Pregame: Illinois vs Maryland, Friday, February 7th, 7:00pm CT, FS1

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And three-point shooting. Iowa hitting 10 of 23, including big ones from Garza were huge. The three is the equalizer - see Purdue's romp over Iowa for verification. We need to hit some threes and stop the threes and not have the unforced turnovers like players stepping on the sideline with the ball or Georgi just throwing it right to the other team in the backcourt. Those are killers, especially late in the game like they were.
The main reason we lost to Iowa was Turnovers and giving the extra possessions. TOs have been a cause for any of our losses. We had been rebounding, limiting TOs and playing great D. If we do those things we win Friday and really any game. That is our key to most of our game imo.
 
I saw it was posted that this is the first time we have been ranked and hosted a ranked team in Champaign since this result in our 2013 season:

1/9/2013: #8 Minnesota 84, #12 Illinois 67

Since I just love these trips down memory lane, the last time we WON a home game as a ranked team hosting another ranked team was four days earlier:

1/5/2013: #11 Illinois 74, #8 Ohio State 55

These were of course both January games with much less on the line. Before that, the last time a ranked Illini team defeated a top ten team at home was...

1/5/2006: #6 Illinois 60, #7 Michigan State 50

As I said, considering the standings, the matchup, the implications for the turnaround for the program, etc .... I would argue this is EASILY the biggest home game since Dee Brown was suiting up for the Illini - over 14 years. As far as hype and game importance goes, one could easily make the argument that such a claim could stretch back to the Wake Forest game ... think about that!

We better give our best effort as fans, and we need our boys to come out with a fire. GO ILLINI!

P.S. Is there, like, a "theme" we should be aware of?? I thought I saw that the MSU game was the equivalent of Paint the Hall Orange, and I thought I saw that some game left on the schedule was a stripe-out or something. Until told otherwise, of course, we will be wearing ORANGE. :)
 
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I saw it was posted that this is the first time we have been ranked and hosted a ranked team in Champaign since this result in our 2013 season:

1/9/2013: #8 Minnesota 84, #12 Illinois 67

Since I just love these trips down memory lane, the last time we WON a home game as a ranked team hosting another ranked team was four days earlier:

1/5/2013: #11 Illinois 74, #8 Ohio State 55

These were of course both January games with much less on the line. Before that, the last time a ranked Illini team defeated a top ten team at home was...

1/5/2006: #6 Illinois 60, #7 Michigan State 50

As I said, considering the standings, the matchup, the implications for the turnaround for the program, etc .... I would argue this is EASILY the biggest home game since Dee Brown was suiting up for the Illini - over 14 years. As far as hype and game importance goes, one could easily make the argument that such a claim could stretch back to the Wake Forest game ... think about that!

We better give our best effort as fans, and we need our boys to come out with a fire. GO ILLINI!

P.S. Is there, like, a "theme" we should be aware of?? I thought I saw that the MSU game was the equivalent of Paint the Hall Orange, and I thought I saw that some game left on the schedule was a stripe-out or something. Until told otherwise, of course, we will be wearing ORANGE. :)
Stripe game is the Indiana game...

I believe the other games are simply games to wear orange and be loud.
 
Why is it that we don't take 3's off of screens? Baffles me.....
 
Maryland has to play Rutgers on Tuesday. The extra 2 days rest should be a big advantage for us, especially considering how physical the game was we just played and how phsyical Rutgers plays.
barring an injury, I've never been convinced that 18 -22 year old need more than a couple of days to recover from a basketball game.

Big couple games coming up...hold home court the next 2 and we will be the only team in control of our own destiny...which doesn't mean much really with as many tough outs as left on everyone's schedule...but it sure seems nice to be talking this way at this point in the season.
 
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I think 3 point shooting is going to be a key factor down the stretch. We will have to play exemplary defense to compensate fo this weakness.
We are currently 13th in the B1G in 3 point shooting........oh yeah, but we're in 1st and have already played on the road @ MSU, Maryland, Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan! On a brighter note, in the last 8 games, Trent, Giff and Ayo are all shooting right at 40% from 3.
 
I've thought that this has the potential to be our Wake Forest game as well. We're a hot up and coming team playing in a primetime matchup with first place on the line. If we come out firing and come away with a convincing win, it'll go a long way toward getting the national media aboard the hype train.
 
A few things I'd like to see regarding our Offensive scheme:

1. Continue taking it inside. Illinois has taken 234 out of 637 shots (36.7%) in conference play from the "close 2" or dunk range per Barttorvik. Illinois has converted on 63.2% of those shot attempts which equates to 1.26 points per shot taken. Factoring in that close 2s are more likely to generate contact and get the shooter to the free throw line and I'd love to see Illinois increase their focus on getting the ball deep inside.

2. When we can't take it inside let Ayo, Trent, Feliz, and Griffin shoot the 3 ball. These 4 have converted 49 of 143 3pt attempts (34.3%). Definitely not the strongest 3 point shooting team but it's enough for 1.028 points per shot and is the only other relatively efficient option Illinois has to spread the defense when they're denying the paint.

3. Stop taking bad shots.

3a. Kofi
is 8 of 40 from 'far 2' since he is struggling to back down his defender and get in closer to the rim and is then settling for a terrible shot. Kofi needs to either develop a turn around jumper, find some fancy footwork/finger roll to get to the rim, or learn to pass it back out to the perimeter.
3b. Kipper is shooting 65% inside but less than 18% from everywhere else. Kipper is taking 2.55 shots per game from 'far 2' or 3 and those 2.55 shots are resulting in an average of 1 point (0.39 points per shot).
3c. Da'Monte is averaging 0.11 points per shot and is 0 of 14 from 3 and 1 of 4 from 2. He's gotta cure his yips because he's missing wide open shots, sometimes by a few feet. Don't need him to be a huge scorer but he's gotta at least put up 0.5 points per shot.
3d. Giorgi is shooting 4 of 19 from 3 (21.1%). It's almost time to give him the red light. If he made his next 3 in a row he'd be 7/22 (32%) so I'm still okay with him taking the wide open shot if we're in good rebounding position.

3.64 per game from Kofi away from the rim (~0.4 points per shot)
2.55 per game from Kipper away from the rim (~0.39 points per shot)
1.73 per game from Giorgi from 3 (~0.63 points per shot)
1.64 per game from Da'Monte anywhere on the court (~0.11 points per shot)

That's an average of 9.56 inefficient shots per game resulting in only 3.72 points (0.389 points per shot). If we can convert those at ~0.92 points per shot (our next weakest shooter is Giorgi without his 3's or Kofi at 0.92 pt/shot) that'd be an extra 5 points per game. Whether that means these players improve their shot, or we take the extra pass to find a different look, there's room for improvement on shot selection and/or ability to finish.

3e. The whole team is shooting poorly from 'far 2' range. This is partially from getting fouled while driving (most of the time this is a missed shot from further) or from guards shooting a 3 with their toes on the line, but mostly this is just inefficient shot selection / settling for a bad shot.

As a team Illinois is shooting ~21.5 shots per game from 'far 2' and converting just 0.68 points per shot (ignoring free throws). If those shots were converted at a rate of 0.92 points per shot through better shot selection and/or ability to finish, Illinois would score an extra 5.16 points per game. There's some overlap between 3a-3d and 3e but even so there's at least another 7-10 points on the table in each game with some smarter / better play.

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Due to the positive feedback on the Illini offensive takes I've done the same thing for Maryland.

1. Almost all of Maryland's offensive production comes from Jalen Smith. He's 51% from 3pt and averaging 1.429 points per shot while also taking 4.6 free throws per game. Without Jalen Smith, Maryland's only scoring 0.864 points per shot among their remaining 5 rotational players.

2. Maryland is struggling from 3. Aside from Smith, no one who has shot more than 1.5 3s per game in conference play is shooting above 32%. Illinois should protect the 3 point line early to avoid letting Maryland get hot, but aside from a hot hand developing Illinois should be game planning for Maryland's interior game + Jalen Smith.

If Illinois can neutralize Jalen Smith or at least keep him in check, while avoiding letting Maryland go on an uncharacteristic 3 point shooting spree then we will be in good shape.

Capture.PNG
 
Due to the positive feedback on the Illini offensive takes I've done the same thing for Maryland.

1. Almost all of Maryland's offensive production comes from Jalen Smith. He's 51% from 3pt and averaging 1.429 points per shot while also taking 4.6 free throws per game. Without Jalen Smith, Maryland's only scoring 0.864 points per shot among their remaining 5 rotational players.

2. Maryland is struggling from 3. Aside from Smith, no one who has shot more than 1.5 3s per game in conference play is shooting above 32%. Illinois should protect the 3 point line early to avoid letting Maryland get hot, but aside from a hot hand developing Illinois should be game planning for Maryland's interior game + Jalen Smith.

If Illinois can neutralize Jalen Smith or at least keep him in check, while avoiding letting Maryland go on an uncharacteristic 3 point shooting spree then we will be in good shape.

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Awesome stuff. Analytics aside, I think we match up well with Maryland.
 
Likes: Illiniguy90
Awesome stuff. Analytics aside, I think we match up well with Maryland.
Coach seems to be pretty good at game-planning to reduce the impact of the other side's no. 1 offensive threat. I'm really looking forward to this one.
 
Likes: Illiniguy90
I’ve been to the Zona, Miami, MSU, and Mizz games.... And i’ll be courtside at tomorrow’s game. Break the streak, boys!
Well in one year. Wow...Thats awesome I saw Rick Schmidt, Neiel Bresihan, Spoon, my friends brother and Urbana Tiger Ken , , got Perry Range, Mark Smith, James Griffin, Rob Judson and Eddie Johnson got all the Autographs in my man cave from back in the day as a Urbana Tiger . . Was there when Eddie hit the Jumper and here now n was there at the hall for most of it after that for 35 years and we started n C n ended n A section. .So I bleed O n B . now I'm stuck in P-Town in my man cave and I make it when I can. So yell loud, get the W and create a memory for us all where evercwe are! GO iILLINI!

Fir what uuh ts worth Harper was my favorite player but Dre is getting close. He is a warrior
 
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Well in one year. Wow...Thats awesome I saw Rick Schmidt, Neiel Bresihan, Spoon, my friends brother and Urbana Tiger Ken , , got Perry Range, Mark Smith, James Griffin, Rob Judson and Eddie Johnson got all the Autographs in my man cave from back in the day as a Urbana Tiger . . Was there when Eddie hit the Jumper and here now n was there at the hall for most of it after that for 35 years and we started n C n ended n A section. .So I bleed O n B . now I'm stuck in P-Town in my man cave and I make it when I can. So yell loud, get the W and create a memory for us all where evercwe are! GO iILLINI!

Fir what uuh ts worth Harper was my favorite player but Dre is getting close. He is a warrior
This is one of my favorite stories on here.Great memories.
 
Likes: KevinC
T
This is one of my favorite stories on here.Great memories.
The best part of it was my Dad who was hell on the refs was there with me for almost all of them. He is gone now and half time us always a struggle! That's one reasons I miss the Chief so much is Dad would get popcorn or a soda until we haled to the Chief. Sports and the memories that go with it are awesome.. plus I want thus win because these player deserve it. They got good fast with Kofi in the middle. Maryland is in big trouble!
 
Likes: KevinC
I saw it was posted that this is the first time we have been ranked and hosted a ranked team in Champaign since this result in our 2013 season:

1/9/2013: #8 Minnesota 84, #12 Illinois 67

Since I just love these trips down memory lane, the last time we WON a home game as a ranked team hosting another ranked team was four days earlier:

1/5/2013: #11 Illinois 74, #8 Ohio State 55

These were of course both January games with much less on the line. Before that, the last time a ranked Illini team defeated a top ten team at home was...

1/5/2006: #6 Illinois 60, #7 Michigan State 50

As I said, considering the standings, the matchup, the implications for the turnaround for the program, etc .... I would argue this is EASILY the biggest home game since Dee Brown was suiting up for the Illini - over 14 years. As far as hype and game importance goes, one could easily make the argument that such a claim could stretch back to the Wake Forest game ... think about that!

We better give our best effort as fans, and we need our boys to come out with a fire. GO ILLINI!

P.S. Is there, like, a "theme" we should be aware of?? I thought I saw that the MSU game was the equivalent of Paint the Hall Orange, and I thought I saw that some game left on the schedule was a stripe-out or something. Until told otherwise, of course, we will be wearing ORANGE. :)
I was at MSU game in nosebleed section
 
T
The best part of it was my Dad who was hell on the refs was there with me for almost all of them. He is gone now and half time us always a struggle! That's one reasons I miss the Chief so much is Dad would get popcorn or a soda until we haled to the Chief. Sports and the memories that go with it are awesome.. plus I want thus win because these player deserve it. They got good fast with Kofi in the middle. Maryland is in big trouble!
I miss the Chief
 
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