Pregame: #8 Illinois vs #9 Michigan, Thursday, March 12th, 11:00am CT, BTN

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Here's the problem. NW is a bad defensive team. NW's ineffective zone was no small part of why we had so much success moving the ball against them. Wisconsin is a good defensive team. Their perimeter players are very long, it's hard to get around them, and passing lanes are much smaller. We could perform at the exact same offensive level as we did against NW and look very mediocre offensive instead of very good. There's no room for our skip passes, our open looks at 3 become much more closely guarded, and our shooting % dips from 48% to 35%. Wisconsin is #1 in the country in defensive assist % - what percent of opponents FGs are assisted - at 39.2%. We are 9th in conference in offensive assist % and 242nd in the country at 50.3% (MSU is great at 64.2%), so between those two things, chances of us beating Wisconsin by passing through their defense are essentially nil.

Maryland beat Wisconsin off the dribble - only 8 of Maryland's 24 FGs were assisted, combined with Wisconsin having a terrible shooting day - just 27% 3s, 38.5% FGs, 58% FT. Maryland does a better job defending shooters than we do - they are close to top in the conference guarding both 2s and 3s by percentage - but if we're going to beat Wisconsin, it's going to be by Rice, Nunn, and Hill creating off the dribble (doesn't sound likely), keeping Wisconsin away from the basket, and hoping they miss shots they normally make. That's about it.



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Some more stats: Wisconsin's defensive efficiency is 93.0 - 2nd in conference to OSU at 92.9. Wisconsin is #23 in the nation in defensive efficiency. Northwestern is second to last in conference at 104.2, and 248th in the country. Only IU is worse- and the big problem with IU is their interior defense, and we're not a team that thrives in capitalizing against poor interior defenses, unfortunately.

Our defense is pretty good - 95.7 efficiency (4th in conf, 62nd in country), but it's not as good as Wisconsin's.

http://statsheet.com/mcb/teams/stat...-ten&games=&stat=efficiency&stat_type=defense

Meanwhile, on the offensive side, Wisconsin is the #1 team in offensive efficiency in the conference by a margin at 119.6 (5th in country). We are right in the middle of the pack at 106.5.

Wisconsin basically never gives up the ball, so we'll never get in transition against them.
So you're saying we have a chance? :)
 
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The Monday B1G Teleconference


 
New York
Beilein gives a good press conference. In response to a question about Kaminsky, he spoke a bit about how he enjoys seeing lower level recruits achieve success -- and how he's had a few players like that. Now this year he seems to have found something again in Dawkins, who was a three star, and maybe in Abdur Rakhman, who was a 2*/3*.

So a question: does Beilein have a better eye for talent than other coaches, is he better at developing talent, or is it perhaps a combination - where he identifies players who can do well in his program, regardless of ranking, and then is good at developing them?

Beilein also spoke about the effect of early departures on a program and mentioned Michigan this year in the same breath as Kentucky's NIT year, so he doesn't seem to lack confidence that Michigan will be back soon.

Edit: And a good post by Robert about the exact question of finding underrated talent - he attributes finding guys like Burke, Kaminsky, Stauskas, et al who way outperform their rankings in no small part to luck

We need more talent. And that doesn’t just mean “we need to recruit a full roster of top-50 players”. It also means that we need to get lucky and trip over a diamond in the rough.

Bo Ryan will tell you he knew he had something special in Kaminsky. Fran “it’s a stupid question” McWhatever will tell you he knew from the first practice that Aaron White was special. But really, they just got wildly lucky. Took a chance on a player and he performed 10 times above his ranking. Bo certainly can spot players for his system. But even he would tell you he had no idea some lanky kid who was out-performed on his high school team by David Sobolewski would end up the national player of the year.

The biggest thing we could use right now: a breakout player who plays far above his ranking. We need Aaron Jordan to come in and be Cory Bradford. We need Michael Finke to pull a Kaminsky (I know, he’s not going to be national player of the year, but you get my point).
http://illiniboard.com/2015/03/09/talent/
 
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no longer in OK! Centralia, IL
I think it's something like 75% luck and 25% system for Beilein. The guys he gets are good fits for his system, so it plays to their strengths and it allows them to develop those parts of their game and stand out because they play their role so well. Then there's the blind luck in guys like Burke and Stauskas absolutely taking off in college and being incredible college players.
 
New York
I think it's something like 75% luck and 25% system for Beilein. The guys he gets are good fits for his system, so it plays to their strengths and it allows them to develop those parts of their game and stand out because they play their role so well. Then there's the blind luck in guys like Burke and Stauskas absolutely taking off in college and being incredible college players.
The only thing is - after you get like three or four guys like that, it gets harder and harder to believe that it's luck. Burke, Stauskas, Lavert. Tim Hardaway wasn't so highly touted either - low 4* and now he's in NBA. It's still a bit early to tell because he's only had a handful of great games, but it's possible that Dawkins is another very high level 3*.

If I had to gauge it, it's about 35% recruiting players he knows fit his system, 35% developing those players, and 30% luck. But it's very hard to know. Bo is the same way. Of course with a guy like Kaminsky there's a lot of luck in terms of *how* good he got, but no doubt that Bo liked him as a player, saw a guy he could develop, and did a great job developing him.
 
Bloomington
Wisconsin looks like our 05 Illini did. Ill be shocked if they don't win conference tourney. And if Illinois beats Michigan then Wisconsin...well, go play the lotto.
 
The only thing is - after you get like three or four guys like that, it gets harder and harder to believe that it's luck. Burke, Stauskas, Lavert. Tim Hardaway wasn't so highly touted either - low 4* and now he's in NBA. It's still a bit early to tell because he's only had a handful of great games, but it's possible that Dawkins is another very high level 3*.

If I had to gauge it, it's about 35% recruiting players he knows fit his system, 35% developing those players, and 30% luck. But it's very hard to know. Bo is the same way. Of course with a guy like Kaminsky there's a lot of luck in terms of *how* good he got, but no doubt that Bo liked him as a player, saw a guy he could develop, and did a great job developing him.
I'd agree with your ratio here, Haasi. Bo has gotten "lucky" an awful lot over the last 13 years or so :). He does a good job of spotting talent for his system, molding/developing that talent and getting that talent to thrive in his system. He's developed a long list of guys who weren't 5 stars yet had great careers at UW and 3-star recruits who had good careers. Beilein is now doing the same thing at UM.
 
Wisconsin looks like our 05 Illini did. Ill be shocked if they don't win conference tourney. And if Illinois beats Michigan then Wisconsin...well, go play the lotto.
Purdue is winning the B1G tourn this year.
 
New York
Purdue is winning the B1G tourn this year.
Interesting call. They look pretty tough now. Iowa-Purdue should be a good matchup. I'm still rooting for PSU to come out of nowhere and take down PU on Friday.
 
Anyone have any information on which sections will be Illinois sections? Looking to head up and see the game but I don't want to be with scUM fans.
 
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Groce: "We head into Season Three." Had a good practice yesterday. Season 2 (B1G play) was long and physical.

Groce: Very familiar with Michigan, given its the third matchup. "You are who you are for the most with slight adaptations."

Groce: Want to make sure we're mentally and physically ready to go. That's almost more important this time of year than Xs and Os

Groce: Ahmad and Jaylon can play better. I'm confident they will be better. Not sure Rice at PG is long-term answer at PG.

Groce: Not sure if illness has had an effect on Jaylon. He wouldn't complain, say anything about it. We need all 9 guys.

Groce: Egwu and Rice played really, really hard Saturday. They played like you'd expect seniors to play Need few others to join 'em.

Groce: Don't talk about bracketology, but the guys are aware of it. Every team playing for automatic berth.

Groce: Our guys know every game is important this time of year. They are fully aware of what's at stake.

Groce: Would hope last year's experience during BTT helps us this week. Thought we played well last year during BTT.

Groce: Nunn missed some open shots, threes and layups. We have confidence in him. We want him to continue to be aggressive.

Groce: Taking care of the ball is important for Nunn. He cares a lot, so you know he's working to get better.

Groce: Aubrey Dawkins is playing great. 6-6 so he has good size and gets it up quickly. Playing good with more opportunity.

Groce: I've been impressed with how Michigan has had the next man up philopshy, like us. They've continued to get better.

Groce: We understand that we have to play together, a sense of toughness and nastiness that we didn't have for full 40 min on Sat

Groce: Egwu All-Defensive Team "well-deserved. I thought he should've gotten it the last two years, to be honest with you."

Groce: Always take four suits to BTT and then take it one game at a time.

Groce: We always love going up to Chicago. Many players from there, slew of alums and support. We enjoy going up there.

Groce: Hopefully our fans have bought up all our tickets and will be full of orange and blue.

https://twitter.com/WernerESPNCU
 
Wisconsin looks like our 05 Illini did. Ill be shocked if they don't win conference tourney. And if Illinois beats Michigan then Wisconsin...well, go play the lotto.
Wouldn't that mean we had used up our luck?
 
Well 2 years ago we played #1 Indiana and kind of hung around, made it a game, but didn't have enough in the tank. Last year we played #1 Michigan and played well enough to pull of the upset, it just didn't go our way. So history tells us this year we should get over the hump right? Take care of Michigan first, then shock Wisconsin. We are more than capable.
 
Champaign, IL
Well 2 years ago we played #1 Indiana and kind of hung around, made it a game, but didn't have enough in the tank. Last year we played #1 Michigan and played well enough to pull of the upset, it just didn't go our way. So history tells us this year we should get over the hump right? Take care of Michigan first, then shock Wisconsin. We are more than capable.
Illinois was extremely motivated for Michigan last year coming off that 30 point beatdown a week before. Indiana was extra motivated for Illinois after getting upset in Champaign. I fully expect Illinois to give Wisconsin all they can handle if we get past Michigan. I thought we played very well with Wisconsin despite it being 5 vs 8 and having our worst game of the year in terms of rebounding and turnovers.
 
Illinois was extremely motivated for Michigan last year coming off that 30 point beatdown a week before. Indiana was extra motivated for Illinois after getting upset in Champaign. I fully expect Illinois to give Wisconsin all they can handle if we get past Michigan. I thought we played very well with Wisconsin despite it being 5 vs 8 and having our worst game of the year in terms of rebounding and turnovers.
Also looks like Traevon Jackson might be out for the game according to the twitterverse. First we've got to get past UM though.
 
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