Iowa 72, Illinois 65 POSTGAME

Great Big10 battle between two really tough teams. Garza is a special player, and that Frederick kid can really play. I know a lot of people aren't fans of Fran, but the guy can coach. I tip my hat to them. We however are the deeper team, and to be in a position to steal this one with Ayo & Kofi having off nights is impressive. If I'm an Iowa fan I wouldn't want to see us again in Champaign.
 
Likes: OrangeNTude
Disappointed we didn't finish that game well & agree with most that detesting Iowa is real and alive. I was explaining to my daughter why we dislike Iowa so much and she is completely on board. Their coach & players make it easy to continue...
 
Interesting point on Illiniboard. Both Ayo and DMW removed for rest of first half with two fouls very early. Ayo with 8 minutes, DMW with 15? Both ended with two fouls. There is a stat for this that puts Illinois as an outlier (345 out of 353) in playing guys with two fouls in first half. In this game, I don't think it was significant in that we got out of the first half in good shape and Ayo was mostly bottled up by the zone. Something to watch...in an up and down game or in a game we are falling behind with Ayo on bench..hope Underwood is not afraid to roll the dice a bit.
Good point. Underwood's auto benching has got to be questioned. Ayo has the 3rd lowest foul rate in the BIG and did not foul the whole rest of the game. Same with Kofi in the 2nd half with 3.
 
Good point. Underwood's auto benching has got to be questioned. Ayo has the 3rd lowest foul rate in the BIG and did not foul the whole rest of the game. Same with Kofi in the 2nd half with 3.
Agree. Unless a player is prone to fouling let em play with 2. So many games these players don't approach 5 fouls and they lose time out there
 
Likes: PlayAZ
ILLcoach
Rock Island
We had our chances. Garza is a nightmare for us.

Ayo and Kofi simply weren’t good enough today.

Giorgi bone head turnover KILLED us.

Incredible effort by Feliz today.
I was wondering why we had Giorgi in that position against the press. Probably not where I want my big in a 'press break' situation
 
About 6:58 Fran gets asked about the end of the game. Sounds like he is blaming it on Ayo reaching at the end of the game.
 
Ayo has never fouled out of a game at Illinois and has not even had 4 fouls in a game this year. Sitting him out 10 minutes with 2 fouls doesn't make sense. Kofi, interestingly enough has only fouled out of 1 game this year (Mich), yet he sat 6 minutes in the second half with 3.
 
Professional Social Distancer
Virginia
Calling out a ref after a game - hmmmm. If I'm that ref I'm whispering to opposing teams - "I don't think hard fouls are really fouls - just aggressive play" wink, wink. Idiot would get no benefit of the doubt from me.
 
A few years ago, John Harbaugh was fined and reprimanded by the Big Ten for publicly criticizing officials. Are players held to the same standard by the league? It is my hope that BU would hold his players accountable for such public statements, but I'm guessing that Fran won't You know...the whole apple and tree thing. I have officiated HS basketball for 26 seasons in Illinois and I can tell you that officials communicate and most of the time have each others back. I don't know anything about the culture of Division 1 officiating, but there is a even chance that Mac junior may see some extra attention.
 
Springfield
Want to say this about two players who are playing their last seasons for the Illini.

Andres Feliz is a player like no other I have ever seen....on any team. Sure...we all wish he were a more dependable jump shooter. But, in 65 years as an avid college hoops fan I have never seen a player his size more comfortable meandering (many streaking to the rim but none meandering or loitering) down low among guys as much as a foot taller or more and scorer consistently there EVERY GAME. He comes up with creative ways of getting it done efficiently also, not just highlight H-O-R-S-E shots we have not seen before but simple shots we can't believe were not swatted into section C (though some are on occasion). Not only that, but his rebounding success is also astounding, mostly due to his willingness and aggressiveness in seeking to find the ball. Props to an amazing player.

Also, I must say that Kipper Nichols has really become the player this team needed him to be this year. He was not going to be a starter or major scorer, be he needed to make a consistent and dependable contribution of play at starter quality due to his experience. We had seen flashes at times with contributions as a shooter, but this team needed him as an interior defender denying the ball, a tenacious rebounder, a guy who could take the ball with him to the rim and finish, and make smart plays on defense while never taking a play off. He had always come up short in those departments in the past, but this season, his focus and energy have allowed him to become the player this team needed him to be. From a kid going through the motions to a smart, tough, alert B1G warrior is a mighty transition. It has taken awhile but Kipper has earned his badge and become a vital cog in the Illini wheel of success.

Another anomally is the general tone of this board after a tough loss. Who would of thunk it?
 
Looking at the box score, not sure Iowa could have played much better. Not sure either McCaffrey or Garza’s nights from 3 are repeatable. After all that, we were up for with about 5 minutes to go and simply made some mistakes and missed some shots. Hopefully Ayo is healed up and Kofi comes out mad when we play them again.
 
Quincy, IL
I was wondering why we had Giorgi in that position against the press. Probably not where I want my big in a 'press break' situation
And Ayo was just as wide open to pass on the left side. Not dismissing the laziness of Giorgi's pass back, but really he should never have gotten the ball in the first place.
 
Likes: ILLcoach
Iowa City
That is adorable. My goodness the refs are to blame? wow
He's not wrong. The refs did a poor job of controlling that game. And if the situation was flipped and an Iowa player tried to take a swing and knock the ball out of Ayos hands with 1 second left down 7...we all know how this place would view it. Both sides were wrong yesterday.
 
New York
I just want to say that Andres Feliz is as tough as any Illini player that I can remember, including Chet Frazier, Lucas Johnson, etc. He is not fazed in the least and I really admire his grit and determination. We are really going to miss him next year.
Feliz’s rebound and putback may have been the most physically impressive I’ve ever seen from a 6’2 guard in college ball.
 
Forgottonia
I’m a bit surprised people are questioning Kofi‘s hands. I think he’s very good for his size and age. I know if was Felix once and not sure who the other was, but he got a couple passes dumped to him on a fast break that 90% of big men couldn’t handle and he caught them both, plus avoided a sure charge. (One my have been the strip that was not at all his fault.) Kofi is incredibly gifted and when his inexperience is taken into account it’s almost unbelievable the things he does.

One thing I questioned is how long Underwood waited to bring Felix in the second half. He played quite a few minutes thereafter, but I would have liked to see his offense in there a little more when we were struggling. I give Iowa credit for their zone that really slowed us down. Hope we have a better answer next time. As in make 3’s. Frankly I expect we might see a few more zones until we prove we can shoot them out of it.
 
I’m a bit surprised people are questioning Kofi‘s hands. I think he’s very good for his size and age. I know if was Felix once and not sure who the other was, but he got a couple passes dumped to him on a fast break that 90% of big men couldn’t handle and he caught them both, plus avoided a sure charge. (One my have been the strip that was not at all his fault.) Kofi is incredibly gifted and when his inexperience is taken into account it’s almost unbelievable the things he does.

One thing I questioned is how long Underwood waited to bring Felix in the second half. He played quite a few minutes thereafter, but I would have liked to see his offense in there a little more when we were struggling. I give Iowa credit for their zone that really slowed us down. Hope we have a better answer next time. As in make 3’s. Frankly I expect we might see a few more zones until we prove we can shoot them out of it.
When you've only made 54 three's in B!G play (14th in B1G) and shoot 28.4% from 3, using a zone against us is a no brainer. Plus our zone offense is questionable at best.
 
Likes: ILLcoach
I suspect how far we go in the NCAAs will depend in substantial part on whether we are paired with someone who plays the zone well, and not just as a change of pace. Iowa played it very well yesterday.
 
New York
By the time our next matchup with Iowa rolls around in a month from now, we need a reasonably good zone offense implemented. Could be Kofi Kipper or Giorgi operating in the middle of the zone. Could involve back cutters. Could involve AG and Trent hitting deep threes.
 
Ayo has never fouled out of a game at Illinois and has not even had 4 fouls in a game this year. Sitting him out 10 minutes with 2 fouls doesn't make sense. Kofi, interestingly enough has only fouled out of 1 game this year (Mich), yet he sat 6 minutes in the second half with 3.
I hate this so much. I also hate giving up and saying this is just how everyone else does it. I actually thought Pitino handled Carr and Oturu's foul trouble well in this regard, he let them play extended minutes with a high count of fouls.

I'm also of the mind that I'd rather a guy foul out at the 8 minute mark with 25 minutes played, than finish the game with only 20 minutes played. I get sitting a guy with two fouls in the first for some time, but just because convention tells you to is weak minded at best (let alone your star player).