Illini Basketball 2019-2020

Status
Not open for further replies.
Boy I hope so, but reports out of Italy were not good. His 2018/Soph TRank was #41 in the B1G. Right there with Matthews, Pritzl, Roby and Duncan Robinson. If he can return to those levels, this team is top 4 B1G for sure. Last year he slid in to the 80's TRank. A dramatic drop.
Just curious, how come practice reports are not to be taken seriously, but performances out of Italy are legitimate? To call those Italian teams cupcakes would be flattering.
 
Forgottonia
Just curious, how come practice reports are not to be taken seriously, but performances out of Italy are legitimate? To call those Italian teams cupcakes would be flattering.
IMO the practice reports that are overly optimistic are the ones that need to be taken with a grain of salt. The Italy trip reports probably are a little in the same vein for guys like AG, but it was a game setting at least. Guys that didn’t perform well and didn’t perform well last season are a different scenario.
 
Just curious, how come practice reports are not to be taken seriously, but performances out of Italy are legitimate? To call those Italian teams cupcakes would be flattering.
The practice report thing has been an old joke on IL.... Legion with his 15 three's in row, Stan Simpson the Human Eraser, Cosby killing it offensively, Starks drainng 3's all over , etc etc.:) At least with Italy we had some video of the games and people could see for themselves. That Netherlands team was no cupcake. Speaking of practice reports, I saw on another forum that there is a concern of the level of play for Hutcherson and Grandison. Can somebody that was at practice confirm or deny those concerns.
 
Likes: UpstateRusty
The practice report thing has been an old joke on IL.... Legion with his 15 three's in row, Stan Simpson the Human Eraser, Cosby killing it offensively, Starks drainng 3's all over , etc etc.:) At least with Italy we had some video of the games and people could see for themselves. That Netherlands team was no cupcake. Speaking of practice reports, I saw on another forum that there is a concern of the level of play for Hutcherson and Grandison. Can somebody that was at practice confirm or deny those concerns.
.....another..Illini forum?? Nah.
 
Likes: sacraig
I saw on another forum that there is a concern of the level of play for Hutcherson and Grandison. Can somebody that was at practice confirm or deny those concerns.
Neither will play in a game in the next 13 months. I’m not too concerned about their level of play at this moment. As we saw with our freshman over the course of last year, that much time makes huge difference.
 
Likes: Dren1
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
I don't think we can draw much of anything from Italy. Long trip and sight seeing to play games, AF and Kofi not there, assistants coaching, giving the bench alot of time, mixing lineups around and we didn't bring the treadmill. More excursion than tourney in nature. And while I am hopeful given all the players who return and now know the system, football has taught me not to judge a team until they take unfriendly fire.
 
One of what I am sure will be many previews of the upcoming season. At least it wasn't written by the unfortunately named Rees Woodcock, it's from SB Nation BT Powerhouse.

"The 2019-’20 ‘BTPowerhouse Season Preview’ series will take an in-depth look at all 14 teams in the Big Ten heading into the 2019-’20 ‘season with analysis on each program’s previous season, offseason departures, new additions, strengths, weakness, top player, and top storylines. Each post will also include predictions on each team’s starting lineup, season performance and commentary from a local “insider” who covers said team."

2019-’20 Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball Season Preview
 
Michigan
One of what I am sure will be many previews of the upcoming season. At least it wasn't written by the unfortunately named Rees Woodcock, it's from SB Nation BT Powerhouse.

"The 2019-’20 ‘BTPowerhouse Season Preview’ series will take an in-depth look at all 14 teams in the Big Ten heading into the 2019-’20 ‘season with analysis on each program’s previous season, offseason departures, new additions, strengths, weakness, top player, and top storylines. Each post will also include predictions on each team’s starting lineup, season performance and commentary from a local “insider” who covers said team."

2019-’20 Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball Season Preview
Nice thorough write-up. 5th place is generous IMO, but not out of the question. When you consider how often 5 or more BIG teams are nationally ranked, 5th doesn't sound bad at all. That would be an amazing turn-around from last season.
 
One of what I am sure will be many previews of the upcoming season. At least it wasn't written by the unfortunately named Rees Woodcock, it's from SB Nation BT Powerhouse.

"The 2019-’20 ‘BTPowerhouse Season Preview’ series will take an in-depth look at all 14 teams in the Big Ten heading into the 2019-’20 ‘season with analysis on each program’s previous season, offseason departures, new additions, strengths, weakness, top player, and top storylines. Each post will also include predictions on each team’s starting lineup, season performance and commentary from a local “insider” who covers said team."

2019-’20 Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball Season Preview
Interesting the difference between his skepticism of Kofi and the board's enthusiasm.
Personally, I'm very enthusiastic.
But the non-emotional observers have gotten our season right more often than I have.
Makes one pause.
 
The practice report thing has been an old joke on IL.... Legion with his 15 three's in row, Stan Simpson the Human Eraser, Cosby killing it offensively, Starks drainng 3's all over , etc etc.:) At least with Italy we had some video of the games and people could see for themselves. That Netherlands team was no cupcake. Speaking of practice reports, I saw on another forum that there is a concern of the level of play for Hutcherson and Grandison. Can somebody that was at practice confirm or deny those concerns.
Wood said just the opposite. He said those two had upped the level of practice play and were really helping the team.
 
Nice thorough write-up. 5th place is generous IMO, but not out of the question. When you consider how often 5 or more BIG teams are nationally ranked, 5th doesn't sound bad at all. That would be an amazing turn-around from last season.
Predicting Kipper starets over Kofi, is, well, silly. But the 5th place prediction is reasonable. Most pick us between 5 and 7 in the league.
 
Predicting Kipper starets over Kofi, is, well, silly. But the 5th place prediction is reasonable. Most pick us between 5 and 7 in the league.
It's not that silly. Many big men struggle as freshmen, even some of the highest ranked ones. And Kipper is a 5th year senior who can be very solid if his head is on straight. But I think many of us are taking for granted the fact that Giorgi will slide into the 4 spot with ease. Hopefully that's the case, but it's no guarantee.

If we end up on the bubble instead of comfortably in, the two most likely things that could go wrong IMO...

1. This pressure defense is simply too crazy to win games consistently.
2. Kofi and Giorgi are not the dynamic duo we expected them to be.
 
Winged Warrior
One of what I am sure will be many previews of the upcoming season. At least it wasn't written by the unfortunately named Rees Woodcock, it's from SB Nation BT Powerhouse.

"The 2019-’20 ‘BTPowerhouse Season Preview’ series will take an in-depth look at all 14 teams in the Big Ten heading into the 2019-’20 ‘season with analysis on each program’s previous season, offseason departures, new additions, strengths, weakness, top player, and top storylines. Each post will also include predictions on each team’s starting lineup, season performance and commentary from a local “insider” who covers said team."

2019-’20 Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball Season Preview
Two shocking things out of this:

Griffin and Jones are not mentioned.....at all.... until the end prediction bit from the CR. With all the concern about our wings...this seems pretty odd.

It's been 6 years since we danced.

I don't know why, but it just hit me harder tonight for some reason. So sad.


I really hope AG and TJ play with a chip on their shoulder this year.
 
Two shocking things out of this:

Griffin and Jones are not mentioned.....at all.... until the end prediction bit from the CR. With all the concern about our wings...this seems pretty odd.

It's been 6 years since we danced.

I don't know why, but it just hit me harder tonight for some reason. So sad.


I really hope AG and TJ play with a chip on their shoulder this year.
Not shocking at all, Griffin and Jones outside of this board were relatively unknown to the rest of the B!G. Neither were even in the top 25 B!G freshman and nowhere to be found in the top 100 players. Jones had one shining moment at MSG, the rest of the time he wasn't known. It didn't help he missed 10 games due to his supsension. 9 & 10th men on 13th place teams don't get much recognition. The big hope is they make a huge Freshman/Sophomore leap, Both showed positive signs in Italy, but we all know what that meant.
 
Likes: illini80
Winged Warrior
Not shocking at all, Griffin and Jones outside of this board were relatively unknown to the rest of the B!G. Neither were even in the top 25 B!G freshman and nowhere to be found in the top 100 players. Jones had one shining moment at MSG, the rest of the time he wasn't known. It didn't help he missed 10 games due to his supsension. 9 & 10th men on 13th place teams don't get much recognition. The big hope is they make a huge Freshman/Sophomore leap, Both showed positive signs in Italy, but we all know what that meant.
Yeah, shocking was the wrong adjective. Odd? AG especially is going to see minutes. TV is the wild card.
 
Likes: Pop'sBlackDog
Predicting Kipper starets over Kofi, is, well, silly. But the 5th place prediction is reasonable. Most pick us between 5 and 7 in the league.
If you have two centers you expect to play for a combined total of just over 40 minutes a game, it doesn't seem unrealistic to expect only one of them to start. I understand BU has started our highest rated freshman (even when they no longer deserve it), but those situations were a bit different.
 
Forgottonia
It's not that silly. Many big men struggle as freshmen, even some of the highest ranked ones. And Kipper is a 5th year senior who can be very solid if his head is on straight. But I think many of us are taking for granted the fact that Giorgi will slide into the 4 spot with ease. Hopefully that's the case, but it's no guarantee.

If we end up on the bubble instead of comfortably in, the two most likely things that could go wrong IMO...

1. This pressure defense is simply too crazy to win games consistently.
2. Kofi and Giorgi are not the dynamic duo we expected them to be.
This is a gamble that will either pay off big or be a real struggle. Taking one of your top scorers and moving him to a new position is a risk that has to taken, but you are correct there is no guarantee. Reports from the scrimmage seem to indicate this is a work in progress that Italy could have helped with in an alternate Illini universe.

I wish we had a few more games to work out the wrinkles before that AZ trip. We should have a pretty good handle on what lies ahead after that series.
 
This is a gamble that will either pay off big or be a real struggle. Taking one of your top scorers and moving him to a new position is a risk that has to taken, but you are correct there is no guarantee. Reports from the scrimmage seem to indicate this is a work in progress that Italy could have helped with in an alternate Illini universe.

I wish we had a few more games to work out the wrinkles before that AZ trip. We should have a pretty good handle on what lies ahead after that series.
Offensively i do not see GBs role changing much whether he is labeled as a 4 or a 5. He will play more of a power forward role with Kofi on the floor. They are not going to stop using GB as they did playing with his back to the basket whether he is playing at the 4 or the 5 he will continue to play to his strengths. .The good part of having Kofi out there is GB should perform even better wtih Kofi drawing opponents bigger defenders. Also we could see GB using his passing ability more to other team members since he will be harder to double with Kofi out there to toss it up to. I hope they try to and if leads to easy dunks for Kofi and open threes. On the Defensive end is were GBs role will be easier with the the addition of Kofi down low helping out and covering the oppositions biggest player when he is on the floor. kofi should help out everyone and the teams defense and that is huge!
 
Last edited:
Whether its Kofi/GB at the FT-Line/Block in the offensive sets doesn't really concern me. I would be concerned about GB at the 4 on defense, and whoever-the-heck is at the 4 when GB is at the 5.
 
Taking one of your top scorers and moving him to a new position is a risk that has to taken
Why? We have 40 minutes for Giorgi and Kofi to play at the 5. Unless Hamlin turns out to be a monster, why do we need Giorgi playing more than 5 minutes a game at the 4?
 
Likes: alaskaillini
Offensively i do not see GBs role changing much whether he is labeled as a 4 or a 5. He will play more of a power forward role with Kofi on the floor. They are not going to stop using GB as they did playing with his back to the basket whether he is playing at the 4 or the 5 he will continue to play to his strengths. .The good part of having Kofi out there is GB should perform even better wtih Kofi drawing opponents bigger defenders. Also we could see GB using his passing ability more to other team members since he will be harder to double with Kofi out there to toss it up to. I hope they try to and if leads to easy dunks for Kofi and open threes. On the Defensive end is were GBs role will be easier with the the addition of Kofi down low helping out and covering the oppositions biggest player when he is on the floor.
It's a fair point that there are still ways to play to GB's existing strengths in a 4 role, taking advantage of smaller defenders.

However, if he's not a threat to step out and shoot in that role, and if that defender doesn't have to follow him out of the paint, we're going to be a disaster on offense whenever GB and Kofi are on the court together. What we do does not work with a clogged lane.

If GB can't shoot, he and Kofi are going to have to split time in all but certain unique matchup situations. Which is fine, it's not the end of the world, but that does lower the ceiling of what we could potentially be.

Reports from the scrimmage seem to indicate this is a work in progress that Italy could have helped with in an alternate Illini universe.

I wish we had a few more games to work out the wrinkles
It's not a "wrinkle", it's not something that needs to "gel", GB can either shoot or he can't.

Now, if he CAN shoot, and Kofi does have a workable offensive game, then if it's still not working it might just be a question of time and coaching and figuring things out. But if the building blocks aren't there, they just aren't.
 
Whether its Kofi/GB at the FT-Line/Block in the offensive sets doesn't really concern me. I would be concerned about GB at the 4 on defense, and whoever-the-heck is at the 4 when GB is at the 5.
I agree. GB is way to good to not do this as much as he can. I am not sure there is a shot i prefer from anyone on our team than GB matched up on the block one on one. Kofi will be a tough to stop when he gets his mitts on the ball at the rim too.
 
i
It's a fair point that there are still ways to play to GB's existing strengths in a 4 role, taking advantage of smaller defenders.

However, if he's not a threat to step out and shoot in that role, and if that defender doesn't have to follow him out of the paint, we're going to be a disaster on offense whenever GB and Kofi are on the court together. What we do does not work with a clogged lane.

If GB can't shoot, he and Kofi are going to have to split time in all but certain unique matchup situations. Which is fine, it's not the end of the world, but that does lower the ceiling of what we could potentially be.



It's not a "wrinkle", it's not something that needs to "gel", GB can either shoot or he can't.

Now, if he CAN shoot, and Kofi does have a workable offensive game, then if it's still not working it might just be a question of time and coaching and figuring things out. But if the building blocks aren't there, they just aren't.
I feel that there there have been a lot of teams that had a strong big 7 foot player and a player at the 4 that played with his back to the basket. Those two big guys can clear a lot of paths to the basket and play together fine. Sure it will be a work in progress. However GB has, can, and will hit from outside the lane and he has before. GB can shoot from outside the paint. That doesnt have to be a 3. I hope he can develop that but that is not going to decide whether or not they play together. I do not think that is what you are saying either i just think GB has shot it fine from 10-15 feet and those shots will come easier and be open more often with Kofi on the floor. The more they play together the more efficient they will be you are certainly right on that point as well.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.