Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (January 2019)

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Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
Hate to be a negative Nancy but looking at teams like UCLA with all this young 4 and 5 star talent it makes you wonder no matter what talent we bring in if Underwood’s system will ever work. I know are schedule has been brutal this season, and our roster is so young but you have to wonder how big a leap some of these guys make next year to even move us within range of the bubble. Adding Kofi is a start, but Underwood needs to change something fast because Kofi can be developed into an absolute beast down low because I know he has so much potential with that frame, or from looking at his highlight tapes never develop any post moves and solely rely on dunks and midrange. I love that he could be Shaq 2.0, but I have also rarely seen a hook shot or off the glass due to his superior size he has not needed to do that.
I am not clear on what UCLA has to do with this. UCLA is a storied program that was coached by a turd who has since been fired midseason. How does that tell us whether or not Brad Underwood is capable of building a program with sufficient talent?
 
Stylin' and Profilin'
Hate to be a negative Nancy but looking at teams like UCLA with all this young 4 and 5 star talent it makes you wonder no matter what talent we bring in if Underwood’s system will ever work. I know are schedule has been brutal this season, and our roster is so young but you have to wonder how big a leap some of these guys make next year to even move us within range of the bubble. Adding Kofi is a start, but Underwood needs to change something fast because Kofi can be developed into an absolute beast down low because I know he has so much potential with that frame, or from looking at his highlight tapes never develop any post moves and solely rely on dunks and midrange. I love that he could be Shaq 2.0, but I have also rarely seen a hook shot or off the glass due to his superior size he has not needed to do that.
Exactly the 1st video on youtube shows off jump hooks and jumpers. On top of that, 6'11" 280 is superior size at the next level. I'm not guaranteeing Wilt Chamberlain, but if you're sour on his highlight videos I don't know what to tell you.
 
Hate to be a negative Nancy but looking at teams like UCLA with all this young 4 and 5 star talent it makes you wonder no matter what talent we bring in if Underwood’s system will ever work. I know are schedule has been brutal this season, and our roster is so young but you have to wonder how big a leap some of these guys make next year to even move us within range of the bubble. Adding Kofi is a start, but Underwood needs to change something fast because Kofi can be developed into an absolute beast down low because I know he has so much potential with that frame, or from looking at his highlight tapes never develop any post moves and solely rely on dunks and midrange. I love that he could be Shaq 2.0, but I have also rarely seen a hook shot or off the glass due to his superior size he has not needed to do that.
he can knock down a 15 footer consistently. he’s an absolute beast downlow, has a huge frame, good footwork, can handle the ball okay for a guy his size. Just look at the things Georgi is doing, uses his body, gets touches deep in the paint. Our offense has gone inside a lot as Georgi as gotten more comfortable within the offense.

Because we have lacked real size, and guys who are able to get the ball to our bigs for a decade, it might seem like an insane concept but bear with me...

We get the ball to the weak side wing. The two strong side wings cut through the lane to ~post up~, it it isn’t there, we reverse and get a pick and roll. when the ball handler backs out, the new guy at the punch post goes down for a pin down. we keep reversing the ball, and or, get a solid pin down, the offense will work often.

Or we get the ball to the pinch post and the cutters get open in the post. The offense is actually pretty great, like underwood said in the preseason, there is no right way for a defense to guard it without giving up a lane, pin down, open three, big off the screen etc. it was the #1 offense in the country while Underwood was in the Big 12 for a reason.

We are young, we don’t have all the pieces..

Now think about the post touches and layups Georgi has gotten the last few games, now imagine sophomore Samba, Kofi and January. Now imagine a lineup on the floor of Ayo Brown Kipper January Kofi. That’s scary.

We currently don’t have the talent, size, IQ, experience, athleticism. The only guys I trust right now are Trent Ayo and Georgi. Freshman become sophomores, add a top 50 wing, and a 5-star center and all of sudden we have the potential to win games..a lot of them.
 
Hate to be a negative Nancy but looking at teams like UCLA with all this young 4 and 5 star talent it makes you wonder no matter what talent we bring in if Underwood’s system will ever work. I know are schedule has been brutal this season, and our roster is so young but you have to wonder how big a leap some of these guys make next year to even move us within range of the bubble. Adding Kofi is a start, but Underwood needs to change something fast because Kofi can be developed into an absolute beast down low because I know he has so much potential with that frame, or from looking at his highlight tapes never develop any post moves and solely rely on dunks and midrange. I love that he could be Shaq 2.0, but I have also rarely seen a hook shot or off the glass due to his superior size he has not needed to do that.
I think Kofi's development is all on Antigua. First Black now Georgie. Now we will get to see what he can do with some top end talent
 
Still think Ayo is around next year, he needs to improve shot and tighten his dribble. Also he is still adjusting to college game. But at 6-5 he is getting tougher to stop driving to the lane.

His family seems very principle and process centric. I don't think they will rush things to get him on a NBA or D league roster.
 
With Kofi we have 4 excellent pieces with Georgi, Ayo, and Trent. The fifth Kipper/Tevian/Alan will be at least serviceable depending on development. Bench also serviceable with DaMonte, Feliz, Samba, Antwon, and others. If we can't win with that team we do have coaching problems IMO.
 
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I am not clear on what UCLA has to do with this. UCLA is a storied program that was coached by a turd who has since been fired midseason. How does that tell us whether or not Brad Underwood is capable of building a program with sufficient talent?
I’m saying that other programs have high profile talent coming in which should carry them certain places but we don’t know if Underwood can coach us to those places yet.
 

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Still think Ayo is around next year, he needs to improve shot and tighten his dribble. Also he is still adjusting to college game. But at 6-5 he is getting tougher to stop driving to the lane.

His family seems very principle and process centric. I don't think they will rush things to get him on a NBA or D league roster.
Ayo needs to work on his midrange game. I don’t watch a ton of the NBA, but he gets a lot of layups off that won’t make it to the rim in the NBA. He has to prove he can score between 5 and 10 feet as he just isn’t the typical 6’5 athlete you see in the NBA. They either shoot 45% from the arc or play elbows above the rim. He and the UofI will benefit from him staying another year and improving his draft stock to a 1st rounder. My perception of a one and done at this point is typically a kid that would go into the draft right out of high school. If he stays for a 2nd year it will be much more powerful from a recruiting perspective on how we can develop a player that was borderline and put him in the 1st round.
 
Springfield
Ayo needs to work on his midrange game. I don’t watch a ton of the NBA, but he gets a lot of layups off that won’t make it to the rim in the NBA. He has to prove he can score between 5 and 10 feet as he just isn’t the typical 6’5 athlete you see in the NBA. They either shoot 45% from the arc or play elbows above the rim. He and the UofI will benefit from him staying another year and improving his draft stock to a 1st rounder. My perception of a one and done at this point is typically a kid that would go into the draft right out of high school. If he stays for a 2nd year it will be much more powerful from a recruiting perspective on how we can develop a player that was borderline and put him in the 1st round.
Agree 100%....Ayo to the NBA now is career suicide for him. He has yet to prove a top and consistent B1G star....but with improvement and weights he can be. Absolutely needs another year unless he really wants to play in Egypt or Poughkeepsie.
 
Agree 100%....Ayo to the NBA now is career suicide for him. He has yet to prove a top and consistent B1G star....but with improvement and weights he can be. Absolutely needs another year unless he really wants to play in Egypt or Poughkeepsie.
Agreed: Ayo has the tools, right now he is way to loose with ball still and can overcome due to talent better than others at times, not the case in the NBA...he still is learning when to not drive all the way in...he is still getting blocked quite abit and that will only increase in the NBA, he needs to get stronger, learn the game more and become much more consistant...the tools are there. I would think after junior year if early however.
 
Agree 100%....Ayo to the NBA now is career suicide for him. He has yet to prove a top and consistent B1G star....but with improvement and weights he can be. Absolutely needs another year unless he really wants to play in Egypt or Poughkeepsie.
And the goal should always be getting to the NBA and STAYING THERE. I understand that players want to get there asap but more years in college improves the odds for early playing time and ultimately surviving in the league.
 
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Also just for the sake of of the Ayo to the NBA conversation...he did state before he came here his goal was to be a one-and-done so if he decides to leave that’s his choice, and I think he would be selected in this year’s draft, maybe not first round but somewhere. He has too much potential, size, and talent to pass up.

Ayo has a ton of Jru Holiday in him.
 
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Winged Warrior
I see Ayo's potential much like Deron's. In three years he could be All B1G, maybe even a Wooden candidate, and potential lottery pick. He's smart enough to get his degree in three years. Playing with the incoming talent we have, as well as in the B1G will polish him nicely.

His earning potential would literally skyrocket in terms of money and guarantee vs non-guarantee. I don't see him in the first round next year, but I'm not an NBA scout.
If we use the Jru Holiday example, he's a 20ish pick with a 2-3 year 13-14M type deal. If he gets that then maybe he's gone.
 
I see Ayo's potential much like Deron's. In three years he could be All B1G, maybe even a Wooden candidate, and potential lottery pick. He's smart enough to get his degree in three years. Playing with the incoming talent we have, as well as in the B1G will polish him nicely.

His earning potential would literally skyrocket in terms of money and guarantee vs non-guarantee. I don't see him in the first round next year, but I'm not an NBA scout.
If we use the Jru Holiday example, he's a 20ish pick with a 2-3 year 13-14M type deal. If he gets that then maybe he's gone.
Im not saying that Jru and Ayo will have similar paths, but that Jru is the perfect player for Ayo to model his game after. Great defender, long, 6”4+, high IQ, etc.
 
Dallas, Texas
Also just for the sake of of the Ayo to the NBA conversation...he did state before he came here his goal was to be a one-and-done so if he decides to leave that’s his choice, and I think he would be selected in this year’s draft, maybe not first round but somewhere. He has too much potential, size, and talent to pass up.

Ayo has a ton of Jru Holiday in him.
No way he would go in the first two rounds.
 
M tipping over
Pdx
Anybody got a sense for how many collegiate athletes get drafted to the NBA out of an American school nowadays vs players drafted directly from abroad?

Edit: what I am wondering is what number of top kids playing D1 ball get into the league each year?
 
Michigan
Haven't seen him on any draft boards, and IMHO it's premature to talk about him as a 1-n-done. My 2 cent scouting report for anyone who's in the mood to debate the subject (using conference games for stats):

Great length - body still needs significant work. Guys as thin as Ayo are often a durability risk.
His 13 assists and 11 TO in conference concern me. I think his vision is top-notch, but I'm not seeing the kind of execution that says he will become an elite playmaker, or be able to handle the ball at NBA guard level.
Shooting well from the arc at 38% is not elite among college SGs that will get drafted (and he looks like a SG in our positionless offense :p). Don't see him attempting many difficult/quick shots --a good thing if he's playinng within his game, but also a concern. Long term for his draft stock, he needs to be able to create space and hit when the clock is running down.
Doesn't get to the foul line nearly as much as I'd expect for the type of game he has. Needs to improve IMO on *really attacking* the rim.
Great rebounding guard. Haven't paid enough attention to see if that's a function of being good at chasing long rebounds, but the vast majority of his boards are defensive, so quite possibly.
Overall, I don't see him excelling in one area so much that I'm confident it translates to the NBA. He's usually in control when he attacks the rim, but I don't see him having that 2 pronged attack where if he can't beat a defender one way, he goes to another attack like a step-back jumper, for example. If I'm a GM, I'm not yet seeing the need he's going to fill over the current bench.

My guess is that he's going to have to improve his playmaking skills (ballhandling, getting assists in this offense, and if no one's in position or the opportunity is there, attacking the basket and/or getting to the line). I think that's where his bread and butter will be, and he just needs time, focus, and some body work. Body work will also help his defense, which he's already above average in.

He's definitely is a plus player that's in the conversation. Think he can help his draft stock quite a bit if he's patient though.
 
Anybody got a sense for how many collegiate athletes get drafted to the NBA out of an American school nowadays vs players drafted directly from abroad?

Edit: what I am wondering is what number of top kids playing D1 ball get into the league each year?
Not many. If Brandon Paul, Kendrick Nunn, DJ Richardson, Malcom Hill and more ex-Illini can only make it overseas or G-League at best then I don't see Ayo leaving after this year. JMHO. Now "The Hammer" is a different beast so don't mention him?!;)
 
you feel me, dog?
Elmhurst
Haven't seen him on any draft boards, and IMHO it's premature to talk about him as a 1-n-done. My 2 cent scouting report for anyone who's in the mood to debate the subject (using conference games for stats):

Great length - body still needs significant work. Guys as thin as Ayo are often a durability risk.
His 13 assists and 11 TO in conference concern me. I think his vision is top-notch, but I'm not seeing the kind of execution that says he will become an elite playmaker, or be able to handle the ball at NBA guard level.
Shooting well from the arc at 38% is not elite among college SGs that will get drafted (and he looks like a SG in our positionless offense :p). Don't see him attempting many difficult/quick shots --a good thing if he's playinng within his game, but also a concern. Long term for his draft stock, he needs to be able to create space and hit when the clock is running down.
Doesn't get to the foul line nearly as much as I'd expect for the type of game he has. Needs to improve IMO on *really attacking* the rim.
Great rebounding guard. Haven't paid enough attention to see if that's a function of being good at chasing long rebounds, but the vast majority of his boards are defensive, so quite possibly.
Overall, I don't see him excelling in one area so much that I'm confident it translates to the NBA. He's usually in control when he attacks the rim, but I don't see him having that 2 pronged attack where if he can't beat a defender one way, he goes to another attack like a step-back jumper, for example. If I'm a GM, I'm not yet seeing the need he's going to fill over the current bench.

My guess is that he's going to have to improve his playmaking skills (ballhandling, getting assists in this offense, and if no one's in position or the opportunity is there, attacking the basket and/or getting to the line). I think that's where his bread and butter will be, and he just needs time, focus, and some body work. Body work will also help his defense, which he's already above average in.

He's definitely is a plus player that's in the conversation. Think he can help his draft stock quite a bit if he's patient though.
Very good analysis. FWLIW, I think Ayo's not ready and there's too much risk in coming out this year.
 
Pittsburgh
In no way? How about losing a potential All B1G guard? That's one way. How about if it doesn't do a damn thing for recruiting? That's two ways.

To me it's no different than how little our NC runner up team and DW lottery pick helped us. How could we not capitalize on that exposure??

I'm not at all trying to detract from the potential, but don't kid yourselves into thinking this is automatically going to benefit us.

I stand by my assertion...if this paves the way to Adam Miller or similar 5 star PG, it's a win win. If it doesn't, it's a win for Ayo, (which again, I am all for) and a question mark for our program.

Edit: Also...isn't W-L what the program is striving for? Success on the court? So if Ayo leaving gets us to more W's...either with him or getting someone just has highly rated to step right in and get more W's...then it's a great thing. If Ayo leaves and it doesn't result in a recruiting victory....it undoubtedly will lead to fewer W's.
Having a one and done 1st rounder from Chicago would do things for recruiting. You reference the national title game but that coaching staff was not good at recruiting. The only one that was even moderately competent was Tracy Webster. OA and Chin are in a much different league.

All these close calls with top recruits turn into more wins with a first rounder in your pocket.

The success on the court comes with talented players. With moderate to poor talent this team is competing. True they are not winning but they are not getting blown out of the gym even when they play very good teams. You upgrade the talent at a few positions and there is a much different product on the floor. That talent is more likely to come if Ayo is a 1st rounder.

In a perfect world you get a year of Ayo+ Kofi to not only show off the talent but to get a decent run (w-l). A line up with TF, AD, TJ, GB, and KC will definitely compete and should be a no doubt tourney team
 
Giorgi could be great as a 4 instead of a 5. He has great feet and understanding of the game, just can't over power anyone.
And can't seem to hit a three.
Obviously that can change and we all hope it does. I think I've read on here that he's deadeye in practice. But what is he in real games? 1 for 11 or something?
 
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