Illini Basketball 2020-2021

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#26
I don't know if the BIG has a 6th man of the year award, but Feliz would have won it hands down. He came off the bench for over half the games, however did start the last 7 games. I'm not sure people realize what a hole that Feliz and Griffin left. Hopefully, a couple of the new guys pick up the loss of those 2 guys and DMW finds some offense, plus Giorgi and Frazier return to their previous years.
 
#27
I don't know if the BIG has a 6th man of the year award, but Feliz would have won it hands down. He came off the bench for over half the games, however did start the last 7 games. I'm not sure people realize what a hole that Feliz and Griffin left. Hopefully, a couple of the new guys pick up the loss of those 2 guys and DMW finds some offense, plus Giorgi and Frazier return to their previous years.
Feliz started 14 games. Believe Micah Potter won 6MOTY
 
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#28
Advantage this year is that we don’t need to start the frosh right away as we have experienced talent. Malcom Hill and other talented frosh did not start right away and had time to blend in. Be surprised not to see Adam start but don’t expect to see Belo with as much time early in the season as he adapts to BU’s offense. Even though Hutch and Grandy didn’t play last year they were practicing with the team and will understand BIG competition. Assuming Kofi is back we still have half of the eight man rotation as well as the transfers. BU getting his “old” team.
 
#30
Advantage this year is that we don’t need to start the frosh right away as we have experienced talent. Malcom Hill and other talented frosh did not start right away and had time to blend in. Be surprised not to see Adam start but don’t expect to see Belo with as much time early in the season as he adapts to BU’s offense. Even though Hutch and Grandy didn’t play last year they were practicing with the team and will understand BIG competition. Assuming Kofi is back we still have half of the eight man rotation as well as the transfers. BU getting his “old” team.
I believe we'll have a 9 to 10 man rotation. Wood played 10 guys double digit minutes/game at OSU.
 
#31
Just rewatched the last game of last season, the Iowa game. We are truly going to miss Andre Feliz, I think he was so underrated. Going to miss him!😔
Been saying this. Feliz was a warrior, and not just in attitude, but finding buckets or rebounds where there were none. He also brought something to team that's hard to put a value on. Big heart.

I get why people are optimistic about the guards we're bringing in --they're great talents. But they're not seniors, and they haven't been through BIG play yet.
 
#32
Been saying this. Feliz was a warrior, and not just in attitude, but finding buckets or rebounds where there were none. He also brought something to team that's hard to put a value on. Big heart.

I get why people are optimistic about the guards we're bringing in --they're great talents. But they're not seniors, and they haven't been through BIG play yet.
Feliz also carried that underdog attitude and chip on his shoulder mentality. He wasn’t a highly touted recruit and had to earn his way to Illinois. By the time he was a “highly ranked” JU-CO player he was already 20/21 years old. I hope he shows out in TBT
 
#33
Springfield
Feliz also carried that underdog attitude and chip on his shoulder mentality. He wasn’t a highly touted recruit and had to earn his way to Illinois. By the time he was a “highly ranked” JU-CO player he was already 20/21 years old. I hope he shows out in TBT
My feeling exactly. Most fans just do not understand the value of experience, confidence, and hard work that goes into being successful at any endeavor. The admiration and respect I have for Andres Feliz is immense....both as an athlete and for the character and will to win he displays on the court. Early in the season, he had to learn that he needed to be under control and able to adjust when taking the ball into tall timber. He did learn and adjust resulting in some huge, huge buckets when sorely needed late in games. Sure would like to see him work on his jumper as he would be an important asset and make a lot of money as a professional if he could get that done. No one on the roster can replace what he did, but this team has other ways to score. If they bring the same kind of "want to" that he showed them, they will be fine. Looking forward to watching him play Sat.
 
#34
Just a thought...if all on this roster are available then there are 7 guards. Tell me who is in the rotation and who gets garbage minutes? IIHO, the correct and honest answer is "I don't know". But it will be interesting to find out.
Well, DaMonte's a guard and played the 4. I'll go a bit further and say that not only we don't know, but also the staff doesn't know. They will try different things early and see where guys are at, see how different lineups work, etc.. Some line-ups will emerge as bread and butter, others will be reserved for specific situations. Either way, the players will sort it out and we'll have a lot of tools --looks to be a deep team where we'll see a lot of guys get some time in the rotation.
 
#35
Well, DaMonte's a guard and played the 4. I'll go a bit further and say that not only we don't know, but also the staff doesn't know. They will try different things early and see where guys are at, see how different lineups work, etc.. Some line-ups will emerge as bread and butter, others will be reserved for specific situations. Either way, the players will sort it out and we'll have a lot of tools --looks to be a deep team where we'll see a lot of guys get some time in the rotation.
I completely agree... eventually, when B10 games come around the rotation will inevitably shrink, and then even more in the close games.

I just hope we can close out teams early in the non-con to let some of these guys get enough extended minutes to prove themselves.
 
#36
Well, DaMonte's a guard and played the 4. I'll go a bit further and say that not only we don't know, but also the staff doesn't know. They will try different things early and see where guys are at, see how different lineups work, etc.. Some line-ups will emerge as bread and butter, others will be reserved for specific situations. Either way, the players will sort it out and we'll have a lot of tools --looks to be a deep team where we'll see a lot of guys get some time in the rotation.
I was surprised how many times we played 4 guard lineups last year (w Kofi), particularly at end of year.
 
#39
T-Rank had Feliz ranked as the 19th player in the B1G and Griffin as #20, throw in the possible loss of Ayo and one can see why they have Illinois pre-season ranked at #9 in the B!G. Lots of opportunity for the new guys to step up.
Have to disagree there, considering we bring in two redshirt juniors and two top 40 guards, plus a versatile 6'10" kid with a nice all around game. No way we finish that low.

If Ayo comes back, we're the best team in the B1G and top 10 nationally.
 
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#40
T-Rank had Feliz ranked as the 19th player in the B1G and Griffin as #20, throw in the possible loss of Ayo and one can see why they have Illinois pre-season ranked at #9 in the B!G. Lots of opportunity for the new guys to step up.
Really it comes down to continuously developing young guys. We will have sustained success if we recruit and develop well. We should be top half of B10 every year if we do that consistently, regardless of who returns in a given year.
 
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#41
Have to disagree there, considering we bring in two redshirt juniors and two top 40 guards, plus a versatile 6'10" kid with a nice all around game. No way we finish that low.

If Ayo comes back, we're the best team in the B1G and top 10 nationally.
If ayo comes back its a toss up with us and Iowa. They lost almost nothing and even with Ayo and Kofi back making up for Feliz and Griffin is going to be tough.
 
#42
Have to disagree there, considering we bring in two redshirt juniors and two top 40 guards, plus a versatile 6'10" kid with a nice all around game. No way we finish that low.

If Ayo comes back, we're the best team in the B1G and top 10 nationally.
Don't underestimate the BIG. It will be very competitive next season with a number of ranked teams.
We were very good last year, ranked 21st by the coaches, and 30 on KenPom. But there were NINE conference teams ahead of us in KenPom, and several in the coaches poll. I like the optimism, but I think there are quite a few teams that will have something to say about it.
 
#43
Don't underestimate the BIG. It will be very competitive next season with a number of ranked teams.
We were very good last year, ranked 21st by the coaches, and 30 on KenPom. But there were NINE conference teams ahead of us in KenPom, and several in the coaches poll. I like the optimism, but I think there are quite a few teams that will have something to say about it.
Calvin,

We've both been here long enough to know, realistic discussions do not work the narrative here. Blind optimism! That's the bread and butter of the board!
 
#45
If ayo comes back its a toss up with us and Iowa. They lost almost nothing and even with Ayo and Kofi back making up for Feliz and Griffin is going to be tough.
What's more, Iowa gets a couple of likely starters back from injury. They should be improved this year assuming Garza comes back.
 
#46
Don't underestimate the BIG. It will be very competitive next season with a number of ranked teams.
We were very good last year, ranked 21st by the coaches, and 30 on KenPom. But there were NINE conference teams ahead of us in KenPom, and several in the coaches poll. I like the optimism, but I think there are quite a few teams that will have something to say about it.
We had some slip ups early on, but by March we were as good as anyone in the league. But for Ayo slipping on a wet floor and Griffen failing to block out Tilman on that late rebound, we're B1G Co-Champs. I agree that Iowa and Wisconsin will be very good too, but I love our chances under that scenario.
 
#47
What's more, Iowa gets a couple of likely starters back from injury. They should be improved this year assuming Garza comes back.
Assuming a scenario in which Garza returns to a healthy Iowa team and both Ayo and Kofi return to Illinois, both teams are or should be improved. Kofi will have one more year with the benefit of Draft prep; the same is true for Ayo and Garza, but each of whom are or will be upperclassmen. Both bode well for each team.

Much of what will come out in the wash will depend on how quickly the incoming class (including Hutcherson & Grandison) acquits itself. There are many "ifs" at play, but should DMW be at full health out of the gate, Giorgi has figured out variance, Trent remains Trent, and the incoming class is as good as advertised, Illinois will be a scary deep, athletic team.

With that, Illinois has at least a slight edge. Time is the ultimate adjudicator, and time cannot come soon enough. I want to see this team "show its work".
 
#48
We had some slip ups early on, but by March we were as good as anyone in the league. But for Ayo slipping on a wet floor and Griffen failing to block out Tilman on that late rebound, we're B1G Co-Champs. I agree that Iowa and Wisconsin will be very good too, but I love our chances under that scenario.
Sure, but it’s not like we didn’t have our fair share of luck throughout B1G play. We beat Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Rutgers, Northwestern and Indiana all by 5 points or less (and @ PSU by 6). Granted, you’ll win more close games when you have a closer like Ayo. Still, if a few Ayo daggers don’t fall last season, we finish 6th or 7th and don’t snag some of those big road wins that jolted us off the bubble. I don’t disagree we’d be in contention to win the B1G next year if Ayo & Kofi are back, but I also don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to be picked 3rd or 4th behind Iowa, Wisconsin, and maybe Michigan St. The B1G is always loaded.
 
#49
Sure, but it’s not like we didn’t have our fair share of luck throughout B1G play. We beat Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Rutgers, Northwestern and Indiana all by 5 points or less (and @ PSU by 6). Granted, you’ll win more close games when you have a closer like Ayo. Still, if a few Ayo daggers don’t fall last season, we finish 6th or 7th and don’t snag some of those big road wins that jolted us off the bubble. I don’t disagree we’d be in contention to win the B1G next year if Ayo & Kofi are back, but I also don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to be picked 3rd or 4th behind Iowa, Wisconsin, and maybe Michigan St. The B1G is always loaded.
Mostly reasonable thoughts, but can't agree on MSU with all that they lost. Iowa and Wisky have everything back, but let's have that race, please. I would welcome it with both arms....from 6 feet away, lol.
 
#50
I have
Calvin,

We've both been here long enough to know, realistic discussions do not work the narrative here. Blind optimism! That's the bread and butter of the board!
I have heard several commentators saying we're a top 10 team with both guys back, so it's a stretch to call it blind optimism. However, I do love me some orange Kool-aid!
 
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