Illinois 66, Hawaii 53 POSTGAME

#51
Kofi's game doesn't take him 10 feet from the basket. For those amount of touches, he really shouldn't be going 6 of 15. He missed four or five flat out bunnies(which are basically like turnovers)...leaving a couple woefully short. That gentleman wasn't attacking Kofi, he was just pointing out that for 3/4 of the game....he was fumbling around a bit. He's a freshman, it's going to happen. He does need to clean it up before conference play.

I'm far more concerned about the guard play.... especially #11.
 
#52
Putting a positive spin on this, last year we were 1-3 at this point. We're 3-1 so far this year. Granted, the schedule isn't as daunting, but after Maui, we were chasing all year.

The schedule offers a little more room for error, but is still challenging enough to start putting a solid resume together. Just can't lose a game to a mid to low major. Was it Florida Atlantic last year....Florida International? Can't have one of those debacles.
 
Likes: Berg88
#53
I thought Giorgi looked more comfortable last night at the 4. Need to get Ayo going, I think he’s trying to do too much needs to just let the game come to him. Love how Feliz fills out the stat sheet. We are going to be fine by the time the BIG starts full time in Jan.
 
#57
he really shouldn't be going 6 of 15
Kofi is getting the ball in the spots he needs, great hands on catch, not so much on holding on (freshman lowering etc), rushes to many shots (fast play and limited actual playing time), footwork is not to bad (Giorgi get some credit here?)

Overall, you can see his ranking was based on sheer size, limited ability, outstanding potential which he has. I am glad we got him, but I really see him as a 3-4 player if for no other reason experience in game to hone the limitless skill set he has.
 
#58
Things to like and things not to like. Not ready to contend in the B1G based on performances thus far this season, but there is time. Hopefully see some growth against Citadel. Keep on winning.
 
#59
Disjointed and disheartening.
Glass is only half empty my friend. Yes, there were mistakes aplenty, but we closed out the game nicely. I think we'll be a good home team this year. My worry is traveling outside the state.

Some observations:
Kofi is so good, he's bad! He's been so successful, that he looks bad with a double double on a night where he struggled at times to get good position. He tried to bull his way to the basket from poor position, and tried to beat good double teams without looking for an open man or simply passing out of the post, but you don't learn these things without game experience.
Kipper: Just when I start to disrespect him, he goes out and has a great game. Good for him. He had an NBA spin move down the lane with great touch off the glass..had me swoon. Flashes of greatness...
Giorgi had a better game, and we used our size well against a weaker group, but I'm not sure that works in the BIG. Need better guard play.
Ayo on a bad night is still a plus player, but he's still working through his funk. We had every flavor of turnover, and that's not uncommon early in the year.
 
#60
Big 10 Co-Freshman of the week---Trayce Jackson-Davis and Malik Hall.
POW-Kaleb Wesson
 
#62
Thought the first half looked like we hadn't played in eight days. We actually got good looks, just missed them. A lot of unforced turnovers in the first half and missed open shots made for an ugly first half. Really liked how we took care of the ball in the latter part of the second half and got a lot of quality touches inside. I like the way we are giving up very few second chance opportunities to our opponents.

Anyone know when we get Tevian back?
 
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#63
I thought Giorgi looked more comfortable last night at the 4. Need to get Ayo going, I think he’s trying to do too much needs to just let the game come to him. Love how Feliz fills out the stat sheet. We are going to be fine by the time the BIG starts full time in Jan.
He did but is still is a big defensive liability. He stands too upright on the perimeter and several times he had his back to the ball.
 
#64
Half court offense needs a lot of work....still VERY vanilla....flows a lot better with just one of the bigs in.
There was promise the last 10 minutes so hopefully, we can use that forward. If Giorgi can hit a 3 though at a solid rate, I think it can work with a caveat though. I would want Griffin and Frazier in there as they spread the floor enough to make the Kofi/Giorgi possibly work. Possibly add Tevian if he is not in doghouse in a few games from now. However, if one of Griffin or Frazier is not in there, the big man lineup will probably struggle as they are the only 2 legit 3 point threats we have. Kipper had a nice game and the ball is more elusive when paired with either Kofi/Giorgi. I do think Tevian could be very useful if he gets his head on straight as he could be another possible size/scorer off bench. I would pair Tevian more with Kofi since Kofi provides size to get more rebounds and allows Tevian to use speed to get out in transition. Giorgi probably needs more size when solo and needs at least Kipper along with either Tevian/Griffin and Feliz at one guard to help with rebounding. I think Brad pairing the right players is key. We have to be more cognizant in terms of defense/rebounding when Giorgi is out there, but have a little more flexibility when Kofi is solo.

Kofi out there
Tevian
Frazier (shooting purposes)
whoever else

Giorgi B
Kipper
Tevian or Griffin
Feliz
whoever else, defense and rebounding for Giorgi

Kofi and Giorgi together:
Kofi
Giorgi B
Griffin or Tevian if on (for spacing)
Frazier (for spacing)
either Feliz or Ayo


Ayo needs to work on letting the game come to him, while also being a threat offensively. What I mean is that when not pushing the pace, he needs to be more aggressive with mid-range if he wants to develop into a NBA 1st round pick. Right now his game is a streaky 3, or get to the lane. While the NBA is mainly 3 or layup, his shot from 3 is so streaky that if he develops and shows he has a floater, a mid-range jumper, or some creation ability not while in transition or being set a pick, he will help this team and his draft perspectives, but right now he is in a little slump and hopefully will bust out soon.
 
#65
Thought the first half looked like we hadn't played in eight days. We actually got good looks, just missed them. A lot of unforced turnovers in the first half and missed open shots made for an ugly first half. Really liked how we took care of the ball in the latter part of the second half and got a lot of quality touches inside. I like the way we are giving up very few second chance opportunities to our opponents.

Anyone know when we get Tevian back?
i would be surprised to see him before the end of the 1st semester
 
#66
There was promise the last 10 minutes so hopefully, we can use that forward. If Giorgi can hit a 3 though at a solid rate, I think it can work with a caveat though. I would want Griffin and Frazier in there as they spread the floor enough to make the Kofi/Giorgi possibly work. Possibly add Tevian if he is not in doghouse in a few games from now. However, if one of Griffin or Frazier is not in there, the big man lineup will probably struggle as they are the only 2 legit 3 point threats we have. Kipper had a nice game and the ball is more elusive when paired with either Kofi/Giorgi. I do think Tevian could be very useful if he gets his head on straight as he could be another possible size/scorer off bench. I would pair Tevian more with Kofi since Kofi provides size to get more rebounds and allows Tevian to use speed to get out in transition. Giorgi probably needs more size when solo and needs at least Kipper along with either Tevian/Griffin and Feliz at one guard to help with rebounding. I think Brad pairing the right players is key. We have to be more cognizant in terms of defense/rebounding when Giorgi is out there, but have a little more flexibility when Kofi is solo.

Kofi out there
Tevian
Frazier (shooting purposes)
whoever else

Giorgi B
Kipper
Tevian or Griffin
Feliz
whoever else, defense and rebounding for Giorgi

Kofi and Giorgi together:
Kofi
Giorgi B
Griffin or Tevian if on (for spacing)
Frazier (for spacing)
either Feliz or Ayo


Ayo needs to work on letting the game come to him, while also being a threat offensively. What I mean is that when not pushing the pace, he needs to be more aggressive with mid-range if he wants to develop into a NBA 1st round pick. Right now his game is a streaky 3, or get to the lane. While the NBA is mainly 3 or layup, his shot from 3 is so streaky that if he develops and shows he has a floater, a mid-range jumper, or some creation ability not while in transition or being set a pick, he will help this team and his draft perspectives, but right now he is in a little slump and hopefully will bust out soon.
We really need more 3 point threats besides Trent and Alan......Ayo needs to look to kick it out in transition when it is 1 on 2...having a couple more 3 point threats would help that. Kipper is still completely lost when they try and run a set.
 
#67
We really need more 3 point threats besides Trent and Alan......Ayo needs to look to kick it out in transition when it is 1 on 2...having a couple more 3 point threats would help that. Kipper is still completely lost when they try and run a set.
I agree. I would say we need to recruit more shooters, but it looks like we are doing that in terms of Hutcherson, Coleman Hawkins, and while not playing, Verdonk and Tevian Jones (streaky, but can be one).
 
#68
This. Kofi is good now and has an enormous upside, but he is far from being the complete package. The thing that strikes me as oddest is that his hands seem very week. When a defender reached in, the ball came out, every time. That shouldn't happen with someone that big and that strong.
Is it strength or hand size?
 
#70
i would be surprised to see him before the end of the 1st semester
I can't help wondering if he will return next year.
I know nothing, just observing that he surely came to play ball and he's not playing much for Illinois.
We all know its his own fault, but that doesn't increase the fun factor.
Fingers crossed.
 
#71
Does it seem like our guards can't seem to breeze by their defenders while the other team's guards get by ours way too often?
 
#72
The Transfer Portal
This team, playing this way, is not a tournament team.

But the football team, playing the way they played through halftime against Michigan, was not a bowl team.

There are concerns (I have several!) and bright spots (Kofi, Feliz, flashes of Griffin). If Underwood can address even some of the concerns while nurturing and maintaining those bright spots, it's easy to see a path back to the neighborhood of 20 wins and off the bubble.
 
#73
Forgottonia
Happy with the win, but yeah we have work to do. Did we improve that much the last 12 minutes of the game or did Hawaii just wear down after a very long road trip? Hard to say. Our talent was far superior.

Kofi is amazing, but I wonder how long he’s going to get by with the hooks. Seemed like Giorgi got called for that quite a bit last year. Underwood has proven himself to be a good coach, but he has his work cut out for him. So far the whole is less than the sum of it’s parts. A couple more easy games and then we start to find out a little more about this team.
 
#74
So far the whole is less than the sum of it’s parts.
True, but we're noticeably ahead of last year. And sure last year sucked until well into the conf schedule, but it's still nice to be well ahead of it.

I just hope the team is hungry enough to keep working on things and progressing. I thought we played down in the first two games, and that's a bad way to use easier games.
 
#75
Urbana, IL
Disjointed and disheartening.
That first half was very frustrating to watch. The second half was better/less bad.

We will get destroyed in conference play.
We have 4 games until we play in-conference at Maryland on 12/7. Maryland is currently ranked 6th nationally, so even if we improve significantly over the next 2.5 weeks, we'll be in for a fight.