Pregame: Illinois vs Iowa, Sunday, March 8th, 6:00pm CT, BTN

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#29
Springfield
As I read these boards, I begin to understand that the majority of fans see this team as being more skilled with a higher BB IQ than they really are. This is simply not true. What this team represents is a bunch of great kids who love to play together with one very skilled player. They do not quit and play hard every night which is a pleasant change from the teams of the past decade. They truly are the Fighting Illini and the can beat anyone or get beaten by almost anyone. Simply, we have to respect and enjoy that and accept what they bring. They will not be dependable from the arc every night...they will have scoring droughts...they will throw passes to the Krush...and they will throw lobs to Kofi that come down on another planet. But when they do, appreciate the fact that they beat Michigan twice, Purdue twice, and Wisky on the road. Saddest of all, they lost by one pt. to likely B1G co-champs MSU and Maryland. They won games against Neb. and NW they were supposed to win. Yes, we wanted the title for these guys with every emotion we could muster. But, it is a game and they have pretty much given all they could. An Iowa win would go a long way in making the entire season acceptable and the "what ifs" tolerable. Regardless, they have returned Illini hoops to relevance....absorb the importance of that...it was not easy...especially this year in the B1G. It is possible to have co-champs this year at 11-7...yikes!!
 
#30
Charlotte, NC
I really hope the coaching staff has a game plan for containing Garza. Not that you can ever expect to shut him down, but if you left him go off -- hitting a couple threes, scoring down low, having his way physically down low, getting rebounds, scoring and-ones -- you're in trouble and essentially rolling the dice and hoping none of their other guys make shots. Underwood mentioned either before or after the Ohio State game that Kofi had a difficult assignment on Kaleb Wesson because of Wesson's ability to step out and shoot the 3. Well, Garza is an even better version of Wesson! So they need to figure out how to guard Garza out top without Kofi getting into foul trouble.
 
Likes: Illini Pride
#33
Winged Warrior
As I read these boards, I begin to understand that the majority of fans see this team as being more skilled with a higher BB IQ than they really are. This is simply not true. What this team represents is a bunch of great kids who love to play together with one very skilled player. They do not quit and play hard every night which is a pleasant change from the teams of the past decade. They truly are the Fighting Illini and the can beat anyone or get beaten by almost anyone. Simply, we have to respect and enjoy that and accept what they bring. They will not be dependable from the arc every night...they will have scoring droughts...they will throw passes to the Krush...and they will throw lobs to Kofi that come down on another planet. But when they do, appreciate the fact that they beat Michigan twice, Purdue twice, and Wisky on the road. Saddest of all, they lost by one pt. to likely B1G co-champs MSU and Maryland. They won games against Neb. and NW they were supposed to win. Yes, we wanted the title for these guys with every emotion we could muster. But, it is a game and they have pretty much given all they could. An Iowa win would go a long way in making the entire season acceptable and the "what ifs" tolerable. Regardless, they have returned Illini hoops to relevance....absorb the importance of that...it was not easy...especially this year in the B1G. It is possible to have co-champs this year at 11-7...yikes!!
Oh boy. Sigh.

This teams defensive IQ is off the charts. Probably the highest in the B1G.....and that is really saying something.

Yes Ayo is on an elite skill level....but Trent is a very skilled shooter, Dre has skills that we see maybe once a decade, AG3 is an elite shooter, Giorgi proved last year that he has elite footwork.

So for you to say these things shows very little thought on your part. Think it through. Some of these players are struggling...but in reality what you are saying....simply is not true.
 
#34
Charlotte, NC
Garza is just under 36% from three. Wesson is a bit above 43%.
Yeah, that's a significant difference. But regardless, Garza has shown that he can knock down threes, so someone has to be out there on him. In this case, 36% vs 43% doesn't matter; they both can and will knock down threes if left alone.
 
#35
Iowa City
Out of curiosity, if you don't mind me asking, why is she going to Iowa? Did she just like the campus, friends going there, major she liked better, etc. I grew up near the Quad Cities and it was definitely like 60-40 Illinois/Iowa. After graduating from Illinois, I have been in Chicago suburbs for 25 years and I am shocked by the number of suburb kids who go to Iowa. Actually instead of shocked I should say depressed. Drives me absolutely crazy. Where I grew up, everyone who could get into Illinois wanted to go to Illinois. Just wish it was like that for more because Illinois is such a great school
Unfortunately that 60/40 split in the Quad Cities really seems to have changed IMO. I am sure someone who actually lives in the QC now could give a better answer. I didn't go to UofI or Iowa, and grew up in the western burbs and live in the Iowa City area now, but I can definitely understand why kids want to go to Iowa. Iowa City is a fast-growing area that has a lot going on here, not just parties. I get that it's not at the academic level as Illinois, but if your question was legit, your post comes off pretty short-sighted.
 
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#36
Iowa City
Yeah, that's a significant difference. But regardless, Garza has shown that he can knock down threes, so someone has to be out there on him. In this case, 36% vs 43% doesn't matter; they both can and will knock down threes if left alone.
For a 36% shooter, it feels like he is always knocking down a big 3 late in games.
 
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#37
Charlotte, NC
Oh boy. Sigh.

This teams defensive IQ is off the charts. Probably the highest in the B1G.....and that is really saying something.

Yes Ayo is on an elite skill level....but Trent is a very skilled shooter, Dre has skills that we see maybe once a decade, AG3 is an elite shooter, Giorgi proved last year that he has elite footwork.

So for you to say these things shows very little thought on your part. Think it through. Some of these players are struggling...but in reality what you are saying....simply is not true.
I agree, especially regarding Trent. His shots haven't been falling lately, but he's still playing well. He takes care of the ball on offense, is unselfish, and his defense is great. I really think he's the heart and soul of this team. The only thing I disagree with you on is AG being an elite shooter. He can't be considered that yet because he doesn't consistently make threes in games. But he definitely has the potential to reach to that status.

All and all, I think this is a VERY skilled and high IQ basketball team. You don't get to 12 wins in this year's Big Ten without those attributes. Combine great toughness with guys like AG and Feliz, a super clutch and special talent in Ayo, and a physical specimen down low in Kofi, and this is our best squad in a long time, maybe since 2005. (Although you could argue the 2006 team was better -- better record, higher seed, more seasoned.)
 
#41
Oh boy. Sigh.

This teams defensive IQ is off the charts. Probably the highest in the B1G.....and that is really saying something.

Yes Ayo is on an elite skill level....but Trent is a very skilled shooter, Dre has skills that we see maybe once a decade, AG3 is an elite shooter, Giorgi proved last year that he has elite footwork.

So for you to say these things shows very little thought on your part. Think it through. Some of these players are struggling...but in reality what you are saying....simply is not true.
I agree with 3 0ut 0f 4 Trent is not a great shooter
 
#42
Winged Warrior
I agree with 3 0ut 0f 4 Trent is not a great shooter
I didn't say Trent was a "great shooter". He is a very skilled shooter. He's proven it. He is being asked to do different things now, and his shooting spots are usually rushed and out of rhythm.

If you put Trent in the 2 guard position with a real PG and a better passing team....he's a 40% + shooter from three. Guaranteed. Look for it next year with Curbelo forcing his way into the rotation.
 
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#43
Geneseo, IL
Unfortunately that 60/40 split in the Quad Cities really seems to have changed IMO. I am sure someone who actually lives in the QC now could give a better answer. I didn't go to UofI or Iowa, and grew up in the western burbs and live in the Iowa City area now, but I can definitely understand why kids want to go to Iowa. Iowa City is a fast-growing area that has a lot going on here, not just parties. I get that it's not at the academic level as Illinois, but if your question was legit, your post comes off pretty short-sighted.
I live near the Quad Cities and its always seemed like Hawkeye fans have outnumbered Illini fans here. The biggest reason is the close proximity to Iowa City results in much more local media coverage of Iowa sports. Lots of local high school athletes have gone to Iowa, resulting in even more coverage. Illinois has always been a little of an afterthought unless the basketball or football programs are having a great season. And let's face it, there hasn't been a lot for Illinois fans to get fired up about over the past 10-15 years.
 
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#44
Flight#33
Out of curiosity, if you don't mind me asking, why is she going to Iowa? Did she just like the campus, friends going there, major she liked better, etc. I grew up near the Quad Cities and it was definitely like 60-40 Illinois/Iowa. After graduating from Illinois, I have been in Chicago suburbs for 25 years and I am shocked by the number of suburb kids who go to Iowa. Actually instead of shocked I should say depressed. Drives me absolutely crazy. Where I grew up, everyone who could get into Illinois wanted to go to Illinois. Just wish it was like that for more because Illinois is such a great school
Illinois does not offer her major.
And yes I'm supporting my daughter no matter what, I am joking about this being a big deal, good lord people.
 
#46
Springfield
Oh boy. Sigh.

This teams defensive IQ is off the charts. Probably the highest in the B1G.....and that is really saying something.

Yes Ayo is on an elite skill level....but Trent is a very skilled shooter, Dre has skills that we see maybe once a decade, AG3 is an elite shooter, Giorgi proved last year that he has elite footwork.

So for you to say these things shows very little thought on your part. Think it through. Some of these players are struggling...but in reality what you are saying....simply is not true.
Skydub,,,,I do know of which I speak. We cannot expect from this group the kind of performance we had from the 89 and 05 bunch. I am not slamming them individually...or as a team for that matter. There are aspects that I pointed out that are exceptional. And each player of the first 8 who play have some exceptional talent. But for the most part, they are young and learning the game...together. I love what I see...but I don't expect them to be more than they are and that is quite possibly why I admire and really enjoy this team so much. But I see fans bashing Trent for missing too many threes and I shake my head because he has to shoot...and make...3s for this team to beat very good teams. Sometimes he does and sometimes he does not. He is shooting 28 % from the arc and that is not very good. But I still want him shooting 5-9 times a game. No one on the planet wants him to make shots more than he does and he knows he has to for his team....so why do fans bash him? No one gives more energy on the court every night and no one would or should trade him for anyone else. And Feliz...no one marvels at his play more than I do...what a unique talent, style, and grit he brings. But two or three times every game he takes the ball into the air against two defenders not knowing where his out is or what he is going to do...and it ends up in the stands. Would not trade him for anyone either...just have to accept it and move on and be glad he is on our team. Every player is a work in progress...but they are making progress and finally, after a decade of frustration, are beginning to play with competence most of the time. That is what it takes and that must be sustained for the sake of the program. I don't want to be critical any further of any player, because I love watching these kids play and especially I love watching them get better every night. This season has been one of the most enjoyable of the 7 decades I have been watching Illini basketball for just that reason. To watch good players seek to become great players by learning the game and playing hard is what college hoops is all about. There is only one champion, but when kids buy in like this bunch they are all learning to be champions. The point of my post was that while many, many posters were whining about this shortcoming, the officiating, the lack of this or that, the team played well and hard and just suffered a disappointing loss on the road in the B1G to a top 25 team. Well, one of if not the best Illini team suffered the same fate and that team was made up of wily veterans who were very good and skilled at both ends of the court. If the Illini play OSU again in the BTT I would be somewhat surprised if the Illini did not win that one.

This is a very good Illini team that has given their fans a season of great memories. But one year ago, sans Kofi, they had a losing record and finished at the bottom of the league. What they have done is remarkable, if not exceptional. I, for one, bow to them, as they have given me much pleasure.
 
#47
Winged Warrior
Skydub,,,,I do know of which I speak. We cannot expect from this group the kind of performance we had from the 89 and 05 bunch. I am not slamming them individually...or as a team for that matter. There are aspects that I pointed out that are exceptional.
Literally no one is comparing this team to those two teams.

You're changing the discussion now to distract from your incorrect statements. What you said was this.......

"........I begin to understand that the majority of fans see this team as being more skilled with a higher BB IQ than they really are. This is simply not true. What this team represents is a bunch of great kids who love to play together with one very skilled player."

You've peppered in some compliments to offset this.....but these comments remain....and they simply aren't accurate.

May I also politely recommend paragraphs.
 
#48
Literally no one is comparing this team to those two teams.

You're changing the discussion now to distract from your incorrect statements. What you said was this.......

"........I begin to understand that the majority of fans see this team as being more skilled with a higher BB IQ than they really are. This is simply not true. What this team represents is a bunch of great kids who love to play together with one very skilled player."

You've peppered in some compliments to offset this.....but these comments remain....and they simply aren't accurate.

May I also politely recommend paragraphs.
I was not an English major in college (not Illinois) but I believe that Winged Warrior’s ‘politely recommend’ comment
is an example of the actual meaning of the word irony.
 
#50
Oh boy. Sigh.
Yes Ayo is on an elite skill level....but Trent is a very skilled shooter, Dre has skills that we see maybe once a decade, AG3 is an elite shooter, Giorgi proved last year that he has elite footwork.

Ayo has demonstrated consistency. But Trend, Dre,, AG3, and Giorgi have not. When those 4 are consistently elite, than we will be an elite team, until then we are a very good team, one of many.
 
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