Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (May-June 2018)

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Wilmette, IL
Either the coaches have something secret in the bag or something is broken.
Starting to wonder if there's a widely known secret or hidden camera video or something that all these recruits are seeing to scare them off from Illinois. There's SO MUCH opportunity for playing time and to be a major part of the growth of a team here, and yet nobody wants to take it. It's reaching the absurd level.
 
Whats a joke is that this team doesn't even have players to scrimmage, and some are worried about appearances and offers...hell we got what 60 offers + out from this year through what 2020...and how many last year?

Get some bodies, reality is the need is there, but the want to be here is not...find those that want to be here. At least that has been the mantra of the staff and the players that are here. Regardless of position and ranking BU will take whomever, weather you or I think a offer from 4-5 years ago is a valid indicator. The discussion is good however.:cool:
We really do need some bodies which is why I wanted Zdor but anyone less of a player than him and I think it's best to just embrace the small ball approach. I didn't mean putting walk-on players on scholarship btw in case anyone interpreted that way. If we can't find a way to get a decent big this summer, we should save the scholarships and see what opens up in the middle of the year and/or focus on 2019. Taking a bad player on scholarship just for a body for one year would hurt the perception and although we have the room to do it, we should still have some sort of standard for giving a scholarship. Despite how bad we've been the past decade, we're still a good school with history that's much bigger than the 5 mpg that a player could add to next year' s team. I'm not saying that Underwood or anyone else views it the same way though.
 
Small ball approach works best when you still have a rim protector like Draymond.

I don't see Giorgi or Kipper being that guy. Kane is it (although he's not small obviously) if he still makes it to campus which, until he shows, is no guarantee.
Yes, this is cause for worry. You have to believe the staff did everything they reasonably could to ensure he was here, and yet, he's not. What's going to change? A thin frontcourt turns into a desert without him.

"this last 6 weeks has been an embarrassment"

The number of offers this late is pretty unusual, but not closing any is a head-shaker. Sure looks like we're in full rebuild mode. Just hope the guys we have can bring us back.
 
Yes, this is cause for worry. You have to believe the staff did everything they reasonably could to ensure he was here, and yet, he's not. What's going to change? A thin frontcourt turns into a desert without him.

"this last 6 weeks has been an embarrassment"

The number of offers this late is pretty unusual, but not closing any is a head-shaker. Sure looks like we're in full rebuild mode. Just hope the guys we have can bring us back.
I keep hearing rebuild but most of what I see is demolition mode, not that I dont think they got a few good recruits. I just dont want to sit here in 2 years and hear we need to give it time our bigs are just freshman. Its like they went full demo mode without a good plan and now Im not sure what direction they are going to go.
 
There is absolutely no good spins here. This is a complete and total miss by this staff. Even if they want to play small ball (they do), you need to at least fill out the dang roster. It gets old watching people transfer out of this school.


BU needs to take a good hard look at his "motivational" tactics. It just doesn't work anymore. I was embarrassed for the entire program when he was ripping into his guys on tv. Just not acceptable. Just like a good manager, punish in private, praise in public.


There were several times where he threw people under the bus last year. Kipper would have transferred out too was the rumor but couldn't miss more time off.


Frustrating.
 
Ahhh!!!!

Glad to come back to the rosy outlook posts on this forum!!! Puts me in a great mood for a Monday.

Thank goodness we have a good 4+ months to stew in this Kevin Stallingsesque cesspool of despair!
 
Can't wait for Underwood to get this team turned around and send all you crybabies to the table for a great big pot of crow! Give the man more than 1 season. Go ILLINI
 
There is absolutely no good spins here. This is a complete and total miss by this staff. Even if they want to play small ball (they do), you need to at least fill out the dang roster. It gets old watching people transfer out of this school.


BU needs to take a good hard look at his "motivational" tactics. It just doesn't work anymore. I was embarrassed for the entire program when he was ripping into his guys on tv. Just not acceptable. Just like a good manager, punish in private, praise in public.


There were several times where he threw people under the bus last year. Kipper would have transferred out too was the rumor but couldn't miss more time off.


Frustrating.
Going from Groce to Underwood is going to have an impact on 20yr old kids. Personally I think BU's demeanor is refreshing. You can't get rid of a losing attitude that has developed over 4 years very easily. He can probably dial it back once the guys on the team help leading from within.
 
Going from Groce to Underwood is going to have an impact on 20yr old kids. Personally I think BU's demeanor is refreshing. You can't get rid of a losing attitude that has developed over 4 years very easily. He can probably dial it back once the guys on the team help leading from within.
I agree to an extent. Groce's penchant of using Winnie the Pooh terminology in discussing team leadership (e.g. Tiggers vs. Eeyores) was saccharin and infantilizing, and I think it was indicative of his general coaching approach. Underwood is certainly the opposite.

Like you I hope he is able to tone it down some. This last year he seemed to keep the dial at 11 much of the time. I'm not against a stern tone when needed, but when they're repeatedly showing clips of the coach ripping into players, it's not a good look and it does not inspire confidence in one's leadership.
 
I agree to an extent. Groce's penchant of using Winnie the Pooh terminology in discussing team leadership (e.g. Tiggers vs. Eeyores) was saccharin and infantilizing, and I think it was indicative of his general coaching approach. Underwood is certainly the opposite.

Like you I hope he is able to tone it down some. This last year he seemed to keep the dial at 11 much of the time. I'm not against a stern tone when needed, but when they're repeatedly showing clips of the coach ripping into players, it's not a good look and it does not inspire confidence in one's leadership.




Lou Henson did it all the time. He would pull any player out of a game if they did not follow his rules. Behind the back passes and 360 dunks sent the Flying Illini to the bench at times.
 
I agree to an extent. Groce's penchant of using Winnie the Pooh terminology in discussing team leadership (e.g. Tiggers vs. Eeyores) was saccharin and infantilizing, and I think it was indicative of his general coaching approach. Underwood is certainly the opposite.

Like you I hope he is able to tone it down some. This last year he seemed to keep the dial at 11 much of the time. I'm not against a stern tone when needed, but when they're repeatedly showing clips of the coach ripping into players, it's not a good look and it does not inspire confidence in one's leadership.
Totally see what you're saying from a public-perception standpoint. But off camera I'm sure there's a ton of uplifting coaching going on and the players are well aware it's tough love. However you look at last year, this team showed a lot of grit, competed, fought tooth & nail, and were generally fun to watch. That is all Underwood. Regarding the whole Michigan State incident, I don't blame the guy for going off. We forced 25 turnovers against Sparty that night, which is the most giveaways they'd had since 2005. They were impossibly superior than us in all facets, and we were right there with them at half-time- in a position to steal our first conference W. Then we came out sleep walking to start the half, went 1-9 and game-over. I was just as livid watching that. *If* Underwood finds players that match and mesh with his intensity, we will be killers.
 
Going from Groce to Underwood is going to have an impact on 20yr old kids. Personally I think BU's demeanor is refreshing. You can't get rid of a losing attitude that has developed over 4 years very easily. He can probably dial it back once the guys on the team help leading from within.
Meh... Underwood is driving away his own recruits, pretty much his entire class (Smith, Ebo, Alstork, Vesel) unperformed and most decided to end their career prematurely, players who were recruited and signed with Underwood and had never played for Groce.
 
Totally see what you're saying from a public-perception standpoint. But off camera I'm sure there's a ton of uplifting coaching going on and the players are well aware it's tough love. However you look at last year, this team showed a lot of grit, competed, fought tooth & nail, and were generally fun to watch. That is all Underwood. Regarding the whole Michigan State incident, I don't blame the guy for going off. We forced 25 turnovers against Sparty that night, which is the most giveaways they'd had since 2005. They were impossibly superior than us in all facets, and we were right there with them at half-time- in a position to steal our first conference W. Then we came out sleep walking to start the half, went 1-9 and game-over. I was just as livid watching that. *If* Underwood finds players that match and mesh with his intensity, we will be killers.
Agreed. Underwood talked a lot about giving positive reinforcement behind the scenes. While somewhat oddly, he seemed to mention the hugs he was going to dole out at every post-game presser. And a couple of Rob M's pieces from last year noted that Underwood brings a lot of humor to his coaching, too. The problem is that very little of that was visible on the court. While understandable due to the stress of many class losses, Underwood seemed to lose his cool on the sidelines more and more as the year went on. One might argue that Underwood should be focused on the games, not on how his style of in-game coaching might be translating to the audience or future recruits. It's a valid point, but in a year where you're not going to the post-season anyway, I think it's worth considering each game as an interview for future recruits. And in a good interview, you want to be honest about what you have to offer, while also presenting it in the most positive light.

Another poster mentioned earlier that the current standard in management and profession coaching is to show externally a positive and supportive side and to save the yelling and chewing out for less public moments. That seems a sensible approach, given the technology at games and the general cultural mindset. Underwood does the exact opposite. And while part of me appreciates any effort to buck the norm, I don't know that this strategy will be very effective when it comes to working with and recruiting teenagers in the 21st century.

To be clear, it is impossible to say for certain that Underwood's coaching style is the direct cause of our current recruiting woes. It would be a bad argument to make, unless we had quotes from recruits who spurned us saying as much. Still, I think a number of people were concerned whether Underwood's approach still works this day and age. What has unfolded over the last year has done nothing but reinforce those concerns.

Final caveat - because this board sometimes fails to recognize nuance in arguments - I don't think Underwood should become a nice guy coach and I do think young people need to cultivate a thicker skin to be successful. I'm just saying that I don't think Underwood has been very effective at managing his brand of coaching for public consumption. And given the success and public profile of college basketball, controlling your brand and narrative is essential to being a successful coach. Izzo, Calipari, Self - those guys are not just good coaches, they're also great at controlling their brand and the narrative around their program.
 
To be clear, it is impossible to say for certain that Underwood's coaching style is the direct cause of our current recruiting woes. It would be a bad argument to make, unless we had quotes from recruits who spurned us saying as much.
Recruits see results and outcomes, not necessarily how you got there. Recruits see that many people are leaving the program, including pretty much all of Underwood's own recruits in his first year, in addition to having a terrible team last year. They would have the same concerns if those two things were happening even if Underwood was babysitting players and cracking jokes every second of practice.
 
Good grief... All of those great coaches, K, Boeheim, Izzo, Calipari, all yell and scream at their players.

Apparently no one seems to remember Underwood coming off the bench at a time out and firing up players after they made a good play or great hustle???

Underwood and his demeanor is fine. He both praises and yells at players. If those players can't handle it, then they aren't the players to play in this system. I'm with Desert Illini. Unless he starts going full on Bobby Knight, he's fine.
 
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