Illinois 78, Maryland 67 POSTGAME

How much fun was that? I am so happy for the team, for BU and for Illini Nation. A few takeaways from my perspective:
1. Congrats to Tev ... could you imagine if he didn’t miss 8 games?
2. I feel bad for Kip but he should be relegated to a support role off of the bench.
3. Great team defensive sets and execution.
4. We made shots when we needed to make shots.
5. We made our free throws.
6. We didn’t make many turnovers.
7. ADR played some solid minutes.
8. Giorgi didn’t have a strong game and we still won!
9. Our offense maintained a nice balance of penetration and perimeter scoring.
10. We came back from being down early and finished strong!

If I am the rest of the Big Ten I would not want to play us if we continue on this path! I hope Brown and our other targets were watching!:shield:
# 8 is the key for this team. It is a team that is growing and getting better....over a rotation of 10-11 guys. To maintain the defensive intensity on both ends, teams cannot rely on a short bench. Having dependable players 11 deep allows them all to play at max effort. Hope we have 4 bigs plus Higgs next year because Kofi will not be able to play more than 15 minutes to start and not likely ever more than 25 if he needs to run. Kane will become a growing contributor over time and who knows what Jan. will bring...but he better be in shape unless he likes getting splinters in his rear from bench sitting (I know....they sit on padded chairs, but you should get the idea). Georgi seems to be able to run all night and that is what it takes. Love that guy. And from Higgs HS video, he loves to run too. Hope he can play sometime soon. But from a lineup of 2.5 bigs to 5 who can all contribute, there is some huge upside.
 
The closest teams with a style that I can remember that are like ours now are Iowa and Arkansas both back in the 80’s. Lots of overplay attempting to run (we as fans have been asking for a running team for 50 years and have 1 1989 to show for it). The 89 team simply had the best athletes we have ever had. The thing is we are going to need (just like those Iowa and Arkansas teams) at least 9 serviceable players and really 10. So having Williams start of TJ start or what ever is really not relavent. We need bodies or we will for sure run out of gas at the end of games.

So for me, I really want to see Griffin get more minutes where we can. Kane maybe is a next year player or a player you use against less “physical” big players? And I would say it would be great to see KN just start playing hard in 4 or 5 minute stretches and worry less about scoring but more on 100% effort. With KN it is probably not going to matter as he will most likely transfer (I assume he can since he has once already?). If we can have a rotation of TF, AD, GB, AJ, TJ, AF, DW, AG, then maybe KN and Kane that gives you the 9 or 10 deep you need. Next year you add Kofi and hopefully January, Higgs and another guard/wing now your on to something. We won’t be a team with only 4 AJ, TF, DW and KN) who had ever played together before.
 
Do you understand Math? Granted Damonte is a better defender, but at the max he was not going to score more than 4 or 5 points in that game. Subtract Tevian's 18 points and where would that leave us?
If you're asking me, I only made it to differential equations of several variables while at my beloved university.

Damonte didn't miss all night. Every guy in the line up need not score, but can't be a liability.

Without Tevians eighteen points we might of lost. He had a great game.
 
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Just rewatched the game and what I saw was a cohesive group of Illini players busting their !!! to win a game against a superior opponent and by god we did it !!!!!!!!!!!

Dre was a tazmanian devil driving to the rim against taller foes and either getting a bucket or fouled....he reminds me of Luther Head in his tenacity....
Trent played excellent defense the whole game
Tev played like someone with confidence oozing out of every pore
Ayo is silky smooth in all aspects of the game
Giorgi was good in limited time
Damonte saddled by fouls
AJ was a beast on the boards
AG hit a big three in the first half
ADLR was great in bumping and grinding down low

A great game to watch and then watch again......love my hulu and the built in DVR



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Jones won’t shoot like that every game but he doesn’t need to. He’s a legitimate threat offensively which will make us harder to guard. Should open things up for Frazier, Ayo and Giorgi.
Now they need to let Alan Griffin play more too. He can light it up also when he gets comfortable on the floor. Bring the upper classmen off the bench.
 
This is wha happens when you don’t play Nichols as much
Sad for Kipper. But he was cheering on his teammates like crazy from the bench. Thanks a million, Kipper! Aaron Jordan: thanks for ALL you do! Boy, is he an Illini!

Now these Illini must follow up with a win against Minnesota; Gophers should be ready for Illini. But are they ready for Illini not-so-secret weapon all of a sudden: Tevian.

The Illini unis aren't so hot, but who really cares after a win like today?
 
I guess my only concerns are that as we for sure are getting better. So is Ayo and it really sounds like he maybe a 1st round pick. While it would be really good for Illinois to have that, especially given how poor a year we are having, but man it would be great to get one more year of him. We could be a very good team next year if he were in it.
 
I guess my only concerns are that as we for sure are getting better. So is Ayo and it really sounds like he maybe a 1st round pick. While it would be really good for Illinois to have that, especially given how poor a year we are having, but man it would be great to get one more year of him. We could be a very good team next year if he were in it.
Please, Ayo. Stay at least another year. Help Illini get back to prominence, respectabiliity and a berth in the tournamant.

I'm glad it wasn't champagne the players drenched Coach with. Can you imagine? Brad returning to Champaign and Mrs. Underwood asking "Just what (the h---) have you been doing after your wild weekend in the Big Apple?"

Great win Coach, team and Mrs. Underwood.
 
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Winged Warrior
I was working today sadly, flying a round trip to Kalispell, MT. However, a strange occurrence now raises my eyebrows after coming home to see this wonderful news.....one of my (super cute) flight attendants overheard me talking with the gate agent in Kalispell who is a Northwestern engineering alum.
I mentioned being an Illini alum and my flight attendant then chimes in and says "hey me too!"....and this all was happening just as the Illini finished off the victory....and we bonded forever!!

 
I guess my only concerns are that as we for sure are getting better. So is Ayo and it really sounds like he maybe a 1st round pick. While it would be really good for Illinois to have that, especially given how poor a year we are having, but man it would be great to get one more year of him. We could be a very good team next year if he were in it.
I think we have the makings of a really good team with or without Ayo. Feliz has come into his beast mode...DW, TF and AF are formidable rotation in backcourt.
 
Not trying to put a damper on what was a great win but I am a little concerned about GB and KC next year. Fernando showed that GB doesn't have great mobility. He will have to drastically improve in the offseason to play the 4 effectively. On the other hand 20 min of KC and 20 of GB is not a bad thing at all. Doesn't leave much for Kane or January though.
 
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I think we have the makings of a really good team with or without Ayo. Feliz has come into his beast mode...DW, TF and AF are formidable rotation in backcourt.
I think your correct, but 1 more year with him, then good chance to get Miller and the. BU is off and running. Ayo is one of the best freshman we have had since Deron or Cook?
 
Winged Warrior
Not trying to put a damper on what was a great win but I am a little concerned about GB and KC next year. Fernando showed that GB doesn't have great mobility. He will have to drastically improve in the offseason to play the 4 effectively. On the other hand 20 min of KC and 20 of GB is not a bad thing at all. Doesn't leave much for Kane or January though.
What??!! I'm not sure what you're watching, or referring to, but Giorgi has some of the best footwork we've ever seen for a freshman big at Illinois.
 
My only concern about GB is that he’s 20. So he’s may not improve as much over the next couple years as younger freshmen do. He’s already a legitimately good big ten player.
 
Likes: Fr8trn16
What??!! I'm not sure what you're watching, or referring to, but Giorgi has some of the best footwork we've ever seen for a freshman big at Illinois.
Giorgi may have to adapt to a new role with Kofi,...but I agree with you that his mobility is not an issue. If he can hit 3s he will be immensely valuable with Kofi on the same floor. His personality alone probably makes him the MVP on the team for 4 years
Loved Pwrry Range. My favorite Illini of all time was Quinn Richardson. Kid was a 5th year senior, never played and when Derick Harper left early (very rare back then) for the NBA Quinn led Illinois to the elite 8, and the greatest reffere hose job ever done to a school. That was the year Illinois lost (had stolen from them) an elite 8 game to Kentucky played at Rupp arena.

None the less AJ deserves a great deal of respect from all Illinois fans. Kid has never quit works hard and will have a great career with a degree from a great school. If he was a 6th man he would have scored 500 more points over his career. Just what the sport is suppose to be.
We will probably never realize the "coaching" and mentoring AJ did with new guys last summer that impacted the Freshman's development. Whatever successes we have as a team in the next 3 years ( my hopes are high), AJ can be remembered as a great contributor.