Illini Basketball 2019-2020

#76
Let's forget about Kofi for a second and take a broader view. How have incoming Illini freshman players panned out vs. expectations prior to the season beginning in the past? I'd say the only player that really lived up to the hype is Ayo. Trent and Giorgi blew past expectations on the upside. But I'd argue the more often than not, the highest rated guys come in below expectations, esp the first year....even going as far back as Jereme Richmond.

My point is, college basketball is different than high school, and freshman are typically significantly disadvantaged vs. older competitors. From the tone on this board, sounds like people are very high on Kofi. Looking at history, that likely means he won't live up to expectations. I hope I'm wrong and he turns out like Ayo. But I'm not putting $$ on it.
If Kofi stops the dribble drives that killed us last year he has exceeded my expectations.
 
#81
A guy can have an NBA body, he can practice like a beast and be the same in high school or even against inferior
mid major or D-II programs, but until Kofi plays one big ten game, lets stop putting him in the top half of big ten
centers.
i would be ecstatic with a middle of the pack performance as a freshman. We have plenty of returing talent and he fills a position of need. We just need himto be competitive, not great.
 
#82
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
One of the principal reasons the young guys typically underperform is because they cannot handle the physicality of college ball. Don't think Kofi will have that problem. The speed of the game may be an issue for him, but as a big guy, as opposed to a guard, that is probably not as difficult to adjust to.
The other big issue also tends to be adjusting to having to play defense and particularly team defense with switching, rotations, etc. I thought I recall a comment re: playing more zone D (we saw some 1-3-1 in Italy) this year as a potential which may be to help Kofi adjust and keep out of foul trouble. It would also mean more opposing team offensive rebounds though.
 
#83
Coach U said, “I thought Trent had a tremendous year last year, even though he didn't have a 30-point games like he did as a freshman.”

Seems like he’s forgetting the Minnesota game, and Trent put up 28 vs Mizzou and 29 vs Zag. Wonder how TF feels about his coach forgetting about his big nights?
 
#84
Coach U said, “I thought Trent had a tremendous year last year, even though he didn't have a 30-point games like he did as a freshman.”

Seems like he’s forgetting the Minnesota game, and Trent put up 28 vs Mizzou and 29 vs Zag. Wonder how TF feels about his coach forgetting about his big nights?
I'd take that as a compliment. That Trent improved at other aspects of his game to me a more complete player. He can still score but he is surrounded by more scores last year than hopefully being more balanced is a good thing.
 
#85
Let's forget about Kofi for a second and take a broader view. How have incoming Illini freshman players panned out vs. expectations prior to the season beginning in the past? I'd say the only player that really lived up to the hype is Ayo. Trent and Giorgi blew past expectations on the upside. But I'd argue the more often than not, the highest rated guys come in below expectations, esp the first year....even going as far back as Jereme Richmond.

My point is, college basketball is different than high school, and freshman are typically significantly disadvantaged vs. older competitors. From the tone on this board, sounds like people are very high on Kofi. Looking at history, that likely means he won't live up to expectations. I hope I'm wrong and he turns out like Ayo. But I'm not putting $$ on it.
Agree on some, but a Big difference now is that we know the system, therefore making it easier to help
newcomers, plus Gentry is a good asset also. Average Kofi is still important, but I'm guessing better than that.
 
#86
All I’m saying is at this time of year there is a abundance of positive comments that may sometimes be exaggerated. It happens every year. I just want to see it to believe it. Whether it’s Kofi as a defender who doesn’t foul, gives us 30 minutes, 10 rebounds and 10 points a night or consistency from some of the guys who have been inconsistent. I know what Ayo and Georgi can do, let’s get a supporting cast up and running and see what happens. Let’s be realistic in what can be expected and not pissed off when it doesn’t.

Sincerely,
Dad
 
#87
All I’m saying is at this time of year there is a abundance of positive comments that may sometimes be exaggerated. It happens every year. I just want to see it to believe it. Whether it’s Kofi as a defender who doesn’t foul, gives us 30 minutes, 10 rebounds and 10 points a night or consistency from some of the guys who have been inconsistent. I know what Ayo and Georgi can do, let’s get a supporting cast up and running and see what happens. Let’s be realistic in what can be expected and not pissed off when it doesn’t.
That's the fun of it..... you seem to discount Frazier and Feliz ,don't really know why though, also if Ayo would stay another year wow!
 
#88
All I’m saying is at this time of year there is a abundance of positive comments that may sometimes be exaggerated. It happens every year. I just want to see it to believe it. Whether it’s Kofi as a defender who doesn’t foul, gives us 30 minutes, 10 rebounds and 10 points a night or consistency from some of the guys who have been inconsistent. I know what Ayo and Georgi can do, let’s get a supporting cast up and running and see what happens. Let’s be realistic in what can be expected and not pissed off when it doesn’t.

Sincerely,
Dad
I haven’t seen anyone on here say Kofi will play 30 minutes with no fouls, double digit points, or double digit rebounds. I also don’t think we need Kofi to average a double double or play more than 20 minutes of solid defense combined with 6-7 points (mostly hand off dunks) for him to have a huge positive impact on our team.
 
#89
That's the fun of it..... you seem to discount Frazier and Feliz ,don't really know why though, also if Ayo would stay another year wow!
If Ayo stays another year it’s because he hasn’t improved enough this season which is ultimately bad for our team. I have a feeling Miller is waiting to see 2-3 of our games before he commits because he wants to be sure that Ayo is leaving. I would bet that if Illinois beats GC and AZ that Miller would commit the following week.
 
Likes: Alma 19
#91
For the most part i agree about reasonable expectations. But he doesnt need to be all B10 or even an all round skilled 5. i hope that he is but i do not expect him to be a big offense threat outside the lane. Kofi needs to do the things we lacked last season. From a physical stand point and appearing to be athletic for his size i think he can. If Kofi can rebound, set screens, not be pushed around inside, and provide a defense presence at the rim then that is what we need from him. Any other skills he has as a freshman would be a bonus. I do expect him to be among the leading rebounders in the B10 and a shot blocker. By the smirk on BU face when he talks about Kofi i feel he can at least do those things and we will be just fine.

I would say all these things are possible if Kofi can stay out of foul trouble
 
#94
Agree to disagree. Nojel will have a GREAT year. 6'7" PG who shoots it MUCH better than people think. I know him personally and the dude put up 500 shots a day this offseason. He's 230 pounds...could post up Lebron. Crazy mismatch for all of our guards and in my opinion will be drafted after this season
Honestly, I'm not sure current Kofi could post up Lebron.
 
#95
That's the fun of it..... you seem to discount Frazier and Feliz ,don't really know why though, also if Ayo would stay another year wow!

I don't discount those two. Just understand that last year they were wildly inconsistent. At times invisible and at times fantastic. Consistently
filling in possessions when Ayo or Georgi are on the bench or just making open shots would make us a real threat for a top half big ten finish.
i'd like more.

DAD.
 
#96
Texas
I haven’t seen anyone on here say Kofi will play 30 minutes with no fouls, double digit points, or double digit rebounds. I also don’t think we need Kofi to average a double double or play more than 20 minutes of solid defense combined with 6-7 points (mostly hand off dunks) for him to have a huge positive impact on our team.
Kofi will play 30 minutes with no fouls, double digit points, and double digit rebounds.

OH NO HE DIDN'T :poop:
 
#97
I think the floor on this year's team is 16-15 (9-11 in conference). I came to that because I just can't imagine the Illini will lose more than 4 nonconference games with the schedule they have, and I think Kofi is good for two additional conference wins this year over last. I posted it in another thread that I think reasonable expectations for Kofi are to have a year similar to Kaleb Wesson's freshman year -- 20.7 minutes, 10.2 ppg, and 4.9 rpg. I actually think he could average more rebounds than that given the makeup of the team this year, but I think that is a good starting point. Those stats aren't that much better than Aaron Jordan's last year (8.0 ppg and 4.6 rpg), but I think what he'll bring defensively will help solve some issues from last year.

Getting to 21-10, which is what I posted in the predictions thread, or better is going to take a combination of things -- steps forward by Tevian and/or Griff; Giorgi being able to handle the 4 both offensively and defensively; a year from Ayo that will propel him into the top half (or higher) of the NBA draft; and better defense. I don't know how many of those need to happen to get the Illini to 21 wins or beyond. But that doesn't even cover BBV being a contributor, any improvement by Dre, Damonte or Trent, and good Kipper showing up. There is definitely a path for the Illini to have their most successful year since 2012-13. Overall I'm optimistic, but then I remember that the Illini haven't been over .500 in conference since 2009-2010 and I start to temper my optimism a bit.
 
#98
I think the floor on this year's team is 16-15 (9-11 in conference). I came to that because I just can't imagine the Illini will lose more than 4 nonconference games with the schedule they have, and I think Kofi is good for two additional conference wins this year over last. I posted it in another thread that I think reasonable expectations for Kofi are to have a year similar to Kaleb Wesson's freshman year -- 20.7 minutes, 10.2 ppg, and 4.9 rpg. I actually think he could average more rebounds than that given the makeup of the team this year, but I think that is a good starting point. Those stats aren't that much better than Aaron Jordan's last year (8.0 ppg and 4.6 rpg), but I think what he'll bring defensively will help solve some issues from last year.

Getting to 21-10, which is what I posted in the predictions thread, or better is going to take a combination of things -- steps forward by Tevian and/or Griff; Giorgi being able to handle the 4 both offensively and defensively; a year from Ayo that will propel him into the top half (or higher) of the NBA draft; and better defense. I don't know how many of those need to happen to get the Illini to 21 wins or beyond. But that doesn't even cover BBV being a contributor, any improvement by Dre, Damonte or Trent, and good Kipper showing up. There is definitely a path for the Illini to have their most successful year since 2012-13. Overall I'm optimistic, but then I remember that the Illini haven't been over .500 in conference since 2009-2010 and I start to temper my optimism a bit.
I agree with this although as you mentioned to expect more rebounds with our line up and the agility and size of Kofi is my expectation. I expect him to be among the leaders in the B10 on the glass..
Another point I feel good about is that BU seems to have a vision and has been looking for pieces and a winning mindset. The most talented players dont always make the best team although it helps. Wisconsin and others n have been a good example of that in the past. I feel BU parts are falling in to place and he has a plan for the upcoming season and next years too with our transfers. He success will lead us to raise our expectations as time passes instead of temper them. Go Illini!
 
#99
Kofi is a physical presence that we've never had before. He definitely will make a difference but how much will depend on his foul rate. He will have some bad games like most freshman. The difference maker IMO is BBV because we need the depth. He a freshman who was not here in the summer, still isn't practicing, and is being taunted by some as a significant contributor. I hope his fans are correct (I don't have negative info) but I will wait and see on him. The 4 position will be the difference between middle of the pack and challenging for the top. If Kipper or Tevian can significantly contribute at that position we won't need BBV but we also don't have any reason to believe that will be the case.
 
Kofi is a physical presence that we've never had before. He definitely will make a difference but how much will depend on his foul rate. He will have some bad games like most freshman. The difference maker IMO is BBV because we need the depth. He a freshman who was not here in the summer, still isn't practicing, and is being taunted by some as a significant contributor. I hope his fans are correct (I don't have negative info) but I will wait and see on him. The 4 position will be the difference between middle of the pack and challenging for the top. If Kipper or Tevian can significantly contribute at that position we won't need BBV but we also don't have any reason to believe that will be the case.
I agree with most if this except the part that we dont need BEN if they have improved. To expect that type of growth is a bit of a stretch due to thier size. He seems to have some traits the others lack He appears to be as big as GB and is listed at 6'8" 235 now. I hope the others can show that they have improved but match ups will be an issue for them regardless vs some power forward types of 4s . We will need GB and Ben to be ready vs thise teams. I just think that is vital to our success or we will he in a zone with Kofi or GB in the middle. Tev and Kip just dont match up vs big guys like MSU and some put out there.
 
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