Pregame: Illinois vs Michigan State, Tuesday, February 5th, 6:00pm CT, ESPN2

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#52
Underwood: Grading out of Nebraska game, by far and away the best job we've done defensively... Up until the rebounding.

Underwood: Liked our balance offensively. Good to see Kipper get goin' again. He was efficient.

Underwood: Cassius Winston is having an MVP caliber year. The 20 assists per game they get is largely him. Very, very good team. Excited for the challenge.

Underwood: I wanna get where if you ask players & coaches 'who's the toughest team in the league?', I want them to say Illinois.

Underwood: We've gotten better. Saw a power ranking the other day where we were 35 in the last 30 days.

Underwood: Have a meeting with Ayo today at 3 o'clock. He wants every bit of information he can get (scouting an opponent). He's way ahead of where freshmen are usually at with his mental approach.

Underwood: Post touches against us are way down this year because of our perimeter defense. Trent and Ayo have been good. Da'Monte is a rock. Giorgi is elite as a freshman in ball-screen coverage.

https://twitter.com/DPiper247

 
#53
I am (perhaps foolishly ... I'm always one to set myself up for maximum heart break when it comes to sports) getting more optimistic about this game. After the IU win in East Lansing, I pretty much wrote this one off ... but I think that line of reason is flawed. If Indiana beat them at their place, we can beat them at ours, pure and simple. FTR, a win would get us to 60-61 for the all-time series with Michigan State. I'm always one for positivity, so we have surprisingly won 3 out of our last 5 home games vs. a ranked Michigan State team:

1/22/2018: L 87-74 vs. #6 Michigan State
1/18/2014: L 78-62 vs. #4 Michigan State
1/31/2012: W 42-41 vs. #10 Michigan State
1/18/2011: W 71-62 vs. #17 Michigan State
2/6/2010: W 78-73 vs. #5 Michigan State

Hope, right?? :)
 
Likes: Illwinsagain
#55
I don’t think anyone has said we can’t win. It’s unlikely. MSU is a better team, but they lose games they shouldn’t just like every other team. We play our best, we have a decent shot. They play their best, we probably don’t. But if we are making progress, games like these at home are ones we need to start winning a more of. I’m hopeful.
 
Likes: Chukwuwumba
#58
I never bet on basketball or much of anything else, but +10 sounds way extreme to me. The only way MSU wins by ten or more is if they are in the bonus before the first TV timeout.
 
#61
Further reflection has directed me to view K. Goins as a player to really limit his touches in the game....he shoots decent from 3...
rebounds well ....passes out assists and blocks some shots....stat stuffer that could be a major factor ...
trent and Ayo should keep Winston to his averages or below
Ward walks alot and is dismal at the ft line

I'll stick with my 71-70 Illini win prediction with fingers crossed
 
#63
Didn’t know where to post this, but I thought it was kind of weird when looking at West Virginia and South Carolina, two teams coached by Bob Huggins and Frank Martin who come from the same coaching tree and employ similar styles of play as Brad Underwood have all had very similar seasons. All 3 teams lost a few key players, and seemed to struggle to the point of being the worst team in each respective conference during the non conference season. Then conference play rolled around and it seemed like these coaches finally got through to their new rosters, and got them to buy in and start winning. If you saw some of the teams South Carolina was losing to in non conference you would not expect them to be 6-2 in the SEC. Meanwhile Illinois and West Virginia’s records look bad still, but are figuring out how to win as of late. WV over Kansas and Oklahoma, and us over Minnesota, Maryland, and Nebraska. Maybe it just takes time in these systems and the playoffs are money.
 
#64
Didn’t know where to post this, but I thought it was kind of weird when looking at West Virginia and South Carolina, two teams coached by Bob Huggins and Frank Martin who come from the same coaching tree and employ similar styles of play as Brad Underwood have all had very similar seasons. All 3 teams lost a few key players, and seemed to struggle to the point of being the worst team in each respective conference during the non conference season. Then conference play rolled around and it seemed like these coaches finally got through to their new rosters, and got them to buy in and start winning. If you saw some of the teams South Carolina was losing to in non conference you would not expect them to be 6-2 in the SEC. Meanwhile Illinois and West Virginia’s records look bad still, but are figuring out how to win as of late. WV over Kansas and Oklahoma, and us over Minnesota, Maryland, and Nebraska. Maybe it just takes time in these systems and the playoffs are money.
After BU’s terrible start and scorching hot finish in his one year at OSU, many believed this would be the case with us. I still think it would’ve, however we lost over half the team in the offseason. I’ve been pessimistic about this year, but improvements are clearly being made. I’ll feel good going into next year IF we can keep everyone here in the offseason.
 
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#66
Winged Warrior
I don’t think anyone has said we can’t win. It’s unlikely. MSU is a better team, but they lose games they shouldn’t just like every other team. We play our best, we have a decent shot. They play their best, we probably don’t. But if we are making progress, games like these at home are ones we need to start winning a more of. I’m hopeful.
Maybe not "can't", but "will not" is pretty close!

https://www.illinoisloyalty.com/For...bruary-5th-6-00pm-ct-espn2.24839/post-1448353
 
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#67
Anybody watching this team for the last 4 or 5 games that thinks we can't win this game at home is just not paying attention.

If we play the same defensive game we played against Nebby (very realistic) and just make 70% of our FT's....this is a W.
Michigan State's offense is rated 6th according to Kenpom. Nebrasa is 28th and that's while they had their best offensive player. Possible, but not very realistic.
 
#68
MSU is one of those teams that is really effective on both offense and defense, and can really distrupt a team when things aren’t flowing for them on offense.
I don’t see us winning this one, but anything can happen at this point. We’re at home, playing on house money; so hoping either way we make them sweat it out.
Our defense is looking a little better, but i can easily see MSU shooting 50% or higher in this game.
 
Likes: Chukwuwumba
#70
Winged Warrior
Michigan State's offense is rated 6th according to Kenpom. Nebrasa is 28th and that's while they had their best offensive player. Possible, but not very realistic.
The other teams offensive rating has nothing to do with how we play defense. It's very realistic that we will play the same defense, what is unknown is how that 6th ranked defense responds to it.
 
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#72
The other teams offensive rating has nothing to do with how we play defense. It's very realistic that we will play the same defense, what is unknown is how that 6th ranked defense responds to it.
I really like BU changing up the defense from time to time...the 3-2 zone has stalled some of the opponents offense and he doesn't stay in it long enough for them to adapt to it...then changing back to the pressure D makes them speed back up and results in turnovers...
 
#73
The other teams offensive rating has nothing to do with how we play defense. It's very realistic that we will play the same defense, what is unknown is how that 6th ranked defense responds to it.
The assumption is that if we play the same defense, a better team with more elite weapons is going to score more points against us. That’s very realistic IMO.
 
#74
What is more important strength of schedule or number of victories?
Suppose we had played a weaker schedule and our record was 11-11.
Would the perspective on remaining season be significantly different?
 
#75
What is more important strength of schedule or number of victories?
Suppose we had played a weaker schedule and our record was 11-11.
Would the perspective on remaining season be significantly different?
I’m not sure its an either or situation. Nebraska last year showed a winning record won’t necessarily get you in. (They got screwed imo.) But under .500 and you have no chance either, so SOS does not help in that case. Key is to find the right balance for the team you have. If your really good, challenge them and get them ready for the big dance ala MSU. We just were no where near ready at this point for what we played. Hopefully we are never in this situation again with a team that depends on freshman to be ready from day 1.
 
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