Illinois 86, Mississippi Valley State 67 POSTGAME

#51
Notice the part where I said "even when they're the hot team?" Obviously you'd expect teams without byes to go farther on average. That's a no-brainer. But it's also pretty common that a team gets hot at the right time, makes a run, and then runs out of gas.

Plain and simple, a young, tired, and flawed-but-filled-with-potential team overlooked an opponent and won by a smaller margin than expected. I simply refuse to read too much into that. I am more interested in why we handled ISU in the first half and then collapse and just generally looked flat against Xavier. Those games are far more concerning.
The entire thing has been concerning, including MVS and Maui. We like to make excuses but other teams do not. Iowa State played at Maui, they played yesterday, beat Omaha 82-55 (in addition to beating San Diego State in Maui by 30 after they played us). It does not seem that running out of gas was a problem for them. Obviously, Gonzaga played yesterday as well and beat North Dakota State by 42 and they also had a much tougher run at Maui.

The entire Maui and MVS has been concerning. I also think the positives of Maui have been exaggerated, too much emphasis on "playing Gonzaga tough" where we honestly needed an extraordinary performance in the second half by Frazier, we simply will not be successful with just Frazier's heroics. Most importantly, we seem like a very easy team to scout. Not only our porous defense, but once teams start guarding Frazier tighter, we simply do not seem to have many options.
 
#52
The entire thing has been concerning, including MVS and Maui. We like to make excuses but other teams do not. Iowa State played at Maui, they played yesterday, beat Omaha 82-55 (in addition to beating San Diego State in Maui by 30 after they played us). It does not seem that running out of gas was a problem for them. Obviously, Gonzaga played yesterday as well and beat North Dakota State by 42 and they also had a much tougher run at Maui.

The entire Maui and MVS has been concerning. I also think the positives of Maui have been exaggerated, too much emphasis on "playing Gonzaga tough" where we honestly needed an extraordinary performance in the second half by Frazier, we simply will not be successful with just Frazier's heroics. Most importantly, we seem like a very easy team to scout. Not only our porous defense, but once teams start guarding Frazier tighter, we simply do not seem to have many options.
Would be curious to know what your take on the defense is. I've been a fan of the forced turnovers but at this point can't tell if we just don't have the horses or it's just plain gimmicky.
 
#53
In the past, we would be undefeated or close to it and be in the top 20 until January or February and then fade. I think this team will get it together and be much better by the end of the season. Better record than last season? Possibly so, but not the way we have started. With the young team that we have, we needed to start the season with a bunch of cupcakes. I hope we can hold the group that we have together with no transfers.
 
#54
aka Flash Gordon, earthling
Planet Earth, when not battling Ming the Merciless
Would be curious to know what your take on the defense is. I've been a fan of the forced turnovers but at this point can't tell if we just don't have the horses or it's just plain gimmicky.
Both
 
#55
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
Any claim that other teams don't make excuses is silly. It's also silly to point out how Gonzaga kept rolling. They're the number 1 team in the country. We are not. They're quite a bit better than us at a baseline level.

Again, I'm not one of these folks who are coming on here saying to ignore the results so far and we are still great. All I'm saying is that this game is not concerning to me like the last two Maui games are. That's really all there is to it.
 
#56
Would be curious to know what your take on the defense is. I've been a fan of the forced turnovers but at this point can't tell if we just don't have the horses or it's just plain gimmicky.
We need to upgrade the talent level and not have huge gaps like we have right now. I have no problem with BU and his system, I think it can work but some fans overestimate the overall talent on this team.
 
#57
We've had one game, heck one half (ISU) where I'd say we looked like the clearly worse team. Sure the record doesn't show that, but we've hung in every game so far.

I'm not saying that translates to much record wise, but this team should be considered far from done in terms of post season play. Can we wait until at least conference play to come to conclusions about this squad?
 
#58
We've had one game, heck one half (ISU) where I'd say we looked like the clearly worse team. Sure the record doesn't show that, but we've hung in every game so far.

I'm not saying that translates to much record wise, but this team should be considered far from done in terms of post season play. Can we wait until at least conference play to come to conclusions about this squad?
I expect the team to improve, I would be surprised if they don't. But we can certainly talk about what has happened and reality is that in all 4 of our losses, we were the worse team, there is no sugarcoating that. We need to move away from form the "we did not get blown out" moral victories and improve our record significantly. A bad season is a bad season, last year was one of the worst in 20+ years. You can expect a loss to Gonzaga, but if you are making improvements in year 2, you need to show that against teams like Georgetown (at home) and Xavier and get a W, rather than 2 L's.
 
#59
We have 80% of a season ahead of us. 6 games in college is not a sample size to be discarded lightly.
Alright, I'll bite.

For Georgetown, we were missing Trent. We played Gonzaga close and even Illinois Loyalty managed to be cautiously optimistic based on that. For ISU we were badly gassed and playing on short rest. Xavier was ugly and stupid, I'll give you that one. For MVSU we played literally all of our roster, including the walk-on manager, and still won by 19.

Sure, 6 games in college ball is not a sample size to be ignored. But what is the quality of that sample?

(it's bad. the sample quality of games so far is bad)

The only thing we know for sure so far is that our defense must improve. Tonight's game against Notre Dame will tell us more than all 6 games hitherto combined. It is a true away game against a nonetheless vulnerable opponent. I can understand dire predictions of woe if we blow tonight. Hell, I'll be in that crowd, if it comes to pass.
 
#60
If Trent doesn’t have a superhuman 2nd half against Gonzaga, what exactly would Team Sunshine be pointing towards right now as the thing to feel good about?

Pointing to Gonzaga as evidence of our potential this year is flawed, because it’s not as if our offense locked in and everything was operating the way it’s supposed to. One guy got hot. That’s obviously not a sustainable model for success.

I’ll grant that we will probably be in most games where Trent snaps for 25+ in a half. What we will not be in is any postseason conversation.
 
#61
If Trent doesn’t have a superhuman 2nd half against Gonzaga, what exactly would Team Sunshine be pointing towards right now as the thing to feel good about?

Pointing to Gonzaga as evidence of our potential this year is flawed, because it’s not as if our offense locked in and everything was operating the way it’s supposed to. One guy got hot. That’s obviously not a sustainable model for success.

I’ll grant that we will probably be in most games where Trent snaps for 25+ in a half. What we will not be in is any postseason conversation.
Team Sunshine 😂😂

I’m just optimistic because of that lob play. When that thing starts firing on all cylinders, look out....