Illini Basketball 2020-2021

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#26
Lots of hypotheticals incoming

1) Ayo returns
2) Kofi returns
3) we fill that hole at the 4 in the way BU dreams of
4) all the pieces fit

Best Illini teams of my lifetime

89
01
05
21?

Clearly looking at one of our best teams of late, but are we looking at a potentially all-time great team?
 
#28
When's the last time we had 4+ RSCI top 50 players on a single team? Quickly looking back I think that answer is never.

We'd need Curbelo to take a jump, and Ayo to come back. But it's a possibility.
 
#39
can't be anything other than thrilled at the class the staff signed this year. excellent work by all, including JW to smooth over any "rifts" that had developed and get extensions signed

For sure. If you look at it, we are the 2nd highest rated 3 man class and 7th on an average basis. Will be fun to watch all 3 over there careers at UofI
 
#41
Jeff Goodman has the Illini ranked as preseason #35 in his preseason Top 50 for 2020-21: https://watchstadium.com/jeff-goodmans-preseason-top-50-for-2020-21-04-23-2020/

Here's what he had to say about the Illini:

35. Illinois
Last Season:
21-10, 13-7 in Big Ten
Lose (5): Ayo Dosunmu* (NBA Draft, 16.6 ppg), G Andres Feliz* (11.0 ppg), G Alan Griffin (Transferred to Syracuse, 8.9 ppg), F Kipper Nichols (3.4 ppg), F Tevian Jones (Transferred, 0.9 ppg)
Declared, Likely Gone (1): Ayo Dosunmu*
Declared, Flip of the Coin (1): Kofi Cockburn
Starters Back (3): C Kofi Cockburn (Soph., 13.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg), G Trent Frazier (Sr., 9.1 ppg), G Da’Monte Williams (Sr., 2.8 ppg)
Other Returners (3): F Giorgi Bezhanishvili (Jr., 6.8 ppg), F Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (1.2 ppg), C Jermaine Hamlin (Soph., 0.9 ppg)
Eligible Transfers (2): SF Jacob Grandison (Holy Cross, 13.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg), SG Austin Hutcherson (Wesleyan, 20.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Add (3): SG Adam Miller (No. 29), PG Andre Curbelo (No. 48), PF Coleman Hawkins


Among the other B1G teams he had ranked in his top 50:
4. Iowa
5. Wisconsin
6. Michigan State
15. Rutgers
31. Indiana
32. Ohio State
33. Purdue
42. Michigan
 
#42
Jeff Goodman has the Illini ranked as preseason #35 in his preseason Top 50 for 2020-21: https://watchstadium.com/jeff-goodmans-preseason-top-50-for-2020-21-04-23-2020/

Here's what he had to say about the Illini:

35. Illinois
Last Season:
21-10, 13-7 in Big Ten
Lose (5): Ayo Dosunmu* (NBA Draft, 16.6 ppg), G Andres Feliz* (11.0 ppg), G Alan Griffin (Transferred to Syracuse, 8.9 ppg), F Kipper Nichols (3.4 ppg), F Tevian Jones (Transferred, 0.9 ppg)
Declared, Likely Gone (1): Ayo Dosunmu*
Declared, Flip of the Coin (1): Kofi Cockburn
Starters Back (3): C Kofi Cockburn (Soph., 13.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg), G Trent Frazier (Sr., 9.1 ppg), G Da’Monte Williams (Sr., 2.8 ppg)
Other Returners (3): F Giorgi Bezhanishvili (Jr., 6.8 ppg), F Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (1.2 ppg), C Jermaine Hamlin (Soph., 0.9 ppg)
Eligible Transfers (2): SF Jacob Grandison (Holy Cross, 13.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg), SG Austin Hutcherson (Wesleyan, 20.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Add (3): SG Adam Miller (No. 29), PG Andre Curbelo (No. 48), PF Coleman Hawkins


Among the other B1G teams he had ranked in his top 50:
4. Iowa
5. Wisconsin
6. Michigan State
15. Rutgers
31. Indiana
32. Ohio State
33. Purdue
42. Michigan
I find it really difficult to believe we will end up 8th in the B1G next year.
 
#44
Jeff Goodman has the Illini ranked as preseason #35 in his preseason Top 50 for 2020-21: https://watchstadium.com/jeff-goodmans-preseason-top-50-for-2020-21-04-23-2020/

Here's what he had to say about the Illini:

35. Illinois
Last Season:
21-10, 13-7 in Big Ten
Lose (5): Ayo Dosunmu* (NBA Draft, 16.6 ppg), G Andres Feliz* (11.0 ppg), G Alan Griffin (Transferred to Syracuse, 8.9 ppg), F Kipper Nichols (3.4 ppg), F Tevian Jones (Transferred, 0.9 ppg)
Declared, Likely Gone (1): Ayo Dosunmu*
Declared, Flip of the Coin (1): Kofi Cockburn
Starters Back (3): C Kofi Cockburn (Soph., 13.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg), G Trent Frazier (Sr., 9.1 ppg), G Da’Monte Williams (Sr., 2.8 ppg)
Other Returners (3): F Giorgi Bezhanishvili (Jr., 6.8 ppg), F Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (1.2 ppg), C Jermaine Hamlin (Soph., 0.9 ppg)
Eligible Transfers (2): SF Jacob Grandison (Holy Cross, 13.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg), SG Austin Hutcherson (Wesleyan, 20.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Add (3): SG Adam Miller (No. 29), PG Andre Curbelo (No. 48), PF Coleman Hawkins


Among the other B1G teams he had ranked in his top 50:
4. Iowa
5. Wisconsin
6. Michigan State
15. Rutgers
31. Indiana
32. Ohio State
33. Purdue
42. Michigan

Iowa's tough but I don't know about them @ # 4. We were neck and neck with them this year. Losing Ayo will hurt but if we get Kofi back, we will be longer, more athletic, with much more shooting next year. With Kofi we can take it to Iowa.
 
#45
I find it really difficult to believe we will end up 8th in the B1G next year.
Seems like a top 4 team to me - but then I look back and realize how many times Ayo and AF saved us last year. I think the benefit we will have next year is that this team is now familiar with the 'new and improved' defensive style whereas in the beginning of last year (Miami - ugh) we were still adjusting to backing off and not overplaying lanes. I am also assuming Kofi is coming back for sure.

Hopefully that factor allows the new guys time to get up to speed and we don't give away too many early games before they are ready. Ayo coming back changes all of that in that we really just need to replace Dre's fight and production.
 
Likes: Soulberries
#46
Jeff Goodman has the Illini ranked as preseason #35 in his preseason Top 50 for 2020-21: https://watchstadium.com/jeff-goodmans-preseason-top-50-for-2020-21-04-23-2020/

Here's what he had to say about the Illini:

35. Illinois
Last Season:
21-10, 13-7 in Big Ten
Lose (5): Ayo Dosunmu* (NBA Draft, 16.6 ppg), G Andres Feliz* (11.0 ppg), G Alan Griffin (Transferred to Syracuse, 8.9 ppg), F Kipper Nichols (3.4 ppg), F Tevian Jones (Transferred, 0.9 ppg)
Declared, Likely Gone (1): Ayo Dosunmu*
Declared, Flip of the Coin (1): Kofi Cockburn
Starters Back (3): C Kofi Cockburn (Soph., 13.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg), G Trent Frazier (Sr., 9.1 ppg), G Da’Monte Williams (Sr., 2.8 ppg)
Other Returners (3): F Giorgi Bezhanishvili (Jr., 6.8 ppg), F Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk (1.2 ppg), C Jermaine Hamlin (Soph., 0.9 ppg)
Eligible Transfers (2): SF Jacob Grandison (Holy Cross, 13.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg), SG Austin Hutcherson (Wesleyan, 20.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
Add (3): SG Adam Miller (No. 29), PG Andre Curbelo (No. 48), PF Coleman Hawkins


Among the other B1G teams he had ranked in his top 50:
4. Iowa
5. Wisconsin
6. Michigan State
15. Rutgers
31. Indiana
32. Ohio State
33. Purdue
42. Michigan
I've noticed a trend with Jeff Goodman. He has rarely had anything good to say about Illinois since leading up to the kid from Curie decision. "Cliffmas" if you will. A lot of Illini fans on Twitter got on him for saying that Kansas was the leader in that recruitment and I haven't seen him say much of anything that's pro-Illini since. That's been 6 years ago. Sour grapes on his end maybe. Just my two cents.
 
#47
Seems like a top 4 team to me - but then I look back and realize how many times Ayo and AF saved us last year. I think the benefit we will have next year is that this team is now familiar with the 'new and improved' defensive style whereas in the beginning of last year (Miami - ugh) we were still adjusting to backing off and not overplaying lanes. I am also assuming Kofi is coming back for sure.

Hopefully that factor allows the new guys time to get up to speed and we don't give away too many early games before they are ready. Ayo coming back changes all of that in that we really just need to replace Dre's fight and production.
Doesn’t seem right to us but when you look at losing 40 pts a game, 4 of 8 rotation, finisher, etc. it is pretty reasonable. We just believe we have replacements plus existing experience. Kenpom still had us at #30 at the end of last year. T rank has us #35 next year and #29 at end of last season. We are obviously not doing well with the stats. Like our chances despite what they say as long as Kofi is back.
 
Likes: Alma 19
#48
Iowa City
Iowa's tough but I don't know about them @ # 4. We were neck and neck with them this year. Losing Ayo will hurt but if we get Kofi back, we will be longer, more athletic, with much more shooting next year. With Kofi we can take it to Iowa.
Iowa also gets back a great 3pt shooter in Bohannon, and some unknown in Nunge and the younger McCaffery (possibly, I wonder if we will ever get to see him at the college level). I'm not sure about them being as high as #4, but they will be good.
I do want to see how they balance the offense with Bohannon back at full go with Garza. Garza developed a ton going into this past season, but when Bohannon was the primary ballhandler, he got significantly fewer looks, and the ball does not go through the block like it did last year. I can see this being like Loyalty debating if we were better with or without Rayvonte Rice because of how the ball moved, and what we looked like when he was out.
 
#49
Iowa also gets back a great 3pt shooter in Bohannon, and some unknown in Nunge and the younger McCaffery (possibly, I wonder if we will ever get to see him at the college level). I'm not sure about them being as high as #4, but they will be good.
I do want to see how they balance the offense with Bohannon back at full go with Garza. Garza developed a ton going into this past season, but when Bohannon was the primary ballhandler, he got significantly fewer looks, and the ball does not go through the block like it did last year. I can see this being like Loyalty debating if we were better with or without Rayvonte Rice because of how the ball moved, and what we looked like when he was out.
I think both Bohannon and Garza have declared for the draft, have they not?
 
#50
I find it really difficult to believe we will end up 8th in the B1G next year.
My sentiments exactly. Without Kofi, maybe we slide that far, but I doubt it. With him, I think we're top 4 in the league.

So many variables, Covid-19 aside.
 
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