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

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Plano, TX
There is no doubt...THIS Illini teams wins games based on heart, rebounding and defense. I hope everyone understands THIS is Underwood. He finally has a team that works in his system and at least he put aside his ego and changed the defensive strategy. That change plus Kofi = this year's #'s. It's that simple. WHEN (and sadly it's rare) that the Illini hit threes they are as good as anybody...literally. When they don't...they will win one game in the tourney and go home. Once you get to top 32 you have to hit 33% or more of your threes unless you get lucky and the other team has an off night.
 
We will miss Ayo....no question....but I really think we'll miss AF more....unless....Curbelo comes in and just makes everyone totally forget past point guards we have had
We will miss him more than Ayo? I think you need to pump the brakes there. I love AF, but without Ayo, this is a sub .500 team. We saw what happened @ Rutgers when other guys had to play extended minutes. It was ugly.

Again, not saying AF won't be missed. However, Ayo is the heart and soul of this group, not to mention the most talented player on the roster.
 
Defensive tenacity, rebounding, neither yields any points. The game is to put the ball in the basket more times than the other team. We are 14th out of 14 at doing that. My other observation is with Trent putting up 1,000 balls per practice. Well, it ain't working.
 
Defensive tenacity, rebounding, neither yields any points. The game is to put the ball in the basket more times than the other team. We are 14th out of 14 at doing that. My other observation is with Trent putting up 1,000 balls per practice. Well, it ain't working.
The game is to put the ball in the basket more times than your opponent....period. It doesn't matter how.

We're not great at putting it in the basket, but we are great at keeping the other guys from doing it by playing defense, playing tenacious and by rebounding.

As long as we're +1 at the end of the game, I really couldn't care less how we got there. The name of the game is winning.
 
Ayo Dosunmu Enthusiast
If you've seen this movie before you know they played zone the last time, they shot out of the @sses and still lost.
Hope we win by 30, but u gotta admit, we’re not great offensively against a zone. They may shoot even better at home if we don’t close out on them. We haven’t been good against a zone since Dee, Deron, Luther, RPJr and Augie were running great teams out of the gym, DJ, BP3 could get hot from time to time, but since those guys...Please correct me if I’m mistaken...
Beat the kitties!
 
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Talk about tenacious defense all you want but the game will be tight if the kitties get 71 again. I would really like to see this team press a team like nw. Let’s get deep into the benches and see their second 5’against ours. Will never happen.
 
There is no doubt...THIS Illini teams wins games based on heart, rebounding and defense. I hope everyone understands THIS is Underwood. He finally has a team that works in his system and at least he put aside his ego and changed the defensive strategy. That change plus Kofi = this year's #'s. It's that simple. WHEN (and sadly it's rare) that the Illini hit threes they are as good as anybody...literally. When they don't...they will win one game in the tourney and go home. Once you get to top 32 you have to hit 33% or more of your threes unless you get lucky and the other team has an off night.
See 2nd half of Purdue game.... that was the Illini at their best. They could have held their own against anyone that half. Hope we can get back to that form or close to it with consistency by NCAAT time. That would be ideal.
 
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Defensive tenacity, rebounding, neither yields any points. The game is to put the ball in the basket more times than the other team. We are 14th out of 14 at doing that. My other observation is with Trent putting up 1,000 balls per practice. Well, it ain't working.
We dont know if it is working or not Trent needs to shoot more
 
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Talk about tenacious defense all you want but the game will be tight if the kitties get 71 again. I would really like to see this team press a team like nw. Let’s get deep into the benches and see their second 5’against ours. Will never happen.
Why would we want to turn the game into our second 5 against theirs? unproven against unproven is such a bad trade off from proven good versus proven bad.

But uptempo defense, half court traps and occasional press against a team that has inferior guard play is not a bad idea
 
inferior guard play
they have Boo Buie has their lead guard and he makes them go....we shall see, he wasn't in against us last time. He averages 10 pts a game, but had 25 in Dec against the overall FG% defense in the B1G (MSU), how will he do against us?
 
they have Boo Buie has their lead guard and he makes them go....we shall see, he wasn't in against us last time. He averages 10 pts a game, but had 25 in Dec against the overall FG% defense in the B1G (MSU), how will he do against us?
Not overly concerned, they played about as well with him as without. Kopp is probably my biggest concern, Miller and Young are both good contributors too.

In conference play, they are 13th and 14th in offensive and defensive efficiency, respectively. Only redeeming quality is being average at 3 pt shooting. Limit them there and we win. I think it probably not that simple, but if we can stop the 3 from falling I doubt they have much of a shot.
 
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Am I crazy for feeling VERY confident at ILL -6.5?

I just think this team is playing good ball. Throw out Rutgers with Ayo out and we've lost to MSU, Maryland, and @Iowa this calendar year. I think they got their sleep walk game out of the way against NEB.
 
Defensive tenacity, rebounding, neither yields any points. The game is to put the ball in the basket more times than the other team. We are 14th out of 14 at doing that. My other observation is with Trent putting up 1,000 balls per practice. Well, it ain't working.
If we were 14th out of 14th at 'putting the ball in the basket more times than the other team' we'd be in last place. Lower shooting percentage is quickly offset by higher rebounding percentage, especially on the offensive side. Something BU has done a fantastic job of this year. He used to spend too much of his defensive effort out on the perimeter which allows the other team more opportunities to shoot higher percentage when they break through.
 
Defensive tenacity, rebounding, neither yields any points. The game is to put the ball in the basket more times than the other team. We are 14th out of 14 at doing that. My other observation is with Trent putting up 1,000 balls per practice. Well, it ain't working.
You're saying that offensive rebounds don't generate points? O...............K..................Illinois averages 72.5 points/game. That's 5th in the B1G, not 14th. Our FG% is .440, 8th in the B1G. Not sure where you are getting your stats.
 
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The game stays close till half time. They will hit some 3's and Young make a few good moves. When they played Mn they shot okay for about the first 10 min then it went downhill for NW. We will put them away in the second half. No we aren't going to win by 25. I think we will win by 12-14. You will see a good crowd of orange and blue. Hope to hear ILL INI often tonight.
 
New York
Win this one and we lock up our bid. Let’s do it and then play for seeding.
 
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