Michigan State 70, Illinois 69 POSTGAME

Following up to my own post earlier on this page...

Please, try to understand this is one loss in the programs journey back to relevance. Forget the game.

Also, try not to make this about us right now. The last thing the family is going to want to see is how it’s a blow to us, the fans. Just hope for the best for his and his family’s sake. We are very lucky to have him
It's okay to discuss the game and it's outcome. I hope Ayo is okay, but whether he is or isn't is out of my hands
 
We just lost two home games to a team we should beat earlier in the year and a team that was on a three games slide. Our best player who has carried us through this winning streak is probably done for the year. We have lost three in a row with him. I don’t see this working out well in the end. We are going to end up a six year straight out of the NCAA’s. Our non-conference record is putrid.
You must be fun at parties.
 
Trent Frazier's on the ball defense against Winston last night was elite. He is just flat out fun to watch on defense. His force of the Winston charge at the 10:31 mark when we were down 13 points started the turn around. Not only did he force the turnover, but sent Winston to the bench with his 4th foul. The crowd recognized this effort and got back into the game. Holding Winston to 12 points was really good.
 
Trent Frazier's on the ball defense against Winston last night was elite. He is just flat out fun to watch on defense. His force of the Winston charge at the 10:31 mark when we were down 13 points started the turn around. Not only did he force the turnover, but sent Winston to the bench with his 4th foul. The crowd recognized this effort and got back into the game. Holding Winston to 12 points was really good.
Trent drew another charge...can't remember who against...in the first half that was awesome too. But the ref called it a block. I could almost count to 2 Mississippi between Trent getting set and contact being made with the other player it seemed.

Trent played excellent defense for sure.
 
If I hear anything concrete I will start a thread.
Does not sound good, but appreciate it. As frustrated with the L and hope for the best with Ayo, I believe this team can at least make the tourney. I believe Trent will step up his scoring output and I believe Giorgi will find his groove again. My biggest concern is guard depth more than anything. Only Feliz/Frazier can handle ball if Ayo is out. Hope the best for Ayo's recovery for his career prognosis. Enjoyed the fight last night back and really don't like Izzo bashing Jones/Da'Monte. I hope we play them again in BTT because I believe we will be extra motivated against them after that. I am starting to see a little confidence in Monte - hopefully he starts to be even more aggressive as I believe he can be more creative with the handles if he trusts himself.
 
Haha, well how about this for a number, he only played 13 minutes last night but his +/- was -19. It's hard to fathom that even being possible.
If Ayo was not hurt, I would bring him off the bench and let Griffin/Jones/Nichols start. I just believe he needs some confidence again and he is a better low post scorer than anything else. While he is skilled at other things, his best attribute is low post and he cannot do that as well with Kofi. Bring him off the bench, let him get some touches, and then regain his mojo. But, he was terrible last night - shot like 3 straight bricks from 3 which killed us getting any momentum in 1st half, cheap fouls, could not d against Tillman and board was an issue. Hopefully, we can figure something out because he is dynamite when he is on his game.
 
Forgottonia
I wasn’t going to say it out loud, but I’ve thought all season how fortunate we’ve been with injuries for quite some time. I hope whatever the injury, it doesn’t derail any of his future plans.
 
Winged Warrior
Some of these takes.....sheesh.
I don't know what some of you are thinking, but as far as the team is concerned, we recovered in the second half completely. The L stings, but man, we were sleepwalking for 20 minutes. We lost the game in the first 10 minutes.

This team is fine. Ayo uncertainty aside, this is still one of the toughest, grittiest bunch of kids I've ever seen in Illini uniforms.

You don't win 7 straight in this league, this year, as a fluke. The fluke is the couple of bad halves we've had in the last couple of games.
 
Giorgi has fallen to the #75 BIG ranked player per TRank. Last year he finished at #42.
That page isn't really a ranking. It's a bunch of stats, and the default sort is by an offensive stat. Giorgi had the highest usage rate on last year's team; he has the fifth highest of the rotation players on this year's team. So it's no wonder his offensive stats have gone down.

BPM is a better indicator of offensive and defensive performance, and in that regard, he's gone from #82 to #75; 0.3 to 1.5.
 
"A slide outside of the tourney?" That means we'd see an all time collapse. Instead of thinking we lose the next 4, lets go 2-2 and get to 18-10 (10-7). That positions us nicely for the end of season and B1G tournament. I cant imagine this team missing tye tournament. They are too talented and too mentally tough for that to happen.
I don't actually see them missing the tourney if Ayo is done. What I was trying to say, is taken in perspective if the team collapses without him, it's still worse for him than it is for everyone else including all of us lamenting fans. All of our collective disappointment in the team's success, we can get over. When a kid who's spent his whole life chasing a goal sees it 'slip away' because of a patch of water on the floor....that's freaking tragic.
 
Likes: chiefini
Forgottonia
Some of these takes.....sheesh.
I don't know what some of you are thinking, but as far as the team is concerned, we recovered in the second half completely. The L stings, but man, we were sleepwalking for 20 minutes. We lost the game in the first 10 minutes.

This team is fine. Ayo uncertainty aside, this is still one of the toughest, grittiest bunch of kids I've ever seen in Illini uniforms.

You don't win 7 straight in this league, this year, as a fluke. The fluke is the couple of bad halves we've had in the last couple of games.
You also don’t win that 7 straight without Ayo’s heroics. I think the point is, the margin of error for this team was fairly small already. It’s now razor thin. I think Tev is ready to step up, but everyone else will need to as well. Gritty yes. Offensively challenged is the biggest concern of mine and Ayo is our best offensive player. Every game is winnable. And losable. Need one of the next 2.
 
If Ayo was not hurt, I would bring him off the bench and let Griffin/Jones/Nichols start. I just believe he needs some confidence again and he is a better low post scorer than anything else. While he is skilled at other things, his best attribute is low post and he cannot do that as well with Kofi. Bring him off the bench, let him get some touches, and then regain his mojo. But, he was terrible last night - shot like 3 straight bricks from 3 which killed us getting any momentum in 1st half, cheap fouls, could not d against Tillman and board was an issue. Hopefully, we can figure something out because he is dynamite when he is on his game.
Spot on, I agree with you and was just saying that to my buddy.
 
Likes: othawhitemeat
You also don’t win that 7 straight without Ayo’s heroics. I think the point is, the margin of error for this team was fairly small already. It’s now razor thin. I think Tev is ready to step up, but everyone else will need to as well. Gritty yes. Offensively challenged is the biggest concern of mine and Ayo is our best offensive player. Every game is winnable. And losable. Need one of the next 2.
Valid point on Ayo's heroics, but a couple things - Dre, Trent, Damonte, Kofi and AG played big roles in those wins. The margin of error is not "razor thin". Yes, the dream of winning the Big10 is over, but we are still in a position to make the tourney, and that has always been goal #1. We just need to win the games that are very much winnable remaining on our schedule. Nebraska and Northwestern are really bad, and Indiana can't win on the road (to teams not named Nebraska). You don't need to squint to see 3-4 more wins this season, which gets us in the tournament. Then you let the chips fall.
 
If Ayo was not hurt, I would bring him off the bench and let Griffin/Jones/Nichols start. I just believe he needs some confidence again and he is a better low post scorer than anything else. While he is skilled at other things, his best attribute is low post and he cannot do that as well with Kofi. Bring him off the bench, let him get some touches, and then regain his mojo. But, he was terrible last night - shot like 3 straight bricks from 3 which killed us getting any momentum in 1st half, cheap fouls, could not d against Tillman and board was an issue. Hopefully, we can figure something out because he is dynamite when he is on his game.
Sadly, it looks like Giorgi caught whatever DaMonte had. He's getting good position. Just missing shots right now. Let's not forget the freshman scoring record, once held by one of our highest rated recruits ever, wasn't broken by Ayo. It wasn't broken by Trent or Kofi, but Giorgi! Hopefully he can figure it out.
 
Winged Warrior
You also don’t win that 7 straight without Ayo’s heroics. I think the point is, the margin of error for this team was fairly small already. It’s now razor thin. I think Tev is ready to step up, but everyone else will need to as well. Gritty yes. Offensively challenged is the biggest concern of mine and Ayo is our best offensive player. Every game is winnable. And losable. Need one of the next 2.
I said Ayo uncertainty aside. I wasn't talking about the team with or without Ayo. Just the team.

Your point is obvious. Without Ayo we are not as good and probably don't run through 7 straight.

Also, water is wet.
 
Sadly, it looks like Giorgi caught whatever DaMonte had. He's getting good position. Just missing shots right now. Let's not forget the freshman scoring record, once held by one of our highest rated recruits ever, wasn't broken by Ayo. It wasn't broken by Trent or Kofi, but Giorgi! Hopefully he can figure it out.
I don't think he caught anything. He can't shoot. His form is not good. I feel for him because he has had to move to a position in which he is poorly suited for.
 
I don't actually see them missing the tourney if Ayo is done. What I was trying to say, is taken in perspective if the team collapses without him, it's still worse for him than it is for everyone else including all of us lamenting fans. All of our collective disappointment in the team's success, we can get over. When a kid who's spent his whole life chasing a goal sees it 'slip away' because of a patch of water on the floor....that's freaking tragic.
Even if he has a surgical knee, he's likely to bounce back from that. His dream may be delayed (see Dee Brown) but I doubt he loses it unless he has an unusually severe injury.
 
I don't think he caught anything. He can't shoot. His form is not good. I feel for him because he has had to move to a position in which he is poorly suited for.
Yeah but he's had a number of hook shots in the post and can't make them. It's not just a position change.
 
The loss hurts and (potentially) losing Ayo hurts, but this is what you recruit for and this is why depth matters. We have enough talent on this team to adjust and still make the tournament very easily. Feliz, Trent, AG, TJ are all going to have to shoulder more of the offensive load.

If this team was 100% going to have an injury of some kind, I'd prefer it be a guard than Kofi or Giorgi. I mean, I'd prefer it not be Ayo, but that's the hand we just got dealt.