Outstanding post, Calvin. I know you were skeptical, and hardly without good reason. Glad to see the team getting what Wood and the staff are teaching. The future is indeed very bright...and the present isn't bad either. Let's go Illini, keep it rolling against the Scarlet Knights!Leonard was a monster defensively his sophomore year, averaged over 8 rebounds/gm, and shot about 60%!! He looked ready for the jump to the NBA and we were lucky to have him.
Agree with your comments about the offense running well. It's interesting to see Trent talk about how he's trusting the guys now, whereas before he thought he needed to go out and get 30 a game for us to win. With Ayo and Giorgi in particular, he's got guys he trusts to make good decisions and execute the offense. The whole thing is starting to come together, and a big chunk of that is on the defensive end. We're actually getting stops, and lowering the looks the other side gets.
As a fan, I used to find myself getting frustrated by the other team's open looks, and lately I find myself complimenting the other team when they manage to get one. We're not making it easy on the defensive end, and when you get stops, you can win tough games.
Honestly, I didn't think they could do it. Tip of the hat to everyone in the program who kept at it. Really fun to see them reap the rewards of that work.