Illinois 83, Grand Canyon 71 POSTGAME

The thing I like about this team is all the play makers we have. Feliz, Trent, Ayo and Georgi can all just make plays without having to rely on Underwood's system. Hopefully Kofi will show more of that. Now we just got to get Ayo going and develop some kind of frontcourt bench.
 
Paducah, Ky
It feels really nice to be here with the Illini being 2-0 in BB and the FB team going for a bowl eligible victory this afternoon... Been a while since this scenario has played this way and I'm enjoying the hell out of it...I will let others break down the stats and give their conclusions on what it all means...

All I know is I'm very happy to be an Illini fan ( over 60 years now ) and I want this groove to continue....Go Illini FB and kick some spartan azz today !!!!
 
Just win baby! We got ourselves a good one in Kofi..wow

Now lets give those dirtbags in Tucson all they can handle. ILL!
 
Likes: pvaughn8
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.
I remember a lot of that too. Very effective asset . . .
 
2-0 feels good no matter how bad the games may seem. Since we all like to give our hot takes and opinions here are mine.

We have come out of the gate looking lost and flat on both offense and defense as a team. We need to pick up intensity and killer instinct. Why even cut to the basket if you are essentially walking and not looking for the ball?
A few players and things did standout in a positive way. Rebounding and points in the paint have won us our last two games. I understand we played small teams, but we have struggled with that in the past. Plus our 3-point shooting has been bad the past two games closing the lanes. I will give this team the benefit of the doubt that if we can get our 3s to fall maybe the offense can open up.
 
Last year opponents attempted 186 FT's more than Illinois. This year after 2 games we have shot 59 to opponents 25. Huge swing
We were also down 12 in rebounds last year after two games.
 
Kofi has had a huge affect on both offense and defense. The positive is that BU has adjusted both and the defense has shown some very positive signs in foul problems and rebounding. Not sure we want Kofi more aggressive particularly in blocking shots. It not only leads to more fouls but also puts him out of position to rebound. We do have a lot of experience but Kofi changes the chemistry and it will take time to adjust. Not a finished product but more talent than we’ve seen at Ill. In years. Would be extremely disappointed if we had the same schemes this year as last. First they didn’t work and secondly we have a much different talent base.
 
Some talk about, Ayo, getting on track, not performing like a lottery pick. 23 the first night and 9 last night.. Not enough for me to press the he's not playing well enough button, yet. What does bother me are the turnovers and opponents 3 point shooting thus far. ILL averaging 20 to's and both teams have shot 40% or better from 3. Gotta do more than hope they miss. Side note, Nicholls beating Pitt 24-19.
 
No updates on his status???
Not an update, but we were told at the time of his "indefinite" suspension that he would be out at least through the Arizona game. I choose to be a glass half-full kinda guy by reading this to mean that he will be back immediately after the Arizona game.
 

IllFanInMi

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I am thoroughly impressed with GCU. The whole image that I saw tonight. Broadcast, announcers, fans. That is a lucky community to have an exciting team and committed program. Major kudos to Colangelo.
Well they just lost to a D2 team that’s 10 minutes from my house, but with Grand Valley State 15 minutes the other way, both D2 sports powerhouse schools. I didn’t exactly think Davenport beating them in same environment would happen, not sure this win for Illinois is too impressive
 
Likes: CHI 1086

IllFanInMi

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Someone in the game thread said this was a great job of scheduling. I couldn't disagree more. I agree we have to challenge ourselves early, but this game has zero upside. A win isn't worth a ton and a loss is devastating.

If you want a true road game in a hostile environment, just stick with playing Arizona in McKale Center, because winning that game would be huge and losing it doesn't hurt us much at all. There is zero reason to schedule games that make it more likely to lay an egg against a creampuff.
Are we really making GCU out to be some team we shouldn’t expect to go in and beat 8 of 10 times, especially with injuries to key guys? We all need an Illinois b-ball culture change!
 
Are we really making GCU out to be some team we shouldn’t expect to go in and beat 8 of 10 times, especially with injuries to key guys? We all need an Illinois b-ball culture change!
Last Vegas line was -6.5. So according to Vegas we exceeded expectations.
 
Likes: TCTORNADO
Just North of the Southern border!
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.

.........
We play a top 25 team tomorrow, on the road. Should validate or invalidate your concern
 
Are we really making GCU out to be some team we shouldn’t expect to go in and beat 8 of 10 times, especially with injuries to key guys? We all need an Illinois b-ball culture change!
Honestly, what are you talking about? First of all, people were clearly commenting on their campus’ culture, fans’ commitment/loyalty and hostile home court atmosphere ... not how good their team is. Secondly, I’m not sure if you noticed, but we marched in there 1 out of 1 times and beat them by double digits. I’ll bet you anything we’d do it 8 out of 10 times, likely more.
 
I was at the game last night. On my way out after the game was over, and older lady (GCU fan) asked me "what was wrong with #15?" (Giorgi). I asked her what she meant and she said something about him taunting the student section and what that says about his character. I didn't see what happened but I just kinda shrugged and walked away.

Had a lot of fun at the game though. The atmosphere was insane and it was great to see the Illini play. GCU fans were very polite (aside from that odd conversation I mentioned). I'll definitely be pulling for them to do well going forward. Kofi looks massive in person, even from the upper level. Also, very random celebrity sighting. Frankie Muniz was sitting right below me at courtside.
 
Likes: KevinC
Honestly, what are you talking about? First of all, people were clearly commenting on their campus’ culture, fans’ commitment/loyalty and hostile home court atmosphere ... not how good their team is. Secondly, I’m not sure if you noticed, but we marched in there 1 out of 1 times and beat them by double digits. I’ll bet you anything we’d do it 8 out of 10 times, likely more.
This! I think sacraig's point was a good one but was missed. It's a road game in a hostile environment that doesn't help our resume much but could really hurt if we lost.