Illini Basketball 2020-2021

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Hadn’t really watched Baylor last year but find the matchups interesting. They lost Gillespie their 6’9 big man and leading rebounder. Their 2nd leading rebounder was 6’5 Vital who is their defensive specialist and based on his stats gets his points at the rim and doesn’t need to be guarded otherwise (shooting % away from the rim is very poor 19%). Looks like their equivalent to DaMonte. Curious as how BU will game plan. Start Giorgi and make Vital guard a big man? If we start DaMonte, suspect Vital will be guarding Ayo. (Of course that would also allow Ayo to guard Vital and allow him to double team) However if Giorgi’s shooting hasn’t improved he would be free to double team Kofi. Start Grandison and if he is not guarded by Vital he can post up a smaller guard. Should be a fun time for BU has he has a lot of choices the opposition doesn’t. Their three guards can all shoot so Trent, Ayo, Belo, and Adam must all defend. Team has some commonality with our 2004-05 team.

I also didn't watch much of them last year. Lucky for us, Baylor has a loaded schedule before we play them so plenty of chances to check them out.

They play Arizona St (36th in Kenpom), probably Villanova (4th), and Seton Hall (50th). Weird that the Big East/Big 12 challenge is still on but the Gavitt games got cancelled.
 
       
The floor and the shooting background can have just as much of an impact as the fans.

I hear a lot of hospitals have been adding booing fans to operating rooms so that surgeons won't be distracted by the bland walls.
 
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Winged Warrior

Ive waited years to see Illinois listed as someone's final four prediction. Just the fact that there is a prediction is good for me!

No love for the Vols? Barnes has a stacked squad in Knoxville. I hope they pound the fur off the Cats and the scales off the Gators!
 
       
Interesting preview from the CBS national guys (Norlander and Parrish) on the Illini. Well worth the listen but I'll provide some highlights below:

* Early discussion centered around if Illinois was the team who benefited most from 'close NBA decisions'. Baylor was also mentioned, but guys settled on Illinois due to how unlikely both thought odds of Ayo return were.
* Comped team to 2019-20 Kansas, where Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike stayed the additional year akin to Kofi and Ayo.
* Credited Underwood for his flexibility over the years, going from SFA to OK State, and now adjusting to the Big Ten and making changes to his philosophies as he sees fit. Additionally gave BU and the program as a whole props for adopting to analytics.
* A few big picture discussions - One being the inaccessibility of Champaign, the other being Illinois' staying power as a Top 25 program.
* 3-point shooting as the team's Achilles' heel (guys had to touch 'weaknesses' as a formality). Specifically cited Ayo (35.2% to 29.6% from 18/19 to 19/20) and Frazier (40.6% to 30.9%) as the key reasons this was a weakness, but the 18/19 performances are evidence enough that this issue could be solved through positive regression. (Could've mentioned Miller and Hutcherson as well to this point).
* Overall a very rosy outlook from a national perspective.
 
       
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Interesting preview from the CBS national guys (Norlander and Parrish) on the Illini. Well worth the listen but I'll provide some highlights below:

* Early discussion centered around if Illinois was the team who benefited most from 'close NBA decisions'. Baylor was also mentioned, but guys settled on Illinois due to how unlikely both thought odds of Ayo return were.
* Comped team to 2019-20 Kansas, where Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike stayed the additional year akin to Kofi and Ayo.
* Credited Underwood for his flexibility over the years, going from SFA to OK State, and now adjusting to the Big Ten and making changes to his philosophies as he sees fit. Additionally gave BU and the program as a whole props for adopting to analytics.
* A few big picture discussions - One being the inaccessibility of Champaign, the other being Illinois' staying power as a Top 25 program.
* 3-point shooting as the team's Achilles' heel (guys had to touch 'weaknesses' as a formality). Specifically cited Ayo (35.2% to 29.6% from 18/19 to 19/20) and Frazier (40.6% to 30.9%) as the key reasons this was a weakness, but the 18/19 performances are evidence enough that this issue could be solved through positive regression. (Could've mentioned Miller and Hutcherson as well to this point).
* Overall a very rosy outlook from a national perspective.
Inaccessibility: Reminds me of Colin Cowherd in 2006 as Alabama was in search of a new head coach. Paraphrasing, he said Alabama's days as a national power are over. Tuscaloosa is in the middle of nowhere and they'll never be able to attract prominent coaching candidates again. (BTW, this confirmed for me at that time that national pundits just need to have strong opinions; they don't ever have to be "RIGHT".)

Needless to say, I don't buy that particular argument from Norlander/Parrish.
 
       
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Inaccessibility: Reminds me of Colin Cowherd in 2006 as Alabama was in search of a new head coach. Paraphrasing, he said Alabama's days as a national power are over. Tuscaloosa is in the middle of nowhere and they'll never be able to attract prominent coaching candidates again. (BTW, this confirmed for me at that time that national pundits just need to have strong opinions; they don't ever have to be "RIGHT".)

Needless to say, I don't buy that particular argument from Norlander/Parrish.
Also, we are 2.5 hours from the third largest city which probably produces the basketball talent per capita in the country. When the program is humming, the Chicago media market notices. Hardly “inaccessible” compared to some other college towns.
 
       
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Also, we are 2.5 hours from the third largest city which probably produces the basketball talent per capita in the country. When the program is humming, the Chicago media market notices. Hardly “inaccessible” compared to some other college towns.

Yeah that one is a headscratcher. If Champaign is "inaccessible" then so are the majority of college towns.
 
       
Also, we are 2.5 hours from the third largest city which probably produces the basketball talent per capita in the country. When the program is humming, the Chicago media market notices. Hardly “inaccessible” compared to some other college towns.
Not to mention 2 hours from Indy and 3 from St Looo.
 
       
Winged Warrior
Lol, so if Chambana is inaccessible......then Iowa City is on the Moon and Bloomington, IN is on Mars.
 
       
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No love for the Vols? Barnes has a stacked squad in Knoxville. I hope they pound the fur off the Cats and the scales off the Gators!

Coached by Barnes is enough reason for me not to put them in any mock Final Four.
 
       
Lol, so if Chambana is inaccessible......then Iowa City is on the Moon and Bloomington, IN is on Mars.
Close...
Bloomington is on the 7th and Iowa City is on the 8th level of Hell... 9th reserved for Satan himself.
1605444518999.png
 
       
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I also didn't watch much of them last year. Lucky for us, Baylor has a loaded schedule before we play them so plenty of chances to check them out.

They play Arizona St (36th in Kenpom), probably Villanova (4th), and Seton Hall (50th). Weird that the Big East/Big 12 challenge is still on but the Gavitt games got cancelled.
Hope they are not 0-3. Like to see them 3-0 so it is significant.
 
       
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Illinois has been picked as the favorite to win the Big Ten in a poll of the league’s writers.

Adam Miller also picked as Big Ten Freshman of the Year according to the article. Very excited to finally see him play.
 
       
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Has anyone heard anything about broadcasting the games next week? I just checked BTN plus and don't see them on the docket.
 
       
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Nothing's been announced about the following-
* the tipoff times/broadcast info about the 6 games on the schedule so far
* the B1G schedule and the 1 remaining non-conference game
* when these announcements will take place

Official schedule so far
Wed, Nov 25: North Carolina A&T
Thu, Nov 26: Wright State
Fri, Nov 27: Ohio
Wed, Dec 2: Baylor in Jimmy V Classic
Tue, Dec 8: at Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Sat, Dec 12: at Missouri
 
       
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Winged Warrior
With all the new travel quarantines going into place in several states...we should all assume the cancellation brace position.
It's only slightly different from the recruiting brace position, so everyone should have very little trouble with it.

 
       
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Adam Miller also picked as Big Ten Freshman of the Year according to the article. Very excited to finally see him play.
If Ayo and Kofi are 1st team and Adam is freshman of the year, it will be a very good year. Any loss this year is going to be a downer. Save recruiting loss equipment.
 
       
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Springfiled, IL.
Since the governor has moved the state to Tier 3 and indoor sports is put on hold does that mean all colleges in Illinois can't play next week. I just saw that New Mexico St moved it team to Arizona so it can practice and play. New Mexico University has been in Las Vegas for Football so they could play. Will this effect us.


 
       
Since the governor has moved the state to Tier 3 and indoor sports is put on hold does that mean all colleges in Illinois can't play next week. I just saw that New Mexico St moved it team to Arizona so it can practice and play. New Mexico University has been in Las Vegas for Football so they could play. Will this effect us.



This seems like an issue, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen an article yet commenting on potential college impact. Per the definition below, it sounds like basketball and football in Illinois would both be on pause (no more than 10 people outdoors), unless there’s some exemption for college sports.

“No indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports; individual training may continue

Outdoor sports and recreation allowed; limited to 10 people with social distancing”
 
       
This seems like an issue, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen an article yet commenting on potential college impact. Per the definition below, it sounds like basketball and football in Illinois would both be on pause (no more than 10 people outdoors), unless there’s some exemption for college sports.

“No indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports; individual training may continue

Outdoor sports and recreation allowed; limited to 10 people with social distancing”


Saw a government comment that Champaign was doing their own thing separate from "youth and adult". "Collegiate".
 
       
Chicago, IL
This seems like an issue, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen an article yet commenting on potential college impact. Per the definition below, it sounds like basketball and football in Illinois would both be on pause (no more than 10 people outdoors), unless there’s some exemption for college sports.

“No indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports; individual training may continue

Outdoor sports and recreation allowed; limited to 10 people with social distancing”
K-12 schools are being allowed to operate at the discretion of their boards (it's as messy as it sounds from a teacher's perspective). I would assume the same would be allowed for colleges and universities.
 
       
If you want both of them in 1 file, I photoshopped it. Here you go as a screensaver
 

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