Illinois 71, Michigan 62 POSTGAME

K and B need to also kick out to the open guard a little more.
They are a combined 98/169 I.e. 196 points so not a huge problem. Three point is 51/163 for 153 pts so their % is better than the kick out. Maybe it would help the three pt % but not an issue until they start getting double teamed. Giorgi did have a problem with that last year.
 
Not sure if he could/we would want him too/or if even possible. But if it were possible, I would think he would not like the prospects. Griffin another year stronger, Williams a senior, 2 transfers ready to go....numbers don't add up to do that?
I like that idea because he would have another year after Griffin and the transfers. Otherwise we lose all of our current wings in the same year.
 
This is gonna sound weird, but I don't even think we played exceptionally well? Like we played a really solid game and Kofi continues to surpass even our wildest expectations, but that was just a pretty thorough handling of the #5 team in the country without anything really crazy going our way offensively, right?

Good post, I don't think we did anything extraordinary. Just a hard played, tough battle that we never let up on.
 
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Not likely the Illini will get top 25 votes IMHO. Beating a cold Michigan team at home is to be expected. OTOH, they have played well for most of the last two games and have done many things better than the fumbling finishes of previous seasons. If that becomes the norm, then they will get their due. Win the next three and they will likely be ranked in top 20 but that just becomes a target on their back. I see 11 B1G wins if they play well, and maybe as high as 15 if their standard of play and execution in the last two games becomes the norm....and there is no reason other than what is in their heads that it can't. Should be a wild ride but I expect ups and downs as their are too many ghosts to ignore. What I hope to see is better FF shooting but that is not likely. Also want to see guards driving while under control and not leaving their feet with no idea what to do which happens too often. Fortunately, that seemed to improve against Michigan but must be eliminated along with other boneheaded and costly turnovers. Coaches know this and I hope the players are listening to them which seems to be happening. Kofi has certainly been a blessing for Illini fans and he and Giorgi are getting chemistry as well as with others. Team seems to be gelling and getting better and playing like the Fighting Illini.

If you selectively decide to only look at the last 105 minutes of Illinois basketball then Illinois is absolutely an AP top 25 team.

vs Miami (final 25 minutes only): Illinois 61 to Miami 36. Extrapolate that to a full 40 and you get Illinois 97.6 to Miami 57.6.
@ Maryland: Illinois lead most of the game and barely lost by just 1 point to the #3 ranked team in the country.
vs Michigan: Illinois kept it close the entire first half and then took the lead and never relinquished it going into the 2nd half to knock off the #5 team in the country.
vs Old Dominion: Let's just day dream about Illinois making Old Dominion look like Hampton

Even if we light up Old Dominion it might not be enough. The Poll likes W's way more than it maybe should and our lack of W @ Maryland and vs Miami is going to hold us back.

That being said there are a few teams at the back end of the poll / receiving votes that could slip this week:
#22 Seton Hall would drop out if they lose @ Rutgers this Saturday (47.4% chance per ESPN)
#23 Xavier would drop out if they lose @ Wake Forest this Saturday (45.3% chance per ESPN)
#24 Colorado lost to UNI. They fell 4 spots last week and will fall further this week.
+1(160 votes) Utah State would lose votes if they lose to BYU (50.1% chance per ESPN)
+2(140 votes) Washington didn't play this week.

Seton Hall, Xavier, Colorado, and Utah State have 836 votes between them. If they all drop in the polls the most likely candidates to receive those votes would be teams with wins over Top teams this week.

- Texas Tech knocked off #1 Louisville after losing 3 in a row. Knocking off #1 is big but it didn't get SFA or Evansville ranked.
- Penn State knocked off #4 Maryland and improved to 8-2. Their loss to Ohio St is fine as OSU is likely #1/#2 next week. Their loss to Mississippi was by just 2 points and they have wins vs Syracuse and Wake forest. Penn State is probably the most likely team to move into the rankings.
- Illinois knocked off #5 Michigan and has 3 total losses. A key distinguishing point compared to Texas Tech is that Illinois' losses are to #15 Arizona and #4 Maryland and the remaining loss was by just 2 pts to a P5 team. Tech lost to Iowa, Creighton, and DePaul which are all good teams this year but none of them are ranked.
- Purdue didn't win any ranked matchups but they already had 130 votes and a road win @ Nebraska likely pushes them in.

I wouldn't be surprised to see all 4 of these teams slide into at least the #25 spot on a bracket and pick up a vote or 2.

Then Illinois only has 1 game against Missouri the following week. If we solidly handle that game and Old Dominion I think we're ranked for Christmas.
 
Except Howard laughed about it in post game and said they had the wrong play.

When I saw that, I didn't think Howard was convincing here. It sounded to me like he was saving face. That was just my gut reaction/opinion.

Maybe someone can watch film and see if Howard called out 5 or not. Who knows!
 
Very impressive defense the last 2 games, they will win a lot of games with that.
I needed that one

That's why I was optimistic, but slightly sad after Maryland. Looked to me like they found their way on D and I thought/think that if that type of D continues, we can win a lot of games.
 
Averages on the better shooters as one per game. Teske made the first one and didn’t make another. Not going to be significant either way imo.

You're not wrong and that's why I included the (shots made / shots taken) stat to indicate that these are not players that are typically taking the 3 pt shot. Garza (Iowa), K Wesson (aOSU), and Reuvers (Wisconsin) seem to have a higher usage rate on the perimeter.

The purpose of my post was in response to the comment about trying to draw Kofi further from the basket. Some of the B10 teams look to have pieces that could force that. The other teams should only be able to draw Kofi out if we have bad coaching.
 
They are a combined 98/169 I.e. 196 points so not a huge problem. Three point is 51/163 for 153 pts so their % is better than the kick out. Maybe it would help the three pt % but not an issue until they start getting double teamed. Giorgi did have a problem with that last year.

Only looking at our core 8 players (the 8 that played against Michigan or that got more than 4 minutes against Miami/Maryland):
- Giorgi + Kofi are a combined 93 / 158 (removing their 3 pt attempts) or 58.86% from 2 = 1.177 pt per shot.
- Trent + Feliz + Griffin are a combined 32 / 88 or 36.36% from 3 = 1.091 pt per shot.
- Ayo is only shooting 28.6% from 3 and Da'Monte and Kipper are much worse from 3.

On the surface I understand why you might say that the kickout is a lower efficiency option but that's not right. If Giorgi and Kofi learn to recognize the double and rather than try and fight thru it (which contributes to the missed shot 31.14% of times) and instead look to kick it outside to the open 3 point shooter then they will increase both their inside shooting efficiency (by not missing as many contested shots) AND increase their teammates 3pt% (by providing them more open looks from deep).

As long as Giorgi and Kofi are making over 1.1 pts per shot, Illinois should absolutely be looking to play inside first, but they should still be watching for the double and kicking it out to the open shooter. Playing inside out is a great way to win basketball games when you have a strong inside option.
 
While we're all basking in the glow, let's dream a little. Can you imagine if we could convince Kofi and Ayo to each stay one more year, and Ayo staying didn't deter Adam Miller from coming? Would Kofi, Ayo, Giorgi, Miller, Trent, Da'Monte, and Tevian be considered a final four contender?
 
While we're all basking in the glow, let's dream a little. Can you imagine if we could convince Kofi and Ayo to each stay one more year, and Ayo staying didn't deter Adam Miller from coming? Would Kofi, Ayo, Giorgi, Miller, Trent, Da'Monte, and Tevian be considered a final four contender?

If you want to dream you just need to keep Kofi. Discuss "A" as either Ayo OR Adam Miller. Also there's no reason to be thinking Tevian would be a major contributor to a final four team based on anything we've seen so far from him.

ILLINOIS 2020-21 Roster if Kofi stays + "A" (Adam or Ayo):
1/2: "A" - Top level guard
1/2: Trent Frazier - 3&D guard
Wing: Alan Griffin - 3&D + great rebounding
PF: Giorgi Bezhanishvili - More statue of liberty dunks and improved defense at his new role
C: Kofi Cockburn - Best Center in the country or just the B10?
6th Man: Da'Monte Williams - Defensive does-it-all guy
Bench depth in no particular order below
Bench: Andre Curbelo - highly ranked point guard
Bench: Tevian Jones - wing with lots of potential
Bench: Jacob Grandison - Junior Transfer wing
Bench: Austin Hutcherson - Junior Transfer wing
Bench: Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk - wing with lots of potential
Bench: Coleman Hawkins - PF with hype (freshman probably wont play much)
Bench: Jermain Hamlin - Backup Center (probably wont play much)

That's a team where Kofi, "A", Curbelo, and Verdonk are your only guys that might see significant minutes that aren't Juniors or Seniors.
That's a team with potentially the best Big man Duo in the nation have already played a year together.
That's a team with a lot of shooting potential (Trent/Griffin/Jones/Grandison/Hutcherson/Verdonk).
That's a team with a lot of defensive ability ("A"/Trent/Griffin/Da'Monte/Kofi)
That's a great rebounding team (Griffin/Da'Monte/Kofi/Giorgi)

That's a team that, if this season goes well, on paper will look like a Top level team for next year.
 
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My first time at SFC, been wanting to get back up there since the remodel. Place looks great. We had great seats down by the band. Great game. I liked that the refs didn't call every ticky tack foul that they could, it made for much better game flow. We had a shaky minute there at the end, everybody was getting a little nervous but the guys righted the ship and closed it out.

Also had dinner at Hamiltons downtown, outstanding.
 
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Chicago, IL
Just because I feel like being messy, has anyone looked at Michigan sites? Any ennui over the loss, or am I being presumptuous?
 
I truly believe getting Georgi more involved in the post helped as well.. he sure seems more comfortable in the paint with the ball in his hands then standing 20 feet away.

Good solid win for the Illini.. need to blow out Old Dominion and take Mizzou out silently.
I prefer to take out Mizzou loudly after last years loss.
 
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