Pregame: Illinois at Penn State, Tuesday, February 18th, 5:30pm CT, FS1

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#52
This team needs a win to reestablish some confidence and get us trending in a positive direction again....we are very capable of this....we are also capable of shooting poorly and having defensive lapses that could extend this losing streak....this team needs to become more consistent on both ends....it's kind of like Forrest Gumps box of chocolates....you just never know what you're going to get (other than the team always plays hard)....asking freshmen & sophomores (AG, Tevian, Kofi, GB, etc) to become consistent in the toughest league in the country is a tall order...eventually they'll get there (hopefully soon).....Trent, AF, Kipper, DW we need you to step up and provide some stability...if not on the court, but off court as well.......hope we play well and reestablish the type of play we were accustom to seeing in January
 
#57
I'm looking for Tev to repeat his MSG game from last year. Finally in the rotation, knows he will get minutes, and is the "unexpected guy to go off" for us this time.
He needs to 1) Not cover off of the short corner on D (Cardinal sin) and 2) Make a reasonable # of open 3s.
 
#58
Chicago, IL
Looks like the line is now Penn State -6.5. That feels about right and honestly gives a lot of respective to our team (sans Ayo). While I certainly hope Ayo is healthy enough to play and he does and we beat Penn State at their house, is there necessarily a downside to sitting him and giving him about another week to heal up before the home stretch of the season when we can really rack up some wins? Penn State is playing great right now and, while I'm not saying we concede a win, it just may be the smarter play to reach the season's goals. I just want the ILLINI back in the tournament, don't really care how we get there, just get there!
 
#60
AYO will play tonight and we win this game 73-70
I would be utterly stunned if he played. It's only been a week since the injury, he doesn't look to be practicing and they aren't going to throw him out there with any unknowns (how he feels the next day after a full contact practice).

Day to day means that they're not putting a timeline on him. It's the ole, don't call me, I'll call you ordeal.
 
#61
Looks like the line is now Penn State -6.5. That feels about right and honestly gives a lot of respective to our team (sans Ayo). While I certainly hope Ayo is healthy enough to play and he does and we beat Penn State at their house, is there necessarily a downside to sitting him and giving him about another week to heal up before the home stretch of the season when we can really rack up some wins? Penn State is playing great right now and, while I'm not saying we concede a win, it just may be the smarter play to reach the season's goals. I just want the ILLINI back in the tournament, don't really care how we get there, just get there!
If he's ready to go with no limitations, you play him. If he isn't you don't. Seen several posts talking about getting him a few spot minutes. If that's all he can do, then you don't play him at all. The season and his future is too important to try and just squeeze a few minutes out of him, to possibly win this game.
 
#63
2017 -2018 Third on the Illini in both scoring (10.0 ppg) and rebounding (4.2 rpg)
2018-2019 Scored in double figures eight times

Now is the time for Kimber Nichols to step up. "If not you, who? If not now, when?"
 
#64
BU always says you earn playing time by how you practice. If Ayo doesn't practice, Ayo doesn't play. The risk is too great.
 
#65
Liking that we're worst case scenario looking like a 9-seed in most Bracketology projections, even after we likely lose this game. Lunardi had us as a mid-8 this morning, and I can't imagine a loss to a top-10 team on the road would drop us more than half a seed line. Whatever happens with this game, it's about getting healthy and taking care of business in these last 5 games. I like that we get 6 days off followed by a home game against Nebraska. Hoping that gives Ayo a lot of time to get better. Glad our 2 biggest remaining games (@ Ohio St. & vs. Iowa) come at the end of the season where he's more likely to be back. Just absolutely can't afford to lay an egg against the B10 bottom-dwellers, with or without Ayo. Should be a fun couple of weeks!
 
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#66
Looks like the line is now Penn State -6.5. That feels about right and honestly gives a lot of respective to our team (sans Ayo). While I certainly hope Ayo is healthy enough to play and he does and we beat Penn State at their house, is there necessarily a downside to sitting him and giving him about another week to heal up before the home stretch of the season when we can really rack up some wins? Penn State is playing great right now and, while I'm not saying we concede a win, it just may be the smarter play to reach the season's goals. I just want the ILLINI back in the tournament, don't really care how we get there, just get there!
I think that the decision to play or sit Ayo will be driven by how his knee feels and nothing else. I agree with you this much though: there might come a time when he will want to push himself to play through some lingering soreness. This isn't the game to do that.
 
#67
My wishes for this game:

1. Ayo sits
2. We feed the post early in the clock and often (perhaps to Giorgi on the block with Kofi charging through the middle after the high ball screen for an ally-oop!)
3. no more injuries
4. if we win we're golden, if we lose we need to take care of business on the next 3
 
#68
I just had to do it. This one's for the older crowd.

And just in case its AF who goes off for 25 tonight... lets cover the bases


I will also add, that if we are truly fans of Illini BBall we should all start learning spanish. Hope this clip helps.
 
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#69

Deleted member 182960

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PSU missing Myreon Jones tonight. Saw on twitter he’s out due to illness
 
#71
While I hate losing in the big picture we are still playing with house money on this one, particularly if Ayo sits. Our likely Big Ten finish is still around 4th - 6th, our conference W's either 10 or 11. That plus at least one if not 2 tourney wins, and we'd land in the top half of the NCAA (7th seed or better) I think.

Of course a W would be outstanding, and be like the Michigan W was, flip the script in the right direction. Though Penn State seems to have our number lately.
 
#73
I have a feeling Ayo plays in this game. Just a feeling.
Heard on Werner podcast, Underwood made comment about not losing Ayo for rest of the year in a presser the other day....werner certainly walked away saying Day to Day isn't this week.
 
#74
There’s a reason you play the game, forget about records and just play the game. Anybody can beat anybody in college basketball.
 
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