Illini Basketball 2020-2021

#26
I think that has been the plan all along. He mentioned it when he committed. I really like this kids upside in a couple of years.
Can you imagine Leib playing against Kofi in practice for a year. Hamlin will have played against him for two years. I really think Kofi returning is bigger than Ayo. Ayo will rightly go down as a transformational player for the Illini, and we should revere him along with our most favorites of all time. Ayo is a better player for sure, and his intangibles are off the chart, but w/o Kofi we are so thin at the 5 and I think really vulnerable, especially in the Big 10. With Kofi we have no weakness, and are reasonably deep at the 5, and then also at the 4 if you swing Gorgi for a twin towers look. But not only does Kofi help us next year, through Hamlin and Lieb he will make us tougher for years.

As we mourn Lou, I am so happy to have BU. I think he, like Lou, is the complete package. And I also think he, like Lou, will treat Illinois as a destination. We all hope that Kofi and Ayo will both look back on this as a great decision. If that happens, it will be as great for the UofI as it is for them.

In a previous post I mentioned the great teams that I can personally recall: 84, 89, 01 and 05. Two of those teams did not make it to the final four, and its a shame that we don't recall them as much as the other two. Winters, Douglas and Altenberger, and the Manual gang provided some really fantastic memories. I appreciate and share the enthusiasm, and dream of another season like 89 and 05, and even better. But both of these teams are examples that in a one and done format, the best team doesn't always win. The 89 and 05 teams build on success. In my mind the 84 and 01 teams were more transformational. 84 set the stage for 89, and 01 set the stage for 05. We have not been what Illini basketball should be for a decade. Its a lot to ask this bunch to go from a where we have been recently to where we are dreaming. I'm dreaming, like all of you, of a national championship. But if these guys can restore Illini basketball to where we were, in one season, that will be amazing enough. The Big Ten will be a war next year. Now that we have Kofi and Ayo - Bring it. To set expectations, I would say if we win the Big Ten, this will be a great season, and Ayo and Kofi can be proud to head off to the next level. Anything else is gravy.
 
#30
Charleston
I would say if we win the Big Ten, this will be a great season, and Ayo and Kofi can be proud to head off to the next level. Anything else is gravy.
MSU is going to be TOUGH to beat for regular season B1G champs.
 
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#31
Whatever starting rotation Underwood ends up implementing, good luck competing with us for a full game. Mercy. Im excited. You should be excited. Your ex-wife should be excited. Put on a mask so this can happen.
 
#35
MSU is going to be TOUGH to beat for regular season B1G champs.
I agree with this — a Tom Izzo coached team headlined (likely) by Watts, Henry, and Tillman will be the favorite to win the B1G. I also think Iowa with Garza back will be picked ahead of us. I think Wisco is solid but a little further behind the top 3 considering they had a relatively easy conference schedule and no clear leading scorer, IMO. I like where we’re at to likely be picked 3rd-ish in the conference with a chip on our shoulder. We can, and will be, better than Iowa. Sparty is gonna be a beast to take down as well... sky’s the limit.
 
#38
Curbelo gonna start, Trent start, Adam Miller gonna start, Ayo gonna start, Kofi gonna start... DMW back coming off the bench for defensive purposes as needed getting minutes, Hutch and Grandison bench, and Hawkins/BBV and Giorgi... and the rest will get in depending on need... Goodness we have so much depth... might be my wishful thinking but that firepower is ridiculous! ILL-INI
 
#39
Does anybody know the 4 Big10 schools that rotate out of our home schedule and also what 4 BIG places we do not visit this upcoming season.
 
#40
We played 4 guard lineup a bit last year. Your lineup would be dangerous if trent , ayo and miller could all shoot over 35 % from 3 and play "big" on D.

I expect we will see this and all kinds on Interesting lineups. I expect Young guys will get their minutes based on their Defense. We shouldn't need them to wow on offense
 
#45
Not to be a downer, but with the screwed up draft/withdrawal timelines this year, is there anything preventing Ayo & Kofi from leaving again this off-season? All these big players returning to school could just be too hedge their bets with the NCAA, right?
 
#46
Not to be a downer, but with the screwed up draft/withdrawal timelines this year, is there anything preventing Ayo & Kofi from leaving again this off-season? All these big players returning to school could just be too hedge their bets with the NCAA, right?
I read somewhere players could take advantage of a loophole to gain about 2 weeks.

NCAA deadline to withdraw and maintain eligibility is Aug 3rd. NBA deadline to enter is Aug 17th (I think).

I guess technically they could re-enter but I’d be surprised if that was the plan given the fanfare with the return announcements.
 
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#47
I think they (pollsters) are not accounting for the loss of Cassius enough. He ran that team for years and when we provided high pressure or ball denial on him - MSU struggled. It will be interesting to see how they behave now that he is gone.
Totally agree. I’m biased obviously but Illini were 1 game out if 1st, returning most of the team, and adding some great pieces.
 
Likes: BillyBob1
#49
Does anybody know the 4 Big10 schools that rotate out of our home schedule and also what 4 BIG places we do not visit this upcoming season.
I'm fairly certain Wisconsin will be one of the ones we do not visit this year - Illinois has been to Madison the last 3 years straight.