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

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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. TWe 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.
I think you're missing the point here. Underwood's strategy is to produce more offensive possessions than the opponent. This leads to a situation where the other team needs to shoot at a significantly higher percentage to beat you. Against a good defense that forces high difficulty/low percentage shots, this becomes quite hard. Being a fantastic rebounding team both limits the offensive possessions of the other team and gives your team bonus possessions. Turning over the other team/forcing them to take low percentage shots is essentially the same as gaining an extra possession.
 
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?
He is Talor Battle's little brother though....
 
Looking at tonights BT schedule and what team do the Illini want to win. Yes, the Fighting Illini! Next we want Mich to win that will put Wisc behind us. We want PU to win so when we beat IN it will put them farther out. I would assume we all want NB to win against OSU. The big one is for Mi to beat Wisc.
 
It is not that difficult to beat a zone. I watched Louisville shred Syracuse's zone. You run an Allan Griffin or Ayo in the middle of the zone when they collapse on him he either hits Kofi underneath, kicks it out, or you hit a short jump shot. You can't dribble around a zone you have to pass quickly to get the def off balance. We know the Illini are the best shooting team from outside. You move it around and hit Kofi, or GB. A zone beater as a point guard cannot be selfish dribbler, he has to be a pass first.
 
Minny just curb stomped the cats and they are not near the defensive team we are, i will be shocked if they get 55 pts
 
Seattle
I think our passing has really improved the past handful of games could still be better--seems like zone D was making us play a very calculated offense which our players weren't totally comfortable with. By the time they got the right idea for finding the open man or the crease, teams with length were able to adjust and shut us down. Recently it seemed we used the triangle of Ayo and Feliz and Kofi to find more seam options by passing in quicker or with new angles before they could adjust. Also, Ayo's lobs that come quick to Kofi are nearly unstoppable--I really think crisp passing in the zone is key to keep the D scrambling and giving us little openings to exploit. Giorgi is a very skilled passer but seems to like to take his time-- if he can sync with Kofi or shooters on the wing to develop quick connections for misdirecting pursuits, it would really open up opportunities.
 
I think our passing has really improved the past handful of games could still be better--seems like zone D was making us play a very calculated offense which our players weren't totally comfortable with. By the time they got the right idea for finding the open man or the crease, teams with length were able to adjust and shut us down. Recently it seemed we used the triangle of Ayo and Feliz and Kofi to find more seam options by passing in quicker or with new angles before they could adjust. Also, Ayo's lobs that come quick to Kofi are nearly unstoppable--I really think crisp passing in the zone is key to keep the D scrambling and giving us little openings to exploit. Giorgi is a very skilled passer but seems to like to take his time-- if he can sync with Kofi or shooters on the wing to develop quick connections for misdirecting pursuits, it would really open up opportunities.
If they do play a lot of zone tonight I would be interested to see if we see the lineup with GB and KC a little more often. Get GB in the high post as a passer. I remember a stretch earlier in the year where our big to big passing out of the high post was very effective. Maybe the way to get GB right is by being a facilitator out of the high post. Let him not worry as much about scoring for a bit.
 
At a certain point there needs to be a time to where talent and ability overcomes everything else. Yes, NW plays hard against ILL, yes the zone can occasionally make us look lost offensively. Btw -6 1/2 on the road in the B10 does not indicate that Vegas thinks this game will be a nail biter... This game needs to be about an Illini team that is simply more talented than the team that they're playing. Go out there from the start and just kill their spirits and never give them a chance. That is what this game needs to be at this point of the season against an inferior team. Also, I am constantly looking at the poor shooting numbers and wondering how it is that we win games and are among the best teams in the league. This is the way BU likes to play, hard nosed and gritty and when we do start getting some better shooters in the program the sky really is HIGH. As long as he continues getting HIS guys I believe the things like offensive rebounding and defensive tenacity will be staples and the heart of what we do.
 
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Generally baffled by what I (and most people here) perceive as poor Illini shooting, I took a look at the Big Ten site stats and computed the effective FG% for each team (for some reason the BT site still doesn't do that; it just tallies 3-point stats and overall FG stats.) Our shooting isn't eye-bleeding poor, but it isn't great. The spread isn't large between us and OSU on a made-baskets-per-game basis (slightly more than two per game over our 27 games to date to bridge that 4% difference.)

The biggest surprise to me is Maryland. They're 9th in 2-pt%; 11th in 3-pt%, and 12th in eFG%. And OSU is first overall. Go figure.

For grins, I went back in the archives and tabulated eFG% for 2004-05 and that Illini team whose shooting and ball movement was sublime. A completely perimeter-oriented team (which killed us in the NC game) and yet they still shot lights-out. They took 877 treys that year. The nearest team to them in the BT was OSU with 716 (tho' the stats include the NCAA tourney in which OSU didn't play. But still. That's a huge amount of threes.) MSU had stellar shooting, too.

My conclusion this year: we're not nearly as terrible as I thought on an effective basis. But we're dreadful from beyond the arc. Looking forward to next year in this area, and moving back toward that 2004-05 shooting performance. Or at least 50%. Thank goodness for offensive rebounding this year.

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Likes: Illini_1979
New York
This is crazy but I’d love to see Ayo get the ball in the high post with shooters on the wings/corners and a big man running baseline.
 
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