Missouri 79, Illinois 63 POSTGAME

You can't just evaluate contracts and buyouts in isolation. The most important thing is "fit" and IMO in order to be successful at Illinois you have to be a very strong recruiter. That is imperative, and that is how Illinois became successful in the golden eras (1980s and 1999-06). Now if you can find a tremendous recruiter who also has a very strong coaching record, you definitely have to break that bank to bring him to Illinois, you will have to pay above market value (contract/buyout). For me that coach was Archie Miller, he would have been an absolute home run (and said so at the time, my #1 choice). I also would have paid above market value for Chris Mack. Yet, even if you can't close on those, you look at the major requirement (very strong recruiter) and try to make a strong play for an up-and-comer in that category but not as established. IMO that was Kevin Keatts (my #2 choice) who would have required a lesser contract and definitely buyout. Self was actually a Keatts type back in 2000, more of an up-and-comer at the time that did not require top dollar and buyout (compared to the level back in 2000).

I talk to coaches all the time and over the years, and I have never heard BU mentioned as a strong recruiter. Joe Henricksen actually mentioned the same thing in an interview when he was hired. He simply does not have such reputation. So I do not know what the thinking was in the AD, but it must have been that we will build a consistent winner without a very strong recruiter as a HC (#wewillwin). Personally, I do not think this is possible but even if someone disagrees, come talk to me when it actually happens at UI.

So we offer someone who IMO was not a good fit, OK... but then we triple his salary from what OSU had paid just a year ago, we pay his buyout ($3M) and we also give him huge golden parachute/buyout ($15.25M first year! vs. 3M at OSU, $12.4M second year, etc.). That is IMO a ridiculous contract and I can't see what BU had done to deserve such royal treatment, but the most important thing IMO is that he is not a very strong recruiter, not a good fit for UI, not his contract. Maybe he can be successful at other places, but the only way things could change with BU is if recruiting drastically improves. Unfortunately, there is no such evidence in his career so far and definitely we have not seen such evidence (very strong recruiting) at UI so far either. So my only true hope is a "miracle" turnaround in recruiting more than anything based on evidence. JMO.
Isn't recruiting the reason for hiring Antigua and retaining Walker?Seems to me that replacing them by overpaying some high profile assistants might be an option.Like you've stated many times there's no way we're going to pay Underwood's buyout and I remember hearing that some of the '89 team stating that they came to Illinois because of Collins not Henson.
 
Yeah, I

Yeah, I think youth and talent account for more of the explanation than system. Weber's system worked when he had talent and did not work very well when he did not..
Talent does tend to cover deficiencies in systems. I think the real problem is the forcing of a square peg into a round hole by sticking to something guys aren’t physically able to do. This system defensively requires quick twitch, rangy, athletic guys who cover large areas/distances in short times both on and away from the ball. We don’t have those guys. It also requires a real rim protector which Kane may develop into but his minutes are so low we rarely have that in place.
 
TU didn't lose the game, but it is a very bad narrative or optics. AG is better than most expected, has good length and a great shot. He is a freshmen and has weaknesses, but give him ad many minutes as you can as your 8-9th man.

Chin and Antigua doing fine with recruiting. Walker is the one who has struggled, and BU needs to close.

Next year need to go with a line-up that has Giorgi and Samba starting.
 
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Lou
Isn't recruiting the reason for hiring Antigua and retaining Walker?Seems to me that replacing them by overpaying some high profile assistants might be an option.Like you've stated many times there's no way we're going to pay Underwood's buyout and I remember hearing that some of the '89 team stating that they came to Illinois because of Collins not Henson.
Lou was an older gentleman. Collins was younger and I believe, grew up in the city. It stands to reason that players would find Collins more relatable. Observing Underwood, I’d think he might have trouble there, too.
 
I never stated that playing TU ahead of AG was a reason for the loss, but doing that could lead to the loss of AG and any hope we had for his brother also...based on Mrs. G's twitter that might have already evaporated, but playing time for TU has shown me zero offensive ability and numerous times of TU fronting a bigger player and looking lost at best...he did have a poor pass to Kipper and why wasn't he pulled and yelled at like other players ?

Smells funny to me that TU got tick and AG got less....if I remember AG got to start some games before the alarm clock issue...has he digressed to where he is less a player than TU...

I just hope we see AG and Tevian on the roster next year...thats my main concern right now...W-L record will be worst ever in Illini history so play the players with the most ability and stop the damn yelling...It hasn't worked so far so try something else.....

last few years of Bubbles, then Groce and now this....going the wrong way if you ask me.
This, this, this!! Also, there is no way that AG has regressed so much that he can't get into a game at a time that we clearly needed shooters. People here keep bringing up him being late for an early shoot around (along with Ayo) as an excuse for him sitting most of the game. Does anybody here remember finals week? Plus he still had to practice. I have no problems with the fact that we played a pretty good team and lost. My only concern is that BU wanted to get his son in a game more than being concerned with the welfare of his team. He had his 2nd best shooter sitting on the bench in a game that he needed shooters on the floor. A player that had played well enough to start a few games.
 
Isn't recruiting the reason for hiring Antigua and retaining Walker?Seems to me that replacing them by overpaying some high profile assistants might be an option.Like you've stated many times there's no way we're going to pay Underwood's buyout and I remember hearing that some of the '89 team stating that they came to Illinois because of Collins not Henson.
Good recruiting assistant coaches can get you in with some coaches and recruits but eventually they all know that they will play for the head coach. We have been able to get visits and recruits to show interest, but have not been able to close. If we had not been able to get initial interest and visits from multiple recruits, I would have agreed.

Antigua has a great reputation and gets much respect from coaches. I have talked to multiple coaches who speak very highly of Orlando. Chin has a smaller circle primarily within Illinois and some other EYBL programs. I have not heard much about Walker, he may have some pockets or contacts in St. Louis area, but definitely does not have the reputation of Antigua or even Chin..
 
Good recruiting assistant coaches can get you in with some coaches and recruits but eventually they all know that they will play for the head coach. We have been able to get visits and recruits to show interest, but have not been able to close. If we had not been able to get initial interest and visits from multiple recruits, I would have agreed.

Antigua has a great reputation and gets much respect from coaches. I have talked to multiple coaches who speak very highly of Orlando. Chin has a smaller circle primarily within Illinois and some other EYBL programs. I have not heard much about Walker, he may have some pockets or contacts in St. Louis area.
I believe Walker was retained to keep Tilmon in the fold and try and lock up Liddell. Clearly we batted .000 there. My guess is you will see a change after this year.
 
Why would you start Nichols, he has been a diappointment.
Tev is in the dog house. Else replacing Kip was a no brainer.

I would be open to playing Alan Griffin in Kips spot. Three guards. Problem here is that these kids have been running out of gas. DW is a no show in a general sense.

And start Kane.
 
And to think, moms loved JG. :) Sorry, but it seems there are some pretty wild and fact-less assumptions being made. I hope you all have a Merry holiday!
And to think,... every one of JGs teams were better than every one of Underwood's Illini teams so far. In the past everybody would jump up and down and say that Groce left the cupboard bare for Underwood - but we just got clobbered by the guys John Groce actually recruited.
And FWIW - I was ready to see Groce go - I am not a John Groce apologist,...
 
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Two thoughts: 1) Several key players in the BR game were recruited by Groce (Frazier, Tilmon, Smith, Pickett, Nichols). At some point, all were either committed to or attended Illinois. I think that is very interesting. 2) Does anyone remember the video aired by either the University or local media in which BU sat down with someone and went over his offense and defense? This was before he'd even coached his first game at Illinois. I thought it was odd that any new coach would consent to someone recording and airing him using game film from his former teams to show his offensive/defensive schemes. Who does that? But now, I'm wondering if that might have been a recruiting strategy he was employing. Either way, I never saw the wisdom behind that decision, especially a coach who was new to the school with not much head coaching experience. I would expect that information to only be shared during the interview process.
 
Tevian has broke a big rule and Alan a minor. Should those slide in front of the team?

I mean Alan in pretty clearly gone, right? Did you guys see what his mother put on twitter? Basically saying that she left Underwood to take care of her son but he isn't... That is a pretty harsh, public statement to come back on.
 
I mean Alan in pretty clearly gone, right? Did you guys see what his mother put on twitter? Basically saying that she left Underwood to take care of her son but he isn't... That is a pretty harsh, public statement to come back on.
Nothing has been said that can’t be repaired with a little time and finesse.
 
Right or wrong the thinking was Underwood was a winner and winning games right off the bat would make him a good recruiter for a team like Illinois.

I live in the St. Louis area and very seldom is the Illini coaching staff around here. You're not going to recruit the area well like that. C. Martin and Chris Hollender are here what seems like every other weekend all year long. They hold camps and even attend youth events not basketball related. Now we read articles where Underwood and his assistants are too busy to go to Chicago and it makes you wonder, are they not good recruiters or just not putting in the effort that it takes. Another big mistake was Orlando Antigua. His history should have kept them away from him anyways.
Sorry but Antigua was not a mistake, nor is he the problem. Orlando & Chin are one of the few positives about this program right now.
 
I can't believe this TU thing has turned into such a big issue
  1. Looking at advanced stats, him and AG are not that far apart. AG is a +3.6, TU is a +3.3. BU is right, TU is light years ahead of AG in defense (+5.1 TU vs +2.0 AG) but TU is light years behind in offense. I'm not saying I agree with BU's decision (I don't), it wasn't a decision that heavily impacted the game.
  2. AG has played more than 2x the minutes this season than TU (87 vs 41). And that's with him not getting any tick at the ETSU game on his own accord. Some may argue that 41 is still too much for TU, and I don't disagree, but it's not like AG is not getting chances.
  3. Does it look bad that a freshman doesn't get meaningful playing time in a high profile game? Maybe (I would argue yes to some degree, but you don't put that over winning a game). Did any freshman play well during this game (outside of perhaps Giorgi), not really and, again, stat wise, him and TU are in the same ballpark.
  4. Did TU play in the 2nd half in the game at all once Ayo's foul issues were passed? I'm pretty sure he didn't (or at least only got garage time - I might have missed that). Did we lose the 2nd half worse than the first? Yes.
To me, the (much) bigger issue is defense. We still haven't figured out how to play BU's style while still being able to rotate efficiently/effectively enough to not give open looks. The only reason we were in it for the 1st half of the 2nd half is because Mizzou missed several wide open shots (esp. 3s) that continued giving us chances. One the law of large numbers there kicked in there, we had no chance. I'm not smart enough to know if it's a scheme issue, talent/athleticism, or a learning issue. But it almost doesn't matter, something needs to change there to adjust for it to salvage the season.
Please link the source for your advanced stats. I'd like to better understand how they are calculated. When you play as few minutes as TU, and if such ratings are calculated as a function of minutes played, there is going to be a significant variability in your measured efficiency where a single steal or defensive rebound could dramatically boost your calculated rating. Also bear in mind TU has had his most minutes and most productive games against scrub teams (ETSU, Evansville).

I saw what Griffin did in protecting the rim against UNLV. I observe the kid's length, size, + athleticism and see how that can impact the defensive quality of the team. I also see how TU represents a perpetual size disadvantage, can't jump with any of the other 9 players on the court, and struggles to stay in front of opposing players when they have the ball. There are things we *see*, visibly, for why coach's son is a defensive vulnerability, regardless of how a defensive rebound or steal here or there gives him some nice Xmas math score.

So please show me the computational factors involved in deriving these ratings, and I will gladly explain how they are a misrepresentation. I can't imagine many people with a meaningful understanding of basketball would choose TU for their 5 over AG, for defensive purposes (or any of the other scholarship players we have, regardless of who's father's system is being run). TU simply doesn't belong on the court for a Big Ten team. But he is in there because his father is coach. If this doesn't bother you, from an integrity and coach's responsibility standpoint, that's on you. But some of us quite dislike the coach taking our team, program, tradition for granted like this, where he feels he can put a trash product on the court and also sneak in minutes for his boy.
 
st petersburg, fl
Please link the source for your advanced stats. I'd like to better understand how they are calculated. When you play as few minutes as TU, and if such ratings are calculated as a function of minutes played, there is going to be a significant variability in your measured efficiency where a single steal or defensive rebound could dramatically boost your calculated rating. Also bear in mind TU has had his most minutes and most productive games against scrub teams (ETSU, Evansville).

I saw what Griffin did in protecting the rim against UNLV. I observe the kid's length, size, + athleticism and see how that can impact the defensive quality of the team. I also see how TU represents a perpetual size disadvantage, can't jump with any of the other 9 players on the court, and struggles to stay in front of opposing players when they have the ball. There are things we *see*, visibly, for why coach's son is a defensive vulnerability, regardless of how a defensive rebound or steal here or there gives him some nice Xmas math score.

So please show me the computational factors involved in deriving these ratings, and I will gladly explain how they are a misrepresentation. I can't imagine many people with a meaningful understanding of basketball would choose TU for their 5 over AG, for defensive purposes (or any of the other scholarship players we have, regardless of who's father's system is being run). TU simply doesn't belong on the court for a Big Ten team. But he is in there because his father is coach. If this doesn't bother you, from an integrity and coach's responsibility standpoint, that's on you. But some of us quite dislike the coach taking our team, program, tradition for granted like this, where he feels he can put a trash product on the court and also sneak in minutes for his boy.
https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/alan-griffin-1.html

https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/tyler-underwood-1.html

I’ll say again I disagree with BU’s approach. But 1) this is not nearly as big of an issue as 11 pages of this thread indicates and 2) its not as outfight illogical/nepotism as some make it out to be. We all know that brad underwood is a statistics guy. He follows the numbers. You may agree or disagree with that approach - but looking at the numbers - it’s not obvious that TU is clearly inferior to AG. Especially when it comes to defense (which I think is the primary issue with the team).
 
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Again, the decision to triple the salary from what OSU had paid just a year ago for some and pay his buyout ($3M) for someone who is not a strong recruiter and fit, is a bad decision. But it pales in comparison to the decision to give him a huge golden parachute/buyout ($15.25M first year! vs. 3M at OSU, $12.4M second year, etc.). That decision is simply ridiculous and there is not much in his resume to deserve that. We are clearly stuck with Underwood and there is no way of sugarcoating it. Keatts would haven been a much more viable choice, a better fit, and much more affordable.

Everyone thought that the multi-million Assembly Hall renovation was going to have a big impact and was much needed. It had zero impact... now people claim we "survived" that renovation and all that money was wasted did not get us on par. The problem with our program is not SFC, and while Ubben needs renovation, it is hardly a solid decision to have a financial exposure of $21M on a mediocre coach in 2 years when you spend $30M for Ubben renovation in comparison.

Furthermore, let's not kid around. When Self took over in 2000, the program had been boycotted by both HS/AAU and also media. The situation was much more toxic. Self was able to mend fences in record time, and the subsequent 3 regimes have simply failed to build and maintain relationships. When articles are getting published with coaches making negative comments and a recruits mother (who is also the mother of one of the top ranked 5* prospects) takes on twitter against a coach, it just shows even more the inability to build internal and external relationships. If you think BU can't succeed in that environment, then he simply shouldn't have been an applicant for this job and definitely should not had been selected.

As far as the program, we were pretty much an NIT program during the previous regime and we all thought that it was not enough. It is not the impossibility to take an NIT program and make it an NCAA program as some people present. Neither does it necessitate driving the program to the bottom of the B1G and pre-Henson years. There is absolutely no reason for that, neither is there much justification in the belief that we are about to make some miraculous ascend to prominence, because recruiting has not been going well either.
I think that we’re talking about two different things here. My point is that Underwood’s deal is not that far out of market, which is a different thing than saying he’s a good fit here. At the time he was hired most of the media reaction showed him as maybe the best hire not named Archie Miller. You want to poach a major conference guy, you have to come to the table with a big offer. So, yeah, Keatts would have been cheaper, but he was lower on the list for most teams.

Hindsight will tell us whether or not the decision was good, but that doesn’t change Underwood’s price tag or the market at the time he was hired. If you think we should have gone in another direction, that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean we paid more than we had to.

As for Self, you’re right that he did all of those things. It’s not a coincidence that I’d put him in the top five coaches active today without naming the other four. Holding him up as the standard by which other coaches are judged is unreasonable, even if it’s the aspiration. (And if you want to bet that Kevin Keatts will become the next Bill Self, I’ll take the fat end of that proposition all day long. No offense to Keatts, that’s just a towering bar to clear.) So I’m not too compelled by the argument that the program’s issues should be easy to clean up because Self did it. It’s doable, but the path is going to look different the next time it happens.

I’ve long believed that Bruce Weber’s biggest sin was that he wasn’t Bill Self. I’m beginning to feel that way about John Groce and Brad Underwood as well. Duly noted that I don’t think much of Groce, but I do feel like Underwood deserves a bit more slack than he’s been given.

As for the rest of it, we’ve been over it before. If you think the 2017 team minus Malcolm Hill should have been competitive, I don’t know what to tell you.

Underwood might not be up to the task, but let’s not underestimate how difficult it will be to right this ship.
 
Hindsight will tell us whether or not the decision was good, but that doesn’t change Underwood’s price tag or the market at the time he was hired. If you think we should have gone in another direction, that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean we paid more than we had to
Of course we overpaid. No doubt about that. Not only was he a bad fit, but BU's buyout is ridiculous high. His market value was $1M salary with a $3M buyout at OSU just a year ago. The salary tripled (which is less of an issue) but his buyout is $15.25M first year(!), $12.4M second year, etc. It is an astronomical buyout, despite not being a good fit. In comparison, Chris Mack at Louisville starts at $6M and drops $500K every year! We gave BU an absolutely ridiculous buyout, one of the best in the industry. This contract and buyout lock you in on a bad decision no matter how bad things turn out, and right now we are on track to have the worst 2-yr period since 1973-75 when Harv Schmidt and Gene Bartow were the coaches. We are stuck!