Illini Basketball 2020-2021

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I wonder how Lieb is adjusting to all of this talent/athleticism surrounding him in Illini practices? And do we think that he and Hamlin have a shot at contributing down the road?
 
I wonder how Lieb is adjusting to all of this talent/athleticism surrounding him in Illini practices? And do we think that he and Hamlin have a shot at contributing down the road?
Lieb: no
Hamlin: yes, but only if our bigs get in foul trouble early and we need a big man to play serviceable defense
 
Lieb: no
Hamlin: yes, but only if our bigs get in foul trouble early and we need a big man to play serviceable defense
The question was if Lieb / Hamlin would contribute "down the road". I think that absolutely Lieb has a chance to contribute down the road which is the whole reason we'd take him on as a 'project' big man. He is almost certainly going to red-shirt this upcoming season but that means he will be with the program for potentially 5 seasons which gives him plenty of time to learn what to do with his 7 ft tall body (You can't teach height). I could definitely see him figuring out some defensive footwork and learn positioning such that he could at the very least provide 15 solid backup minutes by his senior campaign; especially if he can add a hook shot or the ability to make free throws. He's got a shot at developing beyond that or he could wind up falling short of that goal post as well but I think that's sort of the target for him right now in terms of roster construction. He's on the roster for his potential development long term. Shorter term he is there as a contingency in case we strike out on Mac to provide backup minutes behind Giorgi and Hamlin in 2021-22. He's also going to impact this team by providing another 7 ft man to game plan for our opponents in practice.

I think that the plan is for Hamlin to be the primary backup to Mac (and possibly Giorgi if Mac isn't Big Ten ready) in 2021-22. Hamlin's got the size so I expect the preferred option is to have Hamlin backup the Center while Giorgi plays more at the 4 spot. That means that 3rd season Hamlin should get an opportunity to show he's got the stuff to at least play 10-15 minutes per game but that Underwood can slide Giorgi or Lieb into that role if necessary (which should keep Hamlin motivated and working hard to keep improving).
 
Whatever happens this coming year, it will mark a sea change for the program. Without diminishing the importance of Ayo and Kofi to our current momentum, my gratitude as a fan also goes to DMFW and Trent for being the guys who were able to stop the ship, turn it around, and get it going in the right direction.
Couldn't agree more on the contribution of Trent and DeMonte. They stuck to their commitment despite the coaching change, and bought into BU's culture of defense, toughness, and hard work. They have both been the embodiment of those attributes. Both could have easily hung their heads as their usage on offense diminished over the past couple years. Instead, they upped their commitment on defense. Those young men deserve a lot of credit.
 
Reading comprehension was always my weakest subject on standardized tests. Agree with your analysis.
My greatest weakness is coming across way more harsh / critical than I intend especially in my writing. Knowing that you were probably looking at just this upcoming 2020-21 season I support your take as well.

Looking at 2020-21: As I stated in my response I think there's a really strong chance Lieb redshirts this season which would mean he should have very little impact on this upcoming season. I think that Hamlin may get more than just 'foul trouble' minutes this year though since I think that Underwood is really going to be looking to transition Giorgi more to that 4 position. Kofi probably eats up 30 minutes per game but I wouldn't be surprised to see Hamlin come in as his backup instead of Giorgi during some of the games this season. Partly because I think Hamlin will be improved from where he was last year and partly because I think Giorgi will have improved his ability to play the 4 spot (and partly because I think Underwood knows he needs to give Hamlin some opportunities so that he can build confidence this year when he's not as essential as he may end up being next season).
 
My greatest weakness is coming across way more harsh / critical than I intend especially in my writing. Knowing that you were probably looking at just this upcoming 2020-21 season I support your take as well.

Looking at 2020-21: As I stated in my response I think there's a really strong chance Lieb redshirts this season which would mean he should have very little impact on this upcoming season. I think that Hamlin may get more than just 'foul trouble' minutes this year though since I think that Underwood is really going to be looking to transition Giorgi more to that 4 position. Kofi probably eats up 30 minutes per game but I wouldn't be surprised to see Hamlin come in as his backup instead of Giorgi during some of the games this season. Partly because I think Hamlin will be improved from where he was last year and partly because I think Giorgi will have improved his ability to play the 4 spot (and partly because I think Underwood knows he needs to give Hamlin some opportunities so that he can build confidence this year when he's not as essential as he may end up being next season).
Not how it came off to me at all, you're good.

I think I still disagree and maintain that Giorgi will primarily be the 5 on the floor when it's not Kofi, barring foul trouble, but it depends on how everyone has developed. I also don't think our post gameplan will depend on the development of bench role players unless you're talking about the second half vs The Citadel.
 
Likes: Goode-for-3
The question was if Lieb / Hamlin would contribute "down the road". I think that absolutely Lieb has a chance to contribute down the road which is the whole reason we'd take him on as a 'project' big man. He is almost certainly going to red-shirt this upcoming season but that means he will be with the program for potentially 5 seasons which gives him plenty of time to learn what to do with his 7 ft tall body (You can't teach height). I could definitely see him figuring out some defensive footwork and learn positioning such that he could at the very least provide 15 solid backup minutes by his senior campaign; especially if he can add a hook shot or the ability to make free throws. He's got a shot at developing beyond that or he could wind up falling short of that goal post as well but I think that's sort of the target for him right now in terms of roster construction. He's on the roster for his potential development long term. Shorter term he is there as a contingency in case we strike out on Mac to provide backup minutes behind Giorgi and Hamlin in 2021-22. He's also going to impact this team by providing another 7 ft man to game plan for our opponents in practice.

I think that the plan is for Hamlin to be the primary backup to Mac (and possibly Giorgi if Mac isn't Big Ten ready) in 2021-22. Hamlin's got the size so I expect the preferred option is to have Hamlin backup the Center while Giorgi plays more at the 4 spot. That means that 3rd season Hamlin should get an opportunity to show he's got the stuff to at least play 10-15 minutes per game but that Underwood can slide Giorgi or Lieb into that role if necessary (which should keep Hamlin motivated and working hard to keep improving).
Agree with a lot you said, specifically about Lieb. If he hangs on here, develops, and works, he definitely has a chance to play. Big if, but still.

Now, about Giorgi and Hamlin. I personally don't see Hamlin as ever being good enough to be much more than a spot minutes guy. Sure, Giorgi is undersized (kind of, barely, IMO) at the 5, but I'd much rather have Grandison or Hutcherson (as examples) at the 4 and Giorgi at the 5 and 3 other stud guards in a lineup, than Giorgi and Hamlin at the 4 and 5.....basically because it allows for more talent on the floor and I think Underwood has shown he can win with 4 guards and a big.

Just my thoughts!
 
Agree with a lot you said, specifically about Lieb. If he hangs on here, develops, and works, he definitely has a chance to play. Big if, but still.

Now, about Giorgi and Hamlin. I personally don't see Hamlin as ever being good enough to be much more than a spot minutes guy. Sure, Giorgi is undersized (kind of, barely, IMO) at the 5, but I'd much rather have Grandison or Hutcherson (as examples) at the 4 and Giorgi at the 5 and 3 other stud guards in a lineup, than Giorgi and Hamlin at the 4 and 5.....basically because it allows for more talent on the floor and I think Underwood has shown he can win with 4 guards and a big.

Just my thoughts!
I agree. Having Grandison or other skilled players at the 4 causes a matchup problem for our opponent. That is not Giorgi currently.
 
Not how it came off to me at all, you're good.

I think I still disagree and maintain that Giorgi will primarily be the 5 on the floor when it's not Kofi, barring foul trouble, but it depends on how everyone has developed. I also don't think our post gameplan will depend on the development of bench role players unless you're talking about the second half vs The Citadel.
I agree with the development piece. Think it is difficult for Giorgi at the five with a Grandison type at the four. Works fine with Kofi as he can dominate at the boards with his size but Giorgi needs significant help. If BBV or Cole are ready to play the 4 then Giorgi can play the 5. If Jermaine is ready at the 5 then I see Giorgi at the four. Of course this only depends on Giorgi developing his shot. Blind until we see them play.
 
Agree with a lot you said, specifically about Lieb. If he hangs on here, develops, and works, he definitely has a chance to play. Big if, but still.
...
Just my thoughts!
Lieb may need a lot of physical development before his body is BIG Ten ready. Doesn't strike me as someone who'll put on weight or mass easily.
 
I agree with the development piece. Think it is difficult for Giorgi at the five with a Grandison type at the four. Works fine with Kofi as he can dominate at the boards with his size but Giorgi needs significant help. If BBV or Cole are ready to play the 4 then Giorgi can play the 5. If Jermaine is ready at the 5 then I see Giorgi at the four. Of course this only depends on Giorgi developing his shot. Blind until we see them play.
Well said
 
I agree. Having Grandison or other skilled players at the 4 causes a matchup problem for our opponent. That is not Giorgi currently.
I dont feel that is true. Hopefully he can develop a better outside shot but he is still a tough guard in the post and shoots at a good percentage. BU has no issues feeding GB down low whether he is playing the 4 or 5. If Kofi gets a 3 ball he may get GB more looks down low too. How quickly we forget GB and what he did in the post before Kofi arrived to go to down low. 4s can play with thier back to the basket and GB has done that. I expect him to again
He may or may not do it from the outside but he certainly can cause a lot of issues in the post playing with his back to the basket and his ability to use both hands.
 
I dont feel that is true. Hopefully he can develop a better outside shot but he is still a tough guard in the post and shoots at a good percentage. BU has no issues feeding GB down low whether he is playing the 4 or 5. If Kofi gets a 3 ball he may get GB more looks down low too. How quickly we forget GB and what he did in the post before Kofi arrived to go to down low. 4s can play with thier back to the basket and GB has done that. I expect him to again
He may or may not do it from the outside but he certainly can cause a lot of issues in the post playing with his back to the basket and his ability to use both hands.
I guess we’ll find out. Either way, there are lots of options.
 
Likes: LouRocks
The question was if Lieb / Hamlin would contribute "down the road". I think that absolutely Lieb has a chance to contribute down the road which is the whole reason we'd take him on as a 'project' big man. He is almost certainly going to red-shirt this upcoming season but that means he will be with the program for potentially 5 seasons which gives him plenty of time to learn what to do with his 7 ft tall body (You can't teach height). I could definitely see him figuring out some defensive footwork and learn positioning such that he could at the very least provide 15 solid backup minutes by his senior campaign; especially if he can add a hook shot or the ability to make free throws. He's got a shot at developing beyond that or he could wind up falling short of that goal post as well but I think that's sort of the target for him right now in terms of roster construction. He's on the roster for his potential development long term. Shorter term he is there as a contingency in case we strike out on Mac to provide backup minutes behind Giorgi and Hamlin in 2021-22. He's also going to impact this team by providing another 7 ft man to game plan for our opponents in practice.

I think that the plan is for Hamlin to be the primary backup to Mac (and possibly Giorgi if Mac isn't Big Ten ready) in 2021-22. Hamlin's got the size so I expect the preferred option is to have Hamlin backup the Center while Giorgi plays more at the 4 spot. That means that 3rd season Hamlin should get an opportunity to show he's got the stuff to at least play 10-15 minutes per game but that Underwood can slide Giorgi or Lieb into that role if necessary (which should keep Hamlin motivated and working hard to keep improving).
Correct - more the answer I was expecting. Thanks. Sorta also hoping someone might get a glimpse from inside Ubben. Would love to hear how they're both competing. I have to assume Lieb, in particular, is getting severely beaten up by the big guy!
 
I dont feel that is true. Hopefully he can develop a better outside shot but he is still a tough guard in the post and shoots at a good percentage. BU has no issues feeding GB down low whether he is playing the 4 or 5. If Kofi gets a 3 ball he may get GB more looks down low too. How quickly we forget GB and what he did in the post before Kofi arrived to go to down low. 4s can play with thier back to the basket and GB has done that. I expect him to again
He may or may not do it from the outside but he certainly can cause a lot of issues in the post playing with his back to the basket and his ability to use both hands.
GB seemed to have a lot more problems playing with his back to the basket last year than the year before. His shots just didn't fall like the year prior. If I had to guess, I would say that practicing against Kofi hurt his inside game.
 
CrazedUIFan
GB seemed to have a lot more problems playing with his back to the basket last year than the year before. His shots just didn't fall like the year prior. If I had to guess, I would say that practicing against Kofi hurt his inside game.
I tend to believe better scouting hurt his inside game. He missed quite a few bunnies when he was struggling at the end of the season also and that can affect a player mentally.
 
Giorgio went from being consistently nifty around the basket to being consistently hapless. He definitely didn’t have the same fluidity and confidence he had at one time.

Was that due to practicing against Kofi?

Probably not, but it wouldn’t be the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. He was going against a complete beast in practice who ate his lunch every time he went to the basket. That day in and day out experience certainly could have manifested into some hesitancy in games.
 
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