Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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#6
Don't know what to think just yet ... some very selfish observations:

1) BOOO Sunday games. I wanted to go back to Iowa City for that one and sport my orange, but Sunday is tough to swing with class on Monday.

2) YAYYY @ Northwestern game being on a Thursday night. Gonna get out of class at 4:45 and hope on the L! (No class Friday, babayy!)

Seriously, though, I agree with two earlier comments - we need to show maturity and toughness that first road trip, and we will know a lot about our season's prospects after that Madison trip.

P.S. We officially ditching the United Center game for the first time in decades?
 
#7
We should learn a lot from that first road trip.
Thankfully Arizona could be a bit down this year. I believe they've lost 4 of their top 5 players. They have a very good incoming class (top 10 I believe) and also have grad transfer Max Hazzard, who came from UC-Irvine, but hopefully they haven't completely gelled when we meet them and our defense puts them on their heels.
 
#8
I guess I’ll start

Nicholls State-W
@ Grand Canyon-W
@ Zona-L (think this game is a coin flip)
Hawaii-W (closer than we want it to be but survive)
Citadel- W
Hampton- W
TBA- probably the UC game
Miami- W
@ Maryland- L
Michigan- W (really looking forward to this one. Would LOVE to beat the new look Wolverines. Plus; my old roommate is a die hard MU fan, tired of hearing him talk about how bad we are)
Old Dominion- Like Hawaii, sneak out a single digit win
Win
NCAT- W
@ MSU- Loss, but we kee it interesting for 30-35 minutes
Purdue- W
@ Wisconsin- W (these two games back to back are going to be HUGE, if we can get those two, we should be feeling very good going into a weaker stretch of games)
Rutgers-W
Mildcats-W
@ Purdue-L
@ Michigan-L
Minnesota-W
@ Iowa-W
Maryland- W
Michigan State-W (this is where we crack into the top 20)
@ Rutgers- L (this is where we fall out)
@ PSU- L (this is where we fall out of the rankings)
Nebraska- W
@ NW- W
Indiana- W
@ Ohio State- W (back in the top 25)
Iowa- W

SPLITS:
W/L: 23-7
H: 16-0
A: 6-7
N: 1-0
C: 13-7
NC: 9-1, or 10-1, or 9-2

Overall, gets us in the top half of the big ten, we get a solid 4-7 seeding and we start dancing. A little optimistic, but I believe in these kids, we got a great group of talent, experience, and I don’t question Ayo, Trent, Kipper or Giorgi’s leadership. You can tell it means something for these guys to start winning, Ayo didn’t come back for nothing.

#UnfinishedBusiness #ILL
 
#9
Cary, IL
I guess I’ll start

Nicholls State-W
@ Grand Canyon-W
@ Zona-L (think this game is a coin flip)
Hawaii-W (closer than we want it to be but survive)
Citadel- W
Hampton- W
TBA- probably the UC game
Miami- W
@ Maryland- L
Michigan- W (really looking forward to this one. Would LOVE to beat the new look Wolverines. Plus; my old roommate is a die hard MU fan, tired of hearing him talk about how bad we are)
Old Dominion- Like Hawaii, sneak out a single digit win
Win
NCAT- W
@ MSU- Loss, but we kee it interesting for 30-35 minutes
Purdue- W
@ Wisconsin- W (these two games back to back are going to be HUGE, if we can get those two, we should be feeling very good going into a weaker stretch of games)
Rutgers-W
Mildcats-W
@ Purdue-L
@ Michigan-L
Minnesota-W
@ Iowa-W
Maryland- W
Michigan State-W (this is where we crack into the top 20)
@ Rutgers- L (this is where we fall out)
@ PSU- L (this is where we fall out of the rankings)
Nebraska- W
@ NW- W
Indiana- W
@ Ohio State- W (back in the top 25)
Iowa- W

SPLITS:
W/L: 23-7
H: 16-0
A: 6-7
N: 1-0
C: 13-7
NC: 9-1, or 10-1, or 9-2

Overall, gets us in the top half of the big ten, we get a solid 4-7 seeding and we start dancing. A little optimistic, but I believe in these kids, we got a great group of talent, experience, and I don’t question Ayo, Trent, Kipper or Giorgi’s leadership. You can tell it means something for these guys to start winning, Ayo didn’t come back for nothing.

#UnfinishedBusiness #ILL
Left out a big win in the Braggin' Rights game.
 
#10
My takes.

- 5 absolutely cannot lose games (Nicholls, Hawaii, Citadel, Hampton, and NC A&T).
- 2 games that if we lost, we could still be a tournament team, but would really decrease my season expectations (Grand Canyon and Old Dominion)
- 3 games where if we wont 2 out of 3 I'd be happy (Arizona, Miami FL, Missouri)
- 1 game that's a complete head scratcher... Why do we have a TBD on our schedule at this point in the year?

I think we could finish somewhere between 11-0 and 8-3 with this non-con schedule and still be tournament bound.
 
#11
Captain 'Paign
Phoenix, AZ
I see 20 wins in there during the regular season. Get another W or two in the BTT and there should be no question of making the tourney. Hopefully we'll be playing our best by the time and can make some noise once in it. A Sweet 16 appearance would sure be nice.
 
#12
I guess I’ll start

Nicholls State-W
@ Grand Canyon-W
@ Zona-L (think this game is a coin flip)
Hawaii-W (closer than we want it to be but survive)
Citadel- W
Hampton- W
TBA- probably the UC game
Miami- W
@ Maryland- L
Michigan- W (really looking forward to this one. Would LOVE to beat the new look Wolverines. Plus; my old roommate is a die hard MU fan, tired of hearing him talk about how bad we are)
Old Dominion- Like Hawaii, sneak out a single digit win
Win
NCAT- W
@ MSU- Loss, but we kee it interesting for 30-35 minutes
Purdue- W
@ Wisconsin- W (these two games back to back are going to be HUGE, if we can get those two, we should be feeling very good going into a weaker stretch of games)
Rutgers-W
Mildcats-W
@ Purdue-L
@ Michigan-L
Minnesota-W
@ Iowa-W
Maryland- W
Michigan State-W (this is where we crack into the top 20)
@ Rutgers- L (this is where we fall out)
@ PSU- L (this is where we fall out of the rankings)
Nebraska- W
@ NW- W
Indiana- W
@ Ohio State- W (back in the top 25)
Iowa- W

SPLITS:
W/L: 23-7
H: 16-0
A: 6-7
N: 1-0
C: 13-7
NC: 9-1, or 10-1, or 9-2

Overall, gets us in the top half of the big ten, we get a solid 4-7 seeding and we start dancing. A little optimistic, but I believe in these kids, we got a great group of talent, experience, and I don’t question Ayo, Trent, Kipper or Giorgi’s leadership. You can tell it means something for these guys to start winning, Ayo didn’t come back for nothing.

#UnfinishedBusiness #ILL
1. There's no United Center Game anymore
2. Braggin' Rights?
3. Without factoring in flow, or the inevitable let down that seems to be Illinois' bread and butter... If you're giving us a coin flip @Arizona I don't see how you can say we'll lose @Michigan, @Rutgers, @PSU. I get what you're doing with the whole ebb and flow thing, but we're way more likely to drop Purdue/@Wisc than Rut/@PSU. I'd love to beat MSU this year but I think that's also going to be a tough one.

Here's my predictions (factoring in time between games and back to back difficult opponents where we may not have enough time to prep for each, but NOT factoring in random guesses as to when we'll be hot/not).

1. Nicholls State-W
2. @ Grand Canyon-W
3. @ Zona-L (and it's not even close. People start questioning our entire season)
4. Hawaii-W
5. Citadel- W
6. Hampton- W
7. TBA -W (if this is someone from the SEC or B12 I reserve the right to change my pick)
8. Miami- W (people start talking about redemption from our face off in the NCAA)
9. @ Maryland- L
10. Michigan- W
11. Old Dominion-W
12. (N) Missouri-L
13. NCAT- W
14. @ MSU- L
15. Purdue- L
16. @ Wisconsin- L
17. Rutgers-W
18. Northwestern-W
19. @ Purdue-L
20. @ Michigan-L
21. Minnesota-W
22. @ Iowa-W
23. Maryland- W
24. Michigan State-L
25. Rutgers- W
26. @ PSU- W
27. Nebraska- W
28. @ Northwestern- W
29. Indiana- W
30. @ Ohio State- L
31. Iowa- W

W-L: 21-10
H: 17-1
A: 4-7
N: 0-1
C: 12-8
NC: 9-2
 
#14
My baseline prediction given this schedule is 18-13 (9-2 non-con, 9-11 in the B1G). They're capable of stealing a couple more games to get to 20 -- for instance, it's very possible that they could escape Arizona with a split and run the table in non-conference play otherwise given that Miami is down, Missouri is Missouri, and the rest of the teams on the schedule are not particularly good.

But the conference schedule is a pain. Only three games against the two bottom feeders in Northwestern and Nebraska, two of which are at home. A game in Lincoln would have been a welcome chance to steal one on the road for once. Missing road games against IU and Minnesota is also kind of a bad break this year, I think. And four games against the two obvious front-runners in MSU and UMD is a bad break as well as those teams are head and shoulders above the rest of the league.

Maybe they're gonna be better than we think, but the league schedule won't provide any favors this year (because of course it won't).
 
#16
1. There's no United Center Game anymore
2. Braggin' Rights?
3. Without factoring in flow, or the inevitable let down that seems to be Illinois' bread and butter... If you're giving us a coin flip @Arizona I don't see how you can say we'll lose @Michigan, @Rutgers, @PSU. I get what you're doing with the whole ebb and flow thing, but we're way more likely to drop Purdue/@Wisc than Rut/@PSU. I'd love to beat MSU this year but I think that's also going to be a tough one.

Here's my predictions (factoring in time between games and back to back difficult opponents where we may not have enough time to prep for each, but NOT factoring in random guesses as to when we'll be hot/not).

1. Nicholls State-W
2. @ Grand Canyon-W
3. @ Zona-L (and it's not even close. People start questioning our entire season)
4. Hawaii-W
5. Citadel- W
6. Hampton- W
7. TBA -W (if this is someone from the SEC or B12 I reserve the right to change my pick)
8. Miami- W (people start talking about redemption from our face off in the NCAA)
9. @ Maryland- L
10. Michigan- W
11. Old Dominion-W
12. (N) Missouri-L
13. NCAT- W
14. @ MSU- L
15. Purdue- L
16. @ Wisconsin- L
17. Rutgers-W
18. Northwestern-W
19. @ Purdue-L
20. @ Michigan-L
21. Minnesota-W
22. @ Iowa-W
23. Maryland- W
24. Michigan State-L
25. Rutgers- W
26. @ PSU- W
27. Nebraska- W
28. @ Northwestern- W
29. Indiana- W
30. @ Ohio State- L
31. Iowa- W

W-L: 21-10
H: 17-1
A: 4-7
N: 0-1
C: 12-8
NC: 9-2
I don’t see us dancing with that. Our non conference is pretty weak this year, we have to win 2 of Arizona, Missouri, Miami.
 
#17
NW Suburbs
Don't know what to think just yet ... some very selfish observations:

1) BOOO Sunday games. I wanted to go back to Iowa City for that one and sport my orange, but Sunday is tough to swing with class on Monday.

2) YAYYY @ Northwestern game being on a Thursday night. Gonna get out of class at 4:45 and hope on the L! (No class Friday, babayy!)

Seriously, though, I agree with two earlier comments - we need to show maturity and toughness that first road trip, and we will know a lot about our season's prospects after that Madison trip.

P.S. We officially ditching the United Center game for the first time in decades? I'd imagine Arizona's return game next year will ideally be a Saturday at the UC?
Yes, the UC game is no longer. DIA thought is "no sense going to Chicago for such a poor turnout". Illini in the area will just have to flood the Northwestern game if they want to see the beloved in person.
 
#18
I don’t see us dancing with that. Our non conference is pretty weak this year, we have to win 2 of Arizona, Missouri, Miami.
12-8 in conference would have been good enough for 6th last year. The B10 is definitely sending 7-8 teams again this year so that puts us in. The key is going to be not dropping a game to 5 of those non-con teams, or whoever ends up in the bottom 2 spots in the B10 this season.
 
#21
Yes, the UC game is no longer. DIA thought is "no sense going to Chicago for such a poor turnout". Illini in the area will just have to flood the Northwestern game if they want to see the beloved in person.
Understandable, if disappointing. Hopefully after a Tourney appearance this year, we add it back ASAP. If we, you know, aren’t terrible, there will be 16k back in those stands in no time.
 
#22
Public service announcement for those attending home games. We have installed metal detectors at the entrances to the arena. Attended a concert there on Tues. night and the lines were literally out the door back to 1st street. Fortunately, it was a mild evening. They opened the doors one hour prior to the scheduled start and the concert was delayed about half an hour. At that, I'm sure there were hundreds of folks still waiting to get in. I have no idea how they will handle a much larger crowd for basketball. If the weather is inclement, wear a garbage bag I guess because umbrellas are not allowed. Usual process - empty your pockets, cell phones, etc. Have contraband - back to your car and to the back of the line again. They've also raised the price for parking but do now accept credit cards and (I believe) sell parking passes online.
 
#23
Not a safe assumption at all.
Not an assumption. A prediction. We got MSU, Maryland, Ohio State as consensus Top 25 schools with Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin, as possible contenders to break in at parts of the season (especially if Illinois can upset @Maryland and take @Arizona we'll be ranked at least part of the season).
 
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