Pregame: Illinois at Rutgers, Saturday, February 15th, 3:30pm CT, BTN

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#76
I’m interested to see how much spread we run without ayo. Him and kofi in ballscreens is pretty lethal. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we saw like 10 possessions of spread per half instead of the normal 1-2.
 
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#77
Who would have ever thunk it, the cheapest pair of tickets for Saturday in the 100 level lower bowl are $243 each including SH fees.
 
#78
Count me as more optimistic than most who have posted so far. I think it's going to be tight, and would not be too surprised if the boys pull it out.
 
#79
Count me as more optimistic than most who have posted so far. I think it's going to be tight, and would not be too surprised if the boys pull it out.
Yeah, I'm with you RML. There's nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. You can bet we'll be playing as hard as we have all year. For Ayo.
 
#80
Would like to see AG take Ayo’s starting spot and save Dre for Trent’s backup. Definitely need one of the two in the lineup at all times. Will have to use Tevian to backup DaMonte.
 
#81
Would like to see AG take Ayo’s starting spot and save Dre for Trent’s backup. Definitely need one of the two in the lineup at all times. Will have to use Tevian to backup DaMonte.
Obviously missed offensive production is the problem without Ayo. Griffin, Feliz need more minutes, and I think a lot depends on Jones being able to provide us quality minutes. Time for him to take advantage of opportunity now.
 
#82
Thoughts?

If Ayo misses time, who replaces him in the starting lineup? The obvious answer is Andres Feliz, who has been so reliable off the bench. But Underwood could feel Feliz (6-foot-2) would make the Illini too small at the guard position. He might prefer to opt for Alan Griffin (6-5) and continue to bring Feliz off the bench while having him out there at clutch time.

But another change seems worth thinking about, too. And that’s taking Giorgi Bezhanishvili out of the starting lineup.
Everyone loves Giorgi, but during the current three-game slide he is shooting 25 percent, averaging 4.0 points and showing up as a weak link defensively.

If Ayo and Giorgi are both out of the starting lineup, Underwood could go small and play both Feliz and Griffin. But don’t discount the possibility that Kipper Nichols, the 6-6 senior, might get a start. Nichols might be the best defensive answer against Penn State, next Tuesday, as a person to match up with 6-8 senior Lamar Stevens."
Mark Tupper
 
#83
Thoughts?

If Ayo misses time, who replaces him in the starting lineup? The obvious answer is Andres Feliz, who has been so reliable off the bench. But Underwood could feel Feliz (6-foot-2) would make the Illini too small at the guard position. He might prefer to opt for Alan Griffin (6-5) and continue to bring Feliz off the bench while having him out there at clutch time.

But another change seems worth thinking about, too. And that’s taking Giorgi Bezhanishvili out of the starting lineup.
Everyone loves Giorgi, but during the current three-game slide he is shooting 25 percent, averaging 4.0 points and showing up as a weak link defensively.

If Ayo and Giorgi are both out of the starting lineup, Underwood could go small and play both Feliz and Griffin. But don’t discount the possibility that Kipper Nichols, the 6-6 senior, might get a start. Nichols might be the best defensive answer against Penn State, next Tuesday, as a person to match up with 6-8 senior Lamar Stevens."
Mark Tupper
I haven’t read anything lately but I began thinking about this yesterday. I think Giorgi has played his way to a bench role until he gets out of his funk.

trent
Dre
Monte
Alan
Kofi

Super small but not terrible, especially with monte gaining confidence and hitting shots lately. (I’ve said a million times I’ve never seen someone with such good form miss so much like he had been for the last couple years).

off the bench you have Giorgi and kip. Tev in a pinch.

Downside is we’re not real deep and losing anybody is a daunting task, Ayo in particular. Can Rutgers shoot? Wouldn’t be surprised to see some zone in this one the help with foul trouble or fatigue at certain points.
 
#85
Here’s my bold call- Damonte turns into an excellent three point shooter in his senior year, hitting 2+ per game at around a 40% clip.
Would love that. I just want him to not hesitate when he's wide open and aim for above 33%. I've seen him pass up so many open looks, really frustrating.....
If he gains self awareness/confidence that he is a good shooter....I do believe they'll drop at a decent clip.
 
#87
Here’s my bold call- Damonte turns into an excellent three point shooter in his senior year, hitting 2+ per game at around a 40% clip.
He actually has really good form when shooting...I think it is simply confidence. I could see an improvement moving forward for sure.
 
#89
Can Rutgers shoot?
Looking at stats in conference play: They're shooting 47% on 2P and 30% on 3P (we're 45% and 29%). They have three guys shooting 50% or better on 2P: Mulcahy (59%), Carter (58%), and Johnson (55%). All three are bad from the FT line, though: 46%, 42%, and 35%, respectively. They shoot from beyond the arc at almost the same rate as we do (just under 18 attempts per game). They've got six guys that average about two attempts per game or more. Yeboah (35% on 4.1 attempts/game), Mathis (34% on 2.5), and Baker (32% on 3.1) are probably the main threats. After that, they're not good at all: Young (30% on 1.9), Harper (28% on 3.6), and McConnell (20% on 1.8).

In terms of overall performance, they haven't been as consistent as they were before our previous meeting. Coming into that game, they had five in a row with a game score of 95+ (a Torvik metric; 100 is the best possible). Their last five games coming into this matchup are all over the place; 98, 73, 86, 55, and 65. Also, their defense has been on a slide since the first half of January. At that point, their defense was ranked 6th overall by Torvik; since then, it's ranked 59th overall.
 
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#92
Yes Rutgers is a good team, yes Ayo is almost certainly out, and yes we are playing away. If this gets to be a shootout, we probably lose.

Rutgers has been extremely poor over their last 5 (not that we've set the world on fire), with what should've been a loss to NW. We don't match up great with them, but I think both teams want and will get a low scoring affair. To that respect, there is no reason we couldnt pull away late.

I think we need to feed Kofi more, but if Rutgers plans on zoning us, I expect some 4 guard lineups. Really mostly hoping AG can get back to that stretch of games prior to his suspension. He was a top 3 player on the team at that point.
 
#95
Just can't see Ayo playing. However those are all the things you need to say, and Ayo needs to do, to force RU to plan for him.
No way they put him in if there's even an ounce of pain. If it's truly day-to-day, I'd expect the first real hope would be vs Nebraska. When he puts in two or three days of game speed practice with no pain the day after(pretty much status quo)...he'll be back.

Fingers crossed!
 
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#96
Just can't see Ayo playing. However those are all the things you need to say, and Ayo needs to do, to force RU to plan for him.
I think 0440, as in recruiting, is pretty tuned in to the situation. Based on traveling with the team tomorrow and already being able to do some things, I'm hopeful these are signs pointing to a couple of weeks instead of 4.
 
Ayo's 16 points are a lot of points to be made up. The key will be 3 pointers.....5 or less for the game would not be good.
 
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