Pregame: Illinois at Northwestern, Thursday, February 27th, 7:00pm CT, BTN

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#51
Tyngsborough, MA
Dead last (14th) in conference play in both 3pt and 2pt shooting percentage. 7th in FT percentage.

We need to figure out our three point shooting. Feel like Trent is forcing up some real bad, low percentage shots.
What is with Trent, anyway? That 3/4 length of the court shot.....😎
 
#52
I couldn't AGREE with you more......someone argued that Tev still looks lost out there while Giorgi, even though struggling, still has a grasp (i.e. not lost) of the game (defended Giorgi against a claim that Tev should be getting more of G's minutes). I couldn't DISAGREE more with the assessment that Giorgi is not lost. He looks completely lost...not only is he not executing offensively, he looks lost on defense....remaining grounded while others are jumping for rebounds around him....leaving guys unguarded under the hoop. I love Giorgi! He has proven he can be DYNAMIC! I'm befuddled....just like everyone else....not knowing what it's going to take, but I do agree with BU.....can't wallow in it....got to keep fighting.
Giorgi was tied for 3rd for rebounds on team last night -- and was better per minute than those with 5 or more rebounds. I do think though that at least one of those rebounds came after he missed a bunny (had 4 O-rebs last night). But against PSU he was second on team in rebounding. Not saying he's playing great in other areas of the game, but I do think his offensive woes have people thinking he isn't contributing at all. I mean last 3 games he's averaging more rebounds than his season average -- and better than his season average last year. He just needs to get out there and have fun. Take a page out of DMW playbook and hustle, rebound and pass -- the offense will come.
 
#53
What is with Trent, anyway? That 3/4 length of the court shot.....😎
Yeah I'm not trying to say he's a bad three point shooter, nor trying to take away from the impressiveness of that 70 footer.

What I'm saying is when he's on he's a catch and shoot machine, his method is pretty well proven to be working. Seems to me like he's forcing shots he shouldnt need to up. Whatever's going on isn't great. Prior to last nights 3-8 performance, the previous 4 games he was a combined 2-16 from 3 pt land. That is bad, no way to spin it.
 
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#54
Giorgi was tied for 3rd for rebounds on team last night -- and was better per minute than those with 5 or more rebounds. I do think though that at least one of those rebounds came after he missed a bunny (had 4 O-rebs last night). But against PSU he was second on team in rebounding. Not saying he's playing great in other areas of the game, but I do think his offensive woes have people thinking he isn't contributing at all. I mean last 3 games he's averaging more rebounds than his season average -- and better than his season average last year. He just needs to get out there and have fun. Take a page out of DMW playbook and hustle, rebound and pass -- the offense will come.
I appreciate you supplying stats and recognize that I've not provided any support. My assessment (admittedly - eye test only) is not just the last 1 or 2 games, but his recent body of work (probably 4 or 5 games). He may end up filling the stat sheet decently, but his lapses during that period are significant and plenty....he could be so much better....we need him to be so much better.
 
#55
I appreciate you supplying stats and recognize that I've not provided any support. My assessment (admittedly - eye test only) is not just the last 1 or 2 games, but his recent body of work (probably 4 or 5 games). He may end up filling the stat sheet decently, but his lapses during that period are significant and plenty....he could be so much better....we need him to be so much better.
I agree. We do need him to be so much better. This has been a tough year. As much as GB was beloved and he was one of the good things that happened last year, his move to the 4 hasn't worked. How far he has fallen has even got worse now with this funk, causing people to jump of a cliff -- or possibly wanting to push Giorgi off a cliff. My point was just that even with the funk, he is still doing some good things. Not enough of them and we need him to be better, but the cupboard isn't completely bare. And how that the 4 experiment has ended, I think he'll get back to the point where he is doing more to help the team win.
 
#56
Personally think this is the scariest game left (individually). Lose this and we're dangerously close, if not, on the bubble. Winning accomplishes nothing except moving us forward. It's exactly the type of game a team in NW's shoes gears up for and a game we could sleep for. I think the team needs to dig into the hype of a rivalry game, even if it doesn't feel like one (or is one).

Probability wise, I can't say I'm any more sure we lose this than the game against Nebraska, but it's funny how this game is more dangerous than the rest we have left.
1) We beat them by what, 4 points at home, so it's hard to imagine that we'd sleep on them; 2) Clearly from the postgame interviews, the team had a lot of respect for Nebraska, so again, I can't imagine that would not be the case Thursday; 3) No way we're close to the bubble when we have 4 Quad 1A wins, which means road wins over top 40 net teams, plus a 5th road win over Grand Canyon; 4) This team loves road kill and will be wanting another pelt Thursday and next week @OSU. We're better on the road, which bodes well for March!
 
#58
A couple of random thoughts cobbled together....

1) Any chance Giorgi has some sort of nagging injury that's impacting his playing? Didn't he have some sort of undisclosed hand injury last year that supposedly hampered his outside shooting? Could it be continuing? Could it be getting worse? Could it be a completely different injury? I think "the yips" is the simplest explanation right now, but who knows...

2) w/r/t being "on the bubble"...excluding the "really good teams" (think Duke, Gonzaga, KS, Baylor, FLST, etc.) to me a team is still "on the bubble" if you aren't very confident that they would make the tourney as an at-large if they lost the rest of their games. If we lost to NW, Indiana, OSU, and IA (and then lost our first game in the BTT) I'm not sure we'd be in. In fact, I think we'd be out. To me, that means we're still on the bubble. Win @NW and we're REALLY close. Win vsIND and then we're off the bubble. We could then lose our last 2 games and be comfortably in IMO. Not sure how exactly that ends up reflecting in the NET Rankings.

Maybe your definition of being "on the bubble" is different. If the season ended today, I think we'd be in, no questions asked. But it doesn't, therefore we're not guaranteed a spot, therefore we're on the bubble.
 
#59
TeamRankings.com

Why do you say it is a mess?
Just another source of information, among many
Because it's completely illogical. We win a game and the % goes down?

We have four quad 1 road wins.

We're probably going to have 20+ wins(11 or more being in conference).

If that equates to 73%, then most teams "on the bubble" should just end their season because they're done.

The teams that are in trouble are Rutgers, Minnesota, Purdue and we'll see about Indiana. They have a big week.
 
#61
A couple of random thoughts cobbled together....

1) Any chance Giorgi has some sort of nagging injury that's impacting his playing? Didn't he have some sort of undisclosed hand injury last year that supposedly hampered his outside shooting? Could it be continuing? Could it be getting worse? Could it be a completely different injury? I think "the yips" is the simplest explanation right now, but who knows...

2) w/r/t being "on the bubble"...excluding the "really good teams" (think Duke, Gonzaga, KS, Baylor, FLST, etc.) to me a team is still "on the bubble" if you aren't very confident that they would make the tourney as an at-large if they lost the rest of their games. If we lost to NW, Indiana, OSU, and IA (and then lost our first game in the BTT) I'm not sure we'd be in. In fact, I think we'd be out. To me, that means we're still on the bubble. Win @NW and we're REALLY close. Win vsIND and then we're off the bubble. We could then lose our last 2 games and be comfortably in IMO. Not sure how exactly that ends up reflecting in the NET Rankings.

Maybe your definition of being "on the bubble" is different. If the season ended today, I think we'd be in, no questions asked. But it doesn't, therefore we're not guaranteed a spot, therefore we're on the bubble.
I think your #2 is dead wrong. Lose all remaining games and we're still in safely. As I said above, who has 4 Quad 1A wins (Top 40 teams you beat on the road)? Nobody near a bubble. Moot point though, since I think we win all of our remaining games.
 
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#62
Dead last (14th) in conference play in both 3pt and 2pt shooting percentage. 7th in FT percentage.

We need to figure out our three point shooting. Feel like Trent is forcing up some real bad, low percentage shots. He seems to be trying so hard to create on his own, that might be a negative of him being on ball so much. If that means playing AG more I'm all for it. He has an effect on every aspect of the game and I'd love to see him get 25+ mins. I think NW is a good chance for him to play some extended minutes.

I'd like to see Kofi pass out a few more times, even if pressure isn't intensely on him. Defenses are double and triple teaming him, and making them more honest will help in a few different offensive areas. He's shown the ability to make some really good passes, I'd like the emphasis on that to grow. I get BU wants him to go strong to the hoop and challenge double/triple teams, but he doesn't ahve a soft enough touch to get the and 1 the majority of the time.
We shot 24 threes vs. NW last time. We need to reduce that by half a dozen (even though we did hit them pretty well in that game). NW hit their threes at 42% vs. us last time. We need to reduce that to 30% or less.
 
#63
I would be curious what Giorgi is like during practices now. Is he loose and confident and loving the game or is he frustrated and playing tight even in practices
Probably couldn't happen at the Northwestern game (though sounds like there will be a lot of Orange), but I would love to see the Orange Krush start a Giorgi chant first time he gets in against Indiana. Giorgi, Giorgi raining down from the rafters of Assembly Hall (yeah I'm old) would go a long way to showing Giorgi that fans are still behind him. Guess it could also make him tight, but really he gets any tighter he'll turn himself inside out, so what's the worst that could happen. Anyone know anybody in the Orange Krush?
 
#64
Iowa City
Come out focused, ready to go, and take care of this early and decidedly. They played us close the first game, but that shouldn't of happened. This NW squad is a BAD team.
 
#65
They are long and shoot it very well. We should get the W, but I’ve seen this movie before-
It’s called a zone defense
 
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#66
3) No way we're close to the bubble when we have 4 Quad 1A wins, which means road wins over top 40 net teams, plus a 5th road win over Grand Canyon
Quad 3 losses can kill teams potentials. If we lose to NW we'd have 2 quad 3 losses, which only a handful of teams have who are currently above or around us in NET (St Marys, ETSU, Northern Iowa, Providence) have. That probably puts us back on the bubble (last 8ish teams in/out). It doesn't mean we aren't on the right side of it, but it isn't an ideal thing to have on your resume. I agree the 4 quad 1 wins look great and help offset "bad" losses, but another quad 3 loss isn't going to make life easier for us.

All I'm saying is losing to NW is going to hurt us more than any game remaining and it pushes us from a point of being squarely in, to being able to be lumped with teams who might have more average looking wins/losses.
 
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#67
I get your point but this has nothing to do with Kofi right now. This is all Giorgi, he’s in his own head. Missing easy bunnies just flicking the ball up there with zero confidence. You can see it in his body language. We need him to simply just be his normal self if we want to go on a run in the postseason. I’m rooting for him to turn it around.
Since Giorgi made those bad turnover passes, I think he knows he screwed up and he has lost some confidence, really effected his game.
 
#68
I understand some of the fanbase remaining cautious about the tournament. 2013 was a while ago. With that said, prior to this stretch of missed tournaments, no one would have questioned a team with our resume as far as making the tournament. The only discussions would have been what seed and where. Sure would/will be nice if a few years from now we can get back to that!
 
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#69
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
This conversation about whether Illinois will make the tournament is pretty academic for me. If we barely eke in after losing the next five straight, then we're not the team I think we are and we're unlikely to make any noise in the tournament. Sure, I would like to break our streak of missing the tournament and finally get that monkey off our back. But my expectations for this year are higher than that. Just making the tournament and scrubbing out in the first round would be a disappointment for me. I think we're capable of more.
 
#71
^ I'd agree. The short of it seems to be that...

- As of now, we are not on the Bubble. If the Tournament started today, we would be safely in and would get a decent but not amazing seed.
- If we lose to Northwestern, we would definitely slide back to the Bubble. That is a bad loss. We could still easily make the Tournament, and we'd likely get back off with two wins (wherever they came from), but we have to have this one.
- If we beat Northwestern, we are likely safe. Losing to Indiana at home wouldn't be ideal, but it wouldn't kill us. The other two losses wouldn't be bad ones at all, simply frustrating ones due to the fact that they'd ALSO be great wins.

Assuming we show up and can take care of Northwestern on Thursday, my totally uneducated opinion on our seed standing going into the Big Ten Tournament would be...

Lose vs. IU, at OSU and vs. Iowa: 8-10 seed, needing a BTT win or two to try to get out of that horrid 8/9 slot.
Win vs. IU, lose at OSU and at Iowa: 7-8 seed, needing a BTT win to forego the aforementioned scenario.
Win vs. IU and beat one of OSU or Iowa: 6-7 seed, with our BTT performance capable of lifting us up to a 5 or down to an 8/9.
Win vs. IU, at OSU and vs. Iowa: 4-5 seed, with the BTT being icing on the cake to play for something even better.

Not that rankings are that important for this, but there will be some sort of "eye test" component used ... and if we beat NU on Thursday and IU on Sunday, we likely slide into the 24th or 25th spot at worst and 20th to 21st spot at best in the rankings, IMO. It will depend on what other teams do. If we split with Iowa and OSU the following week, I think we hold serve or possibly even move up a tad. If we beat both of them to finish the year on a 6-game winning streak that includes three victories over ranked teams, two of which are on the road? We will EASILY be a top 20-ranked team, likely in the top 15. That is "theoretically" 3- or 4-seed territory. I know they use the NET and all of that, but we'll be in a very favorable position if that is the case (not to mention the double-bye in the BTT).

This NU game is crucial; we simply cannot lose.
 
#72
Wow how can so many people on here be so negative and panicked about Thursday. I figured with a team like this and a coach like Underwood would actually bring more positivity at this point in the season, especially with us basically in the tourney at this point. I’d be interested in knowing what goes on in the minds people like @ChiefIllini to cause them to be so negative. Some of you need to follow my favorite tip in life: if you’re more optimistic, good things tend to happen more often. Here is why I’m not worried

1: We’ve never shot well after long breaks and BU confirmed that in the post game. Our 3 game stretch this week might actually help us to stay in our competitive mindset and play aggressive

2: Trent is fine. He actually started looking for his shot last night and it worked out well. Previously he looked hesitant and passed it around too much because he was looking for a “smart shot” which his smart shot is different from others as we actually does better when he created his shot by shaking off the defender for a step back or in transition. Him shooting that tough shot in the face of his defender is actually a good thing. Attempting that shot is called confidence.

3: Giorgi will get it going. He’s been good in practice and game day he gets rushed. Happens in every sport day to day.

Stop worrying. These guys are hungry and want to win too. They were here last year too and know what it was like to lose these games. We’ll be just fine and looking forward to rejoicing on selection Sunday
 
#73
Giorgi isn't having fun. When was the last time you saw him dance or even break out a big smile? Just gotta be who he is and his game will come back. I'm looking for him to get back to the joy of the game in Evanston.
Giorgi's dancing on Instagram...along with Trent, AG, Kofi, and Kipper
He was also dancing on the floor some last night during warm ups
 
#74
Let me preface this by saying that I love Giorgi, his enthusiasm and him being the teammate that he is.

That said, what has he done to get us to where we are today? One could argue that the Iowa loss is at his feet. One could argue that he stunted the comeback vs Maryland. His inability to make even the easiest of lay-ins has lead to issues on both ends. He's been relegated to the bench in tight games.

We're 27 games in and he's regressing more and more each game, as each game becomes more and more critical. You can see it hurts BU to talk about it in his pressers. I think it hurts all of us. BU wants so bad to find answers because he's a great kid. Couldn't ask for a better ambassador for the program.

I think he's at the point where he plays spot minutes to give Kofi a rest and AG's minutes tick way up.
Well, Giorgi has shot it better from 3 point range than Ayo. He has that.
 
#75
North Bethesda, Maryland
Giorgi's dancing on Instagram...along with Trent, AG, Kofi, and Kipper
He was also dancing on the floor some last night during warm ups
Not being able to attend, I don't get to see that, but very glad to hear it, thanks! I only get to see his in-game body language, which has not been the same. I still think he gets right in time to make a difference in both the BTT and the Dance. And, again, I think he will have a solid game on Thursday.
 
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