Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread

I’m so confused as to why people think Juwan Howard won’t be a good coach. It’s not like he doesn’t have coaching experience?

Experience as an NBA assistant and experience as a major NCAA head coach -- with all of the recruiting + player development + mentorship responsibilities that come with that -- are quite different.

I'm not saying he won't be successful. But in my own personal estimation, it's far more likely he goes the way of other former stars-turned-coaches with limited college coaching experience (Ewing, Mullen, Isiah Thomas, etc.) than John Beilein. At a minimum, I'd be shocked if he wins at Beilein's level.

But, he's got enough firepower in place this upcoming year to win pretty comfortably.
 
Experience as an NBA assistant and experience as a major NCAA head coach -- with all of the recruiting + player development + mentorship responsibilities that come with that -- are quite different.

I'm not saying he won't be successful. But in my own personal estimation, it's far more likely he goes the way of other former stars-turned-coaches with limited college coaching experience (Ewing, Mullen, Isiah Thomas, etc.) than John Beilein. At a minimum, I'd be shocked if he wins at Beilein's level.

But, he's got enough firepower in place this upcoming year to win pretty comfortably.
As a counterpoint, I think that his hire of Phil Martelli separates him from the other guys on your list. It's a signal that he both knows his limitations as a game coach at this point of his career, and also that he might be willing to check his ego and get help where he needs it. The latter seemed to be an issue with Mullen, though I admit that I didn't follow his story too close.

I don't think the jury is out on Ewing yet after two seasons with young teams (sound familiar?), either. And as for Isaiah, I'm not sure I can take him seriously given the trail of wreckage he left behind in New York. Not that I have much of a point here, but eff Isaiah Thomas.

If the talent Howard brings in -- and I think he'll bring it in -- keeps him afloat for long enough to learn how to be a coach, it's a good bet he'll be successful. Beilein has set a high bar and maybe the point is that Howard won't clear it, but I don't think he'll be a stiff, either.

I'd love to be wrong.
 
Indiana has made the tournament 4 times in the last 12 years during the Crean and Miller years. During that time they have had as recruits:
7 - 5 stars
20 - 4 stars

Keep in mind many of these players played together for multiple years, so on paper they've been stacked. Yet, still little, or sporadic success. So, I think that they've been the right coach away from success. They have all the other pieces. And look at Miller's response from being offered the Indiana job after turning down so many over the years - he took it despite the demanding fanbase, and absurd expectations. (A side note - IMO they still don't have the right coach).

I think Illinois is in a much different place. I think Weber personally made the program unattractive while it was at its peak. It's hard to shake that stigma. The program completely failed its branding and public persona effort during the Dee/Deron/Augie years.

That's why I'm content with Underwood's recruiting and turnover so far, and I have some patience. Indiana's different because they've put guys in the pros even in their down years, they've established that you can go to Indiana, suck for a year or two, and get drafted. The attitude towards the school within the state is different. Etc.

I think Underwood is putting the pieces together not only to win, but to make it fun being a fan again. There are players that are fun to watch, and have personality. There are players that will likely become pros. If that all happens I think things will change with recruiting.

good points
 
Likes: Fr8trn16
I would love to round out the 2019 class with Tyler Scanlon. Kid has a sweet stroke and pretty good handles for someone his size.

I know there has been quite a bit of talk about the 3 point line being extended and how it would reduce the shooting percentage behind the arc. My take on this is that it may reduce it a bit but I doubt it will be by very much. There is a balance that needs to be achieved between guarding the three and protecting the lane. I expect that on average the 3 pointers (although a longer shot) will less tightly guarded. I would rather have our players take a shot a foot and a half back largely uncontested than at the old line with someone close enough to block the shot or at least force them.to speed up the release. Scanlon is a guy who can shoot the three, drive in for a possible layup or dish to the wings or stop for a pull up jumper. I hope we can get him.
 
Rockford, Illinois
It's slow right now, so I'll go there. Anyone else watch the NBA finals and still shake your head at missing out on VanVleet? Or re-live all the Iguodala and Livingston discussion from Loyalty lore?
I’ve told this story before on IL, but I think it needs to be told again. We were at an event in Rockford where Bruce Weber was the featured speaker. He told the audience that he had just come from Rockford Auburn’s practice, where there was a sophomore (whom he couldn’t name) who impressed him even more than the recruit he came to watch. Everyone in the room already knew that the sophomore was Fred VanVleet who was already pretty special. As a high school teacher who attended lots of games, I had witnessed his superior skill in our conference. For the next 2 years I personally sent every Rockford Register Star post-game article on Auburn to the basketball office so they could keep up with Fred’s stats, including letters on what a great student athlete/person he was. I never got a response. Seems Fred didn’t have enough stars...
 
I’ve told this story before on IL, but I think it needs to be told again. We were at an event in Rockford where Bruce Weber was the featured speaker. He told the audience that he had just come from Rockford Auburn’s practice, where there was a sophomore (whom he couldn’t name) who impressed him even more than the recruit he came to watch. Everyone in the room already knew that the sophomore was Fred VanVleet who was already pretty special. As a high school teacher who attended lots of games, I had witnessed his superior skill in our conference. For the next 2 years I personally sent every Rockford Register Star post-game article on Auburn to the basketball office so they could keep up with Fred’s stats, including letters on what a great student athlete/person he was. I never got a response. Seems Fred didn’t have enough stars...
Weber wanted him but the fan base wouldn't let him make an offer
 
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
I’ve told this story before on IL, but I think it needs to be told again. We were at an event in Rockford where Bruce Weber was the featured speaker. He told the audience that he had just come from Rockford Auburn’s practice, where there was a sophomore (whom he couldn’t name) who impressed him even more than the recruit he came to watch. Everyone in the room already knew that the sophomore was Fred VanVleet who was already pretty special. As a high school teacher who attended lots of games, I had witnessed his superior skill in our conference. For the next 2 years I personally sent every Rockford Register Star post-game article on Auburn to the basketball office so they could keep up with Fred’s stats, including letters on what a great student athlete/person he was. I never got a response. Seems Fred didn’t have enough stars...
He probably didn't make an offer just to spite you for harassing him for 2+ years. If he had given in to your peer pressure, there is no telling how big the mountain of letters with suggested recruits might have become. You probably could have buried Bielfeldt under letters supporting Matt Chastain.
 
Weber wanted him but the fan base wouldn't let him make an offer
Not sure if there was an implied "/s" on the end of your post but if Weber truly didn't offer players because he was worried about offending the fan base (or because they didn't have enough stars) then he should have been fired long before he was.

Personally, I was calling for his head (before I discovered Loyalty) in 2006. I thought Self would have won in 2005 with his players. I think Weber held us back even at the high point (I wont' get in to why I had that opinion back then).
 
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
I don't think I called for Weber's head until about 2008 or so. I know I was still in school but toward the end of my time there.
 
I don't think I called for Weber's head until about 2008 or so. I know I was still in school but toward the end of my time there.
That 2008-2009 season was such a mirage. There was a lot of optimism then. They just finished 2nd, and had probably Weber's 2 best recruiting classes coming in the following 2 years.

In hindsight, Weber needed to be let go after the 2007-2008 season with Stan Simpson, and Dominique Keller as the only recruits a couple years post-NC appearance, and putting 5 players from the same team into the NBA.

Ultimately, the program is where its at today because Weber wasn't fired that year (IMO, of course).
 
Likes: Pop'sBlackDog
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
That 2008-2009 season was such a mirage. There was a lot of optimism then. They just finished 2nd, and had probably Weber's 2 best recruiting classes coming in the following 2 years.

In hindsight, Weber needed to be let go after the 2007-2008 season with Stan Simpson, and Dominique Keller as the only recruits a couple years post-NC appearance, and putting 5 players from the same team into the NBA.

Ultimately, the program is where its at today because Weber wasn't fired that year (IMO, of course).
I think in hindsight, that's perhaps true. But even without the gift of hindsight, he needed to be fired at least several years before he was. It was clear what trajectory we were on and there was no indication that the ship would be righted. Even ditching him after '09-'10 would have probably made our rebuild a lot more tractable. Our stock would have been higher and we probably would have a better shot at hiring a good, proven coach instead of an unproven, inexperienced guy like Groce.