Illinois 83, Grand Canyon 71 POSTGAME

This team is going to be very good, but I can't help but think of what they could be with Holyfield or for that matter Tillman or Woldetensae.
Personally would be so curious to see how this team would look with Holyfield. We’d be terrific on the boards
 
Likes: FiveStar
Man, would i like to see Jones back. GB, had a decent game for a guy who only played 16 or so minutes due to foul trouble. I know those guys don't want to get pushed around down there but i think 2 of his fouls were offensive fouls, which he got his fair share of last year. Guards are not playing as well defensively as i thought they would so far.
 
Likes: BlueLeader
OSKEE WOW WOW
Rochester, IL
He may not be a 2 year player neither if he keep playing like this
I get the enthusiasm, and I too am excited,but he has played two very undersized teams. When the Big10 starts, he'll be seeing big men every game. I hope he gets a tad more aggressive and become the rim protector he can be. I had hoped we'd see a few blocks a game from him.
 
Likes: NotThatPierre
I could not agree more. Great post. I feel like GB is out of sync and I feel like there's no identity. Last year, the guards were flying all over the court, causing turnovers, playing free and easy in an open court. This year, we're pounding the ball into Kofi and are playing through the center in a much less frenetic pace....not really getting out in transition, where a guy like Ayo flourishes.

I don't think anyone has figured out their roles yet. Could take time.
That style of play led to our players being gased and collapsing the last 10 minutes of games. I think there will be a better balance of attack as well better decision making and execution.

Ayo will need to finish those lay ups that Feliz is making. Also if he is playing pg feed the open man instead of taking an ill advised shot. He had Grifgin wide open kn the final 5 minutes and looked him away for a contested mid range shot.
 
Likes: RBonce
Scott Williams is great. After a Bulls game, he was being interviewed in the locker room and with a straight face says....the North Carolina connection hit for 63 points tonight. He was right.....Jordan had 61 and Scott had 2.

25+ years later, that still makes me laugh.
I assume Jerry put Scott in the GCU booth. Win-win!!
 
I've watched a lot of basketball in the last 40+ years and seen good and bad. Have not seen a lot of good team play yet. Individual, yes, team no. The great teams we've had have all blown out lesser opponents. Maybe basketball is different these days, but I don't think it is that much. We've got a lot to improve on and I really hope we are able to do so and get to the tournament because this has been a tough 14 years since '05.
"Have not seen a lot of good team play yet."

Agreed. The talent is there. If they can develop the "chemistry" of the 05 team this could be a very interesting year.
 
Exactly, Kofi was 7/13 and shot the worst. The rest of the team was pretty good. I'm sure Kofi will be shooting lots of free throws in practice but you have to like his presence in the paint...scoring and drawing fouls!
7/13 is still not even close to Hack a Shaq numbers, so with more practice I don't see this as becoming an issue late in games. He is fine, especially as a freshman.
 
Likes: Ramrod2010
What I saw is a team struggling with flow on offense and tenacity on defense. I think our guards are still trying to find their rhythm. Everything seems a little out of sync right now but that is to be expected. I would much rather see them struggle now and see the need to work harder to improve than to blow everyone out. Work to be done by everyone (including Kofi) but the potential is there when firing on all cylinders.
 
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Virginia
Our rotations are puzzling at times and seems to throw off the flow (Hamlin/TU).

There’s no player I wish to break out more than Damonte. I get excited when he shoots cause I keep thinking “this is it”. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s ever going to, and it bums me out. Larger rotation and he sees the bench a lot more

is kip not getting enough sleep or what? He’s just sleep walking on the court

I get the feeling something is off with Ayo. He loves big games though so AZ might be the game we see him explode. If he gets going with Kofi and TF can find his swagger again, we are going to be hard to stop

Kofi is that dude, insanely excited to watch him play. Get that dude some pedialyte!
 
Likes: illinitiger
We have played two low quality opponents and just scraped by. We appear to have 6 1/2 reliable players. Damonte only gets half. Not sure how anyone can be satisfied with this so far. Need Tevian badly and not even sure what we will get from him. Looking like a train wreck. Kofi and Feliz have been great. Kofi will not pile up same stats vs Big Ten opponents. He will be good but someone will have to increase their production. Ayo and Trent are the obvious candidates but color me concerned with this team.
trainwreck seems a little extreme, don't you think for young team that is 2-0?
Halloweenie post should have been forecasted in Illiniguy90's pregame predictions. Some on this board would call your post "outrageous"
 
I was pretty happy with the win. GCU started the season with a bad loss, but I don't think they're as bad a team as that loss would suggest. True road games are tough — even at 42nd (vs 131st) in KenPom rankings, we were only a 6 point favorite or so. Drop them down to 200th and that's probably 10 points, about where we finished. I agree with the posters saying it would be nice to see us get out & score in transition a bit more, but I was pretty happy with the amount of movement in the half court offense tonight compared to Tuesday (at least for the parts of the game where I was paying closer attention). Our offensive rebound rate is 3rd in the nation, and free throw drawing rate is top-40, which are both good things to build on.
Agree with all that, if we can continue rebounding, continue drawing fouls, and add in just a little more fast break stuff we’re going to have a very solid season
 
trainwreck seems a little extreme, don't you think for young team that is 2-0?
Halloweenie post should have been forecasted in Illiniguy90's pregame predictions. Some on this board would call your post "outrageous"
This is a team that we expect to go to the NCAA tournament.
 
7/13 is still not even close to Hack a Shaq numbers, so with more practice I don't see this as becoming an issue late in games. He is fine, especially as a freshman.
A lot of those were missed put backs that he then rebounded again before being fouled though weren’t they? I may be misremembering
 
Aurora, IL
Our rotations are puzzling at times and seems to throw off the flow (Hamlin/TU).

There’s no player I wish to break out more than Damonte. I get excited when he shoots cause I keep thinking “this is it”. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s ever going to, and it bums me out. Larger rotation and he sees the bench a lot more

is kip not getting enough sleep or what? He’s just sleep walking on the court

I get the feeling something is off with Ayo. He loves big games though so AZ might be the game we see him explode. If he gets going with Kofi and TF can find his swagger again, we are going to be hard to stop

Kofi is that dude, insanely excited to watch him play. Get that dude some pedialyte!
I think this should get better as the season goes along. BU still trying to get a feel for who works well with whom and optimal rotations outside of the 5 best guys they have.
 
The slight negative outlook from alot of the board is warrented in my opinion. Yes, they are 2-0 but not in a way that looks all that impressive. You can hang your hat on 2-0 if you'd like, but to assume this type of defense/rotations and sub par offense will work against better competition is not the right outlook.

1. The defense has been bad. Our guards get blown by repeatedly. Feliz in particular, as good as he was offensively. I think he really struggles against Big 10 guards. (By the way, Blackshear was lighting quick. Good looking PG)

2. Not only does Kofi have bad feet on defense. He has absolutely no idea about defensive rotations, help and recover, rim protecting etc. He is straight up lost on the defensive end. I have no worries offensively. If he had just average defensive awareness, your looking at a lottery pick.

3. Ayo has not looked like an NBA player. Many times watching the last 7 to 5 minutes I'm asking myself: Get it to your 1st round pick, Ayo take this thing over, be a leader. He just hasn't looked the part and if he can't significantly improve on last season, he's looking more like a 2nd round talent who will have a decision to make on if to come back to school.

4. Offense looks stagnant...Now I'm diffusing this by saying they have changed the offense to make it around Kofi and it has significantly changed the roles of our other offensive players. Georgie B hasnt found out how to play with Kofi yet. Also, I would like to see more 3 point attempts. Your not going to keep up with more high powered offenses with the attempts were having. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger (TRENT). GCU might have had poor shot selection, but when you at least take the chance, even if you only hit 3 or 4...thats a few points closer.

This is all with the caveat that it is SUPER EARLY. But playing an Arizona team on their floor will show us alot of this. BU has a lot to do with this group and they need to start learning to play under control, better defense, learn to play when defenses are up on you and figure out how to play with Kofi and Georgie B on the floor together.
 
It's early, I guess.

Easy to go overboard on hot takes, but I agree with posters on the 'it's early, we're 2-0' train and also with the concept that we'll know a lot more Sunday night. A couple things stand out though:

* The entire team seems...confused...on the offensive end. I actually think they've been better this year with ball reversal and not letting the ball 'stick'. However, 90% of the cuts have no purpose whatsoever. It is infuriating to see a repeated sequence of guys passing and then casually moving through the lane area with not even a thought of looking for a pass or positioning themselves - or looking to back pick someone else's man for a lob. It's like going through the motions and they make it easy for their trailing man to cover them. It winds up being a lot of 'activity' with no 'productivity'. I have to think that BU is hiding some of his 'stuff' for when the games ratchet up. We should see more against Arizona.

* It's weird to see the defense this year. Yeah - it has done wonders to reduce the fouling, increase the free throw ratio and rebounding stats, but after three years of building the identity of making guys like Cassius Winston miserable, we're now allowing the the GCUs and Nicholls St's of the world to run their sets in comfort. Despite being less aggressive, our guards (except Trent) get beat constantly off head fakes on the dribble. I'm curious to see it vs AZ, but I don't know what our identity is supposed to be anymore with that vanilla D.

* I love where Alan Griffin is headed. That guy is a demon on offensive rebounds and I love his movement with a purpose on offense. He sprints to his spots and is ready to let it fly when he's open. He needs more minutes ASAP and...

* Kipper and DMW's minutes need to evaporate. I am convinced we are seeing the 'Ghost of Kipper' because this *cannot* be the guy who has scored 30+ multiple times against top tier Big Ten teams and frankly looked like our most consistent 3 point shooter 2 years ago. He *looks* like a basketball player and goes through basketball motions out there, but his heart is not in it. DMW is just going through the motions on offense and his body language is not good on that end. Part of our offensive flow issues is we *rarely* have 5 guys on the floor all looking to score and take advantage of seams that the movement is supposed to create. Reminds me of early vintage Chet Frazier and just makes it easier for the defender to 'cheat' into spaces that should be more open.

* I really hope Tev has been going to class, because this team desperately needs another fearless shooter and aggressive athlete on the floor. If Tev has taken the same kind of leap that Alan has, he will play *a lot* and the team will look a lot more fluid.

* Giorgi hasn't lost his skill set but I think he hasn't quite figured out his spots in the new lineups. He's forcing things that he didn't last year and seems to 'rush'. I like his post passing though and he hit Kofi with a couple beautiful ones. I think it would be better for Giorgi if they ran some stuff to get Kofi a couple free throw looks to draw his man up the lane and give Giorgi his post move opportunities against a 4 man. Not every time, just as a switch up.

* Too early to worry about Ayo. Let's see him when the lights really come on.


All will be forgotten if they somehow step up their game and pull a real surprise on Sunday.
 
Likes: The Dave
A lot of those were missed put backs that he then rebounded again before being fouled though weren’t they? I may be misremembering
There were also some and-ones. Higher shooting percentage is always better but don’t sleep on the fact that creating fouls puts opponent players on the bench too. That is huge. Not sure what Sean May shot that day from the FT line, butt the damage was done by creating the foul.
 
Paducah, Ky
Great win in a loud hostile road battle....regardless of how we won, WE WON !!! thats the bottom line for me...It's nice to look at the box score and see a 41 point first half followed by a 42 point second half...that shows me this team is growing up , as we all have seen numerous games where a good first half led to a poor second half start and then trying to come back to be competitive ....This is only our second game with a new element being a Kofi banger and with 2 double doubles that is something the Illini program hasn't had in recent memory...

To incorporate such a talent as Kofi into the scheme means others will not put up the numbers they have in the past....the season will play out with everyone getting the stats to shine and we will come together as a tourney team....I have little doubt we don't make the dance, but injuries will determine that ...
We have more options now on offense and with Kofi and Dre playing lights out they are carrying us until others figure their role on the court...

I expect a highly contested game Sunday night and if Kofi has his legs ok then I'll go :


Illini 88
az 84