Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (December 2019)

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Captain Trips-ville, Planet Houston
A thought:

IF you and I know that "90% of his issues are on him" (Whitney), then so does Cal and Whitney himself (going in). And, if in 5 months other kids can correct their ways, then so can Whitney. Provided a coach can coach? And, wants to coach.
Do you really think that Cal just rolls the ball out there?

Confidence and mental fortitude plays a huge role in performance (sounds like a ED promo, lol). Once you lose your mojo, it's difficult getting it back. That Whitney can no longer athletically dominate, exposes his outside shooting shortcomings. He'd fit in great here, lol.
 
When it comes to Brad Underwood and his recruiting and development of Bigs there's sort of 2 different things you need to look at.

1. The transition from Groce's team.
Brad inherited a team that needed to replace it's ~26 minute per game Center Maverick Morgan. A 5 start recruit had been lined up but decommitted with the coaching change. I don't blame Brad at all for the loss of that recruit but it put him in a difficult position. The only other big men on the team were redshirt-juniors Michael Finke and Leron Black. Underwood was forced to pick up 2 additional big men late in the recruiting cycle and ended up with Matic Vessel and Greg Eboigbodin. It's hard to imagine another coach being able to do better unless you're of the mindset that he should have been able to hold onto the 5 star. These were clear fliers that didn't pan out and I think it's unfair if you try and hold that against coach. Leron Black's improvement under Underwood was light and day. Underwood turned him into an All-Big Ten honorable mention player while significantly increasing his usage and moving him to a new position. Finke also improved.

2. Team Reset.
Team Reset Concept: A-
Brad did a full team reset for year 2. All 4 big men mentioned above left and made room for the new era of Illini basketball. I am one of the fans that fully supports this decision to clean house and start from scratch with his first full recruiting cycle. I would have loved it if Leron had stayed as I think he would have been the difference maker that ADLR couldn't be and that we would have been dancing last year. Leron leaving is the only reason this isn't an A+ move.
Recruiting/Development: A-
In his first two years Underwood added Giorgi (3rd all time scoring freshman) and Kofi Cockburn. He has also added depth with BBV and Hawkins who both look like the sort of players that could become Big 10 starters in years 3-4. He struck out on Kane and ADLR but both only used 1 year of scholarship so this is a minor complaint. Hamlin is a project big and it's too early to tell if that will pan out. We will have to wait and see how BBV/Hawkins/Hamlin pan out and how we transition beyond Giorgi & Kofi whenever they leave the program, but so far Big man recruiting and development is looking strong.
 
When it comes to Brad Underwood and his recruiting and development of Bigs there's sort of 2 different things you need to look at.

1. The transition from Groce's team.
Brad inherited a team that needed to replace it's ~26 minute per game Center Maverick Morgan. A 5 start recruit had been lined up but decommitted with the coaching change. I don't blame Brad at all for the loss of that recruit but it put him in a difficult position. The only other big men on the team were redshirt-juniors Michael Finke and Leron Black. Underwood was forced to pick up 2 additional big men late in the recruiting cycle and ended up with Matic Vessel and Greg Eboigbodin. It's hard to imagine another coach being able to do better unless you're of the mindset that he should have been able to hold onto the 5 star. These were clear fliers that didn't pan out and I think it's unfair if you try and hold that against coach. Leron Black's improvement under Underwood was light and day. Underwood turned him into an All-Big Ten honorable mention player while significantly increasing his usage and moving him to a new position. Finke also improved.

2. Team Reset.
Team Reset Concept: A-
Brad did a full team reset for year 2. All 4 big men mentioned above left and made room for the new era of Illini basketball. I am one of the fans that fully supports this decision to clean house and start from scratch with his first full recruiting cycle. I would have loved it if Leron had stayed as I think he would have been the difference maker that ADLR couldn't be and that we would have been dancing last year. Leron leaving is the only reason this isn't an A+ move.
Recruiting/Development: A-
In his first two years Underwood added Giorgi (3rd all time scoring freshman) and Kofi Cockburn. He has also added depth with BBV and Hawkins who both look like the sort of players that could become Big 10 starters in years 3-4. He struck out on Kane and ADLR but both only used 1 year of scholarship so this is a minor complaint. Hamlin is a project big and it's too early to tell if that will pan out. We will have to wait and see how BBV/Hawkins/Hamlin pan out and how we transition beyond Giorgi & Kofi whenever they leave the program, but so far Big man recruiting and development is looking strong.
Could also add Kouma as he was an excellent student denied by the NCAA.
 
To a degree... I think that is a bit over-stated though. Jaxson Hayes was the #8 pick last year, and didn't attempt a 3 point shot in his college career. Kofi has something that most don't. The size, strength, and athleticism to compete defensively and on the boards with NBA Centers on day one of his career. This year's draft class is really light on Centers. Kofi's size and potential could be too much to ignore. All it takes is one GM to fall in love, and make him a promise. It sure didn't take Illini fans long to fall for him. NBA scouts will catch up soon.

As much as i would love to see him in Champaign for another season, the staff needs to have a contingency plan in recruiting in case he is our first one and done.
We pretty much had this conversation about Giorgi’s nba prospects. For forwards, have to be able to shoot the three and defend. If not, you will get stuck at center.
The only thing I see that needs improvement/ could keep him for year 2 is pick and roll defense.
 
Likes: KevinC
Curbelo looking good. (y)

His shooting % is surprising me, though. 58 % is pretty good. I was led to believe that AC was a weak shooter...especially from 3pt? Is this true?
Is there a way to get a box score? I’m curious how much of his 18 pts per game is him just cutting in the lane and getting easy layups vs 3 pointers.
 
That offer list is a bit underwhelming for a 5-star isn't it? Excepting the Illini, of course....

OA again working the International pipeline (Cameroon) it seems. I like it!

If, as Bardo says, Kofi is one n done. Doesn't the combo of an immediate starting spot and the previous center only playing 1 year and going NBA make this a very easy sell?
 
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IL metro east burbs of St. Louis
Dennis Pace on the 65 State Champs, Tom Parker was a Star at Kentucky and Rodger Bohnenstiehl was a Star at Kansas.
I remember Mr. Pace (he'll always be Mr. Pace to me).. When I was in HS at O'Fallon he was one of my P.E. Teachers while at the same time he was the JV/Assistant Coach to Bob Bone at Collinsville.
 
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