for 13.5 minutes, 4 points, and 2 boards.

This year we have 3 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Kofi, and Kouma. I expect the Kofi/Kouma combo to produce more than 13.5 mpg / 4 ppg / 2 rpg.

Sure it would be great to have Samba on the roster as backup, but him leaving isn't going to change the season, IMO.

As a whole the team is losing 40.5 minutes per game from departing players. Let's say Kofi averages 25 mpg (GB averaged 26 last year). That leaves 15 minutes per game.

Last year Alan Griffin averaged 8, Tevian averaged 9. If they don't get more minutes this year, then they'll be gone the following year. At minimum lets say they each get 5 additional minutes.

Then you have the final 5 minutes total to BBV and Kouma who Samba would've been fighting with for tick.
I have no information on Samba's development but certainly don't base any analysis on last year's limited minutes. If other posters have seen practices or talked to coaches to have a basis for their assessment of this year's minutes then fine but it seems we are all making blind judgements.
 
Illini optimist
Charleston
I have no information on Samba's development but certainly don't base any analysis on last year's limited minutes. If other posters have seen practices or talked to coaches to have a basis for their assessment of this year's minutes then fine but it seems we are all making blind judgements.
That would be new to this internet board thing. Baseless speculation? Where did that come from??? ;)
 
Last year we had 4 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Samba, Adonis, Higgs. Outside of GB the other three players accounted for 13.5 minutes, 4 points, and 2 boards.

This year we have 3 players 6'8" and taller: Giorgi, Kofi, and Kouma. I expect the Kofi/Kouma combo to produce more than 13.5 mpg / 4 ppg / 2 rpg.

Sure it would be great to have Samba on the roster as backup, but him leaving isn't going to change the season, IMO.

As a whole the team is losing 40.5 minutes per game from departing players. Let's say Kofi averages 25 mpg (GB averaged 26 last year). That leaves 15 minutes per game.

Last year Alan Griffin averaged 8, Tevian averaged 9. If they don't get more minutes this year, then they'll be gone the following year. At minimum lets say they each get 5 additional minutes.

Then you have the final 5 minutes total to BBV and Kouma who Samba would've been fighting with for tick.
If you add up those minutes from last year we played 1 big...Higgs wasn't available, Adonis was partially available, & Kane wasn't ready or didn't earn the coaches trust. We struggled when Giorgi was out & we struggled against teams with a real 4.

We were a terrible team with a terrible record. Why? Are guards were very good at 1 -3, Giorgi was good enough...but we ended up very bad at the 4 position because we were stuck with a bunch of guards playing out of position and having to eat those minutes. Kipper was bad, AJ/DW/AG/TJ were asked to cover guys that guards shouldn't have to cover. We were one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the country. Fortunately, I expect Kofi will help a lot here by giving us 2 reasonable bigs. But he is still a freshman big & I will take the under on your 25 mpg projection. Sometimes playing 4 guards works, sometimes it doesn't, I was hoping we would have the option of playing 2 bigs side by side in our tool box this year. Kane seemed like the most likely way this would happen. Maybe Verdonk or Kouma shows up ready and give us the option to play 2 bigs, maybe Kipper plays to his ceiling instead of his floor or Jones adds some size/muscle to be able to cover a traditional 4 and we are able to fill those minutes without losing much, but I'm not holding my breath on any of those. To me, the biggest gap in our line up last year & still there this coming year is at the 4. Kane seemed our best option to fill some 5 minutes to let Giorgi play some 4. Was I expecting Kane to blow up, no. Was I expecting some improvement, to the point where we didn't cringe when Giorgi had to sit, yes. As much uncertainty as there was with Kane, the bar for him to raise the floor over 1 big + a guard at the 4 is pretty low.
 
I think Kip and Tev will be able to play the 4. If we need DW or AG to step in at the four then we do have a problem. Without Kane, I will be really surprised if Giorgi gets more than 10 minutes at the 4. Will probably be closer to 5, but that will be awesome anyway. It wasn't just the 4 that was a problem last year. We are not going to have to play too small Kip or too injured ADLR at the 5 like last year which will be a big improvement. Going big with Ayo, Trent and/or Dre at the 1-2, and Kip or TJ, Giorgi, and Kofi at the 3, 4, 5 will provide a look that we could not come close to putting on the floor last year. In fact, I think that would be a good starting lineup and as soon as one of Kofi or Giorgi gets a foul, you pull him and the other plays the 5 and they alternate thereafter, with Giorgi maybe getting a little time at the 4 late in the game if fouls allow. AG and DW take over at the 3 once Kip and Tev move to the 4. That may not be a win-the-B1G rotation but it is far better than last year top to bottom, especially considering the added experience going into the season for Ayo, Giorgi, AG and Tev.
 
I would also add re Samba that his presence in practice will be missed no matter what we say about his skill level or in game readiness.

The fact remains we are missing long 7 footer with run/jump abilities that could give a good defensive look to our guys on offense in practice. You can’t just recreate or mimic 7 foot mobile length, particularly if you want to run a unit with Kofi offensively.
 
@Greensboro, I agree with just about your whole post, but my opinion of how the rotations will work is the same as @alaskaillini.

I think, based on what I’ve observed, that BU will alter the lineup to get the best players on the floor. I think it’s reasonable to assume that Samba was 9 or 10 off the bench based on last year’s results.

I don’t see him as the 3rd big off the bench. I see him as the 9th or 10th player off the bench. For him to get more time he would need to improve enough to leap the other players, which I have seen or read zero evidence of that. I’ve read he has improved, but all relative to last year, and apparently everyone has improved according to the writers.

Clearly, the team has a lot riding on the success of Kofi and GB, and I guarantee that teams will be trying to get them in foul trouble. Imo, that’s probably where Samba looked to help most is late game or half defensive substitution while Kofi and GB are in foul trouble. That’s only a few minutes a game though.
 
@Greensboro, I agree with just about your whole post, but my opinion of how the rotations will work is the same as @alaskaillini.

I think, based on what I’ve observed, that BU will alter the lineup to get the best players on the floor. I think it’s reasonable to assume that Samba was 9 or 10 off the bench based on last year’s results.

I don’t see him as the 3rd big off the bench. I see him as the 9th or 10th player off the bench. For him to get more time he would need to improve enough to leap the other players, which I have seen or read zero evidence of that. I’ve read he has improved, but all relative to last year, and apparently everyone has improved according to the writers. Jo

Clearly, the team has a lot riding on the success of Kofi and GB, and I guarantee that teams will be trying to get them in foul trouble. Imo, that’s probably where Samba looked to help most is late game or half defensive substitution while Kofi and GB are in foul trouble. That’s only a few minutes a game though.
Totally agree with bbbbbbbbbv this. Bottom line is I didntvfeel Sambas ability to play at a B10 level would win us anymore games this year. We have other better options imo.
 
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I think Kip and Tev will be able to play the 4. If we need DW or AG to step in at the four then we do have a problem. Without Kane, I will be really surprised if Giorgi gets more than 10 minutes at the 4. Will probably be closer to 5, but that will be awesome anyway. It wasn't just the 4 that was a problem last year. We are not going to have to play too small Kip or too injured ADLR at the 5 like last year which will be a big improvement. Going big with Ayo, Trent and/or Dre at the 1-2, and Kip or TJ, Giorgi, and Kofi at the 3, 4, 5 will provide a look that we could not come close to putting on the floor last year. In fact, I think that would be a good starting lineup and as soon as one of Kofi or Giorgi gets a foul, you pull him and the other plays the 5 and they alternate thereafter, with Giorgi maybe getting a little time at the 4 late in the game if fouls allow. AG and DW take over at the 3 once Kip and Tev move to the 4. That may not be a win-the-B1G rotation but it is far better than last year top to bottom, especially considering the added experience going into the season for Ayo, Giorgi, AG and Tev.
Kofi will be a huge improvement over ADLR and another year of experience for the core players will certainly make us better than last year. However, that is a pretty low bar. Unless we see a much better Kipper ( closer to a Leron) we are still going to get hurt by teams with a big 4 like Michigan. Kofi and Giorgi playing together is great but needs to be 20 mins a game not 5-10.
 
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I missed all the weekend sports shows. Any news on Kouma or the injury to B-V?
This was in an article written about 21 hours ago. It was the last paragraph on an article mostly about Austin Hutcherson

Incoming freshman Bernard Kouma is counted as one of those 11 scholarship players. However, he has yet to arrive on campus. Underwood told reporters late last month that the team is “at the mercy of the process” on Kouma’s arrival. They are still waiting for him to be cleared by the NCAA eligibility center.

https://247sports.com/college/illin...stin-Hutcherson-for-official-visit-134013148/
 
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@Greensboro, I agree with just about your whole post, but my opinion of how the rotations will work is the same as @alaskaillini.

I think, based on what I’ve observed, that BU will alter the lineup to get the best players on the floor. I think it’s reasonable to assume that Samba was 9 or 10 off the bench based on last year’s results.

I don’t see him as the 3rd big off the bench. I see him as the 9th or 10th player off the bench. For him to get more time he would need to improve enough to leap the other players, which I have seen or read zero evidence of that. I’ve read he has improved, but all relative to last year, and apparently everyone has improved according to the writers.

Clearly, the team has a lot riding on the success of Kofi and GB, and I guarantee that teams will be trying to get them in foul trouble. Imo, that’s probably where Samba looked to help most is late game or half defensive substitution while Kofi and GB are in foul trouble. That’s only a few minutes a game though.

100% agree with this take.

Underwood is going to be getting the best players on the floor. With the addition of Kofi that should work out so that we also are not severely lacking in height.

Starters:
1. Ayo (6-5)
2. Trent (6-1)
3. Andres (6-2) *
4. Giorgi (6-9)
I expect these 4 to play 24-28 minutes per game
5. Kofi (7-0)
I expect Kofi to play 18-22 minutes per game
Bench:
6. Kipper (6-6) playing at the 3/4
7. Da'Monte (6-3) playing at the 2/3
8. Tevian (6-7) playing at the 3/4
9. Alan (6-5) playing at the 2/3
I expect any of these 4 could compete with Andres for the starting role at the 3 position. I expect these 4 to average 14-16 minutes per game (~60 minutes split by these 4).
10. Bernard (6-10)
11. Benjamin (6-7)
Bernard and Benjamin will get some light usage at the 5 and 4 respectively. The primary backup option at the 5 will be to shift Giorgi there but Bernard will play a handful of minutes. Benjamin's minutes will be dependent on his defensive ability and whether Kipper/Tevian need help backing up the 4 position or not.

Our rotations will be such that Kofi and/or Giorgi are always on the floor. There will be very few minutes for Bernard (and therefore Kane if he had stayed). Illinois will play less than 10 minutes per game with Kofi + Giorgi + Kipper/Tevian/Benjamin and will instead rely primarily on a 3 guard set. Kipper/Tevian/Benjamin will get their minutes primarily when either Kofi or Giorgi are sitting (at the 4), but will get some minutes at the 3.

I expect in 2020 this will change a bit and Illinois will play bigger. Giorgi will be the primary 4, with backup from Benjamin (and a little from Tevian). Kofi will still be the 5 and Bernard will provide all of the backup minutes there (with very little shifting from Giorgi or more preferably, help from Ryan Kalkbrenner). Tevian will be the starting 3 but Illinois will still play some 3 guard sets with Alan playing at both the 2 and 3. Alan could start at the 2, but hopefully Adam Miller takes that spot. Trent would move to Point Guard for his senior year. Da'Monte would be the primary backup guard (with Alan if we add Adam Miller). Illinois would also hopefully have another guard and wing player as freshmen that they'd be developing as glue players moving forward.
 
I took notice of Ohio State's win over Iowa State in the tournament last year. Good for them, but man, I just can't see them being top 3 in conference. Wesson is a good player and we know EJ will be good enough to contribute right away, but I'm not buying it. They weren't that great last year and probably didn't deserve to make it into the tourney in the first place. I also really think we can take Maryland.
Replacing a senior PG with a freshman, like aOSU is doing, doesn't generally go that well.
 
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