Pregame: Illinois vs Northwestern, Wednesday, March 13th, 8:00pm CT, BTN

Status
Not open for further replies.
#51
RE: next year, I do not have any doubt at all that we will improve significantly ... but we're 11-20, so uh, we better. The crappy thing is that as of a few weeks ago, I was honestly thinking we could spend time in the top 25 next year and be a dark horse for the Big Ten with a favorable schedule and/or some lucky breaks. Now it's looking more like we will be a Bubble team unless Kofi has an even larger than expected impact and our guys get back to playing like they were during the winning streak. I am NOT discounting the latter as a possibility anymore, but it's seeming depressingly less likely. I just keep praying they will look in the mirror, think about what it means to be a Fighting Illini basketball player and all the greats who have worn that jersey before them and come out with a drubbing of NU ... a fan always dreams, and I will never give up on them, lol.
 
#53
Got a $6 ticket through Stubhub yesterday. With fees & taxes I probably spent $14. There will be a seat number on the ticket but supposedly I can sit anywhere. Went to the Ohio State vs Illini game at the United Center (yes I was the one).
Hoping more people show up for this one.
I checked pricing on Seat Geek. I could have bought one today @ $7-$8. Stubhub is horrible.
 
#54
Alan/Tevian/Samba out to play and play many consecutive and concurrent minutes. We will not miss Aaron. One we can afford to have transfer is Kipper. He has wasted his Sophomore and Junior years. He should set his mind to be a beast as a Senior.
 
#58
I've gotta believe that we're tired, and Trent is straight-up playing hurt.

But other than Trent being actually injured, I had rather hoped that we'd have the toughness to push through pain. If not, what was the treadmill for?
I believe that Trent was hampered both on offense and defense by his ankle/foot issues. Georgi has had respiratory issues. At one point he was gasping to catch his breath at the free throw line. Ayo may have hit the freshman wall. Many reasons they have struggled.
 
#59
I wasn't sure where else to post this question, but has Samba played 5 or fewer games this year? If so, doesn't that make him eligible to redshirt?
He has played in about a dozen games. After playing in even one, the only possible redshirt is a medical redshirt. He does not qualify for that one, either.
 
#60
Illini just need to go undefeated the rest of the way to win a National Championship! The rest of the season is in the rearview mirror now.

Starts with Northwestern on Wednesday. Probable? No. Possible? Probably not. But I'm still going to tune in and cheer my heart out for this team because that's what we fans do. Hopefully Alan and Tevian get into the game before Kipper this time.
 
#63
They certainly will miss AJ. He does so much for this team.
Not to put words in anyone's mouth, but I don't think he meant it as a personal bash on one guy, rather a big picture look into next season.

I think AJ is the model of what you want in a kid's attitude. He stayed and he worked his tail off. He should be held in very high regard for that.

However, from a production standpoint, he's not leaving a huge hole.

In the 18 Big Ten games since the start of the new year:

He was in double digits 5 times
He scored 5 or fewer points 8 times(two 0's)
Had more than five rebounds one time
His high assist game was 3 @ Iowa
Shot over 40% five times
Shot under 30% nine times

He played starters minutes.

Again, from a production standpoint, he's obviously replaceable. From a leadership standpoint, much tougher.

I think some are getting caught up in semantics.
 
#65
After giving yesterday's game a day to sink in, I don't think the season was that big of a disappointment. I predicted a 9th place finish before the season and going into the final week, we had an opportunity to finish as high as 7th. This season was basically what it was supposed to be (which is to say, a developmental year). Hopefully they can win a couple in the tourney and leave a good taste in our mouths going into the off season.
 
#67
After giving yesterday's game a day to sink in, I don't think the season was that big of a disappointment. I predicted a 9th place finish before the season and going into the final week, we had an opportunity to finish as high as 7th. This season was basically what it was supposed to be (which is to say, a developmental year). Hopefully they can win a couple in the tourney and leave a good taste in our mouths going into the off season.
The issue is not what we (or anyone else) predicted this team would do. The issue is as the season went along they all had to realise that they can do better than anyone expected them to do, perhaps even themselves. Here is a little stat (from a tweet on the front age):

Went through the box scores. 18-12-1 in first halves. 9-21-1 in second halves
We either kept up or even beat some of the best teams ................ in the first half of games.

In the second half we ................................... well ...............................

I do not expect any of us to have an answer for such a trend, and frankly, one that we had known very early in the season. What I do expect is the staff or/and the players to figure it out by mid-season.

My disappointment is in the fact that knowing that a problem existed it was not fixed.

And, I would not be surprised if it repeats itself in the future. Saying that we are playing in the best conf, with great players and great coaches just does not cut it.

Beating the Cats, on Wed, is not a topic of discussion as far as I am concerned. Too late for that. I would like to see consistent execution. Too late to make any changes at this stage.
 
#68
It's a troubling stat for sure. It's either caused by an inexperienced team not knowing how to finish or by teams adjusting to our style of play in the second half. Hopefully it's the former.
 
#69
Agree with a lot of what you said. But my opinion isn't based off the Penn State it's what I've seen this last month this year and all of last year. I've seen a team have a 5 game stretch of winning top level bball. Then the loss to Wisconsin and they look just like they did before the Maryland game. A team that finds ways to lose in the second half. It's been the same story get a lead and play a good half of ball, then come out flat and give up the lead and make a fake rally not be able to get back into it. A team that looks tired worn out and ready to be done with this year. My eyes might be blind but as of today 3/11 it's very hard to see a big jump next year. I'm pulling for Underwood, hell I pulled for groce until his last year same with Webber. I believe Underwood is going to have to win next year.
You may want to consider that until the Wisconsin game, there was still a chance, albeit a small one, for an at large tourney bid. Once we lost that game the regular season record did not matter. We had little to gain - not playing a Wednesday game in the BTT. These guys have had a loooonnnngggg season; they are tired; they had little to play for. It is not surprising that they have had a let down. We will see if they can get a second wind come Wednesday. Hopefully Trent and Georgi will be 100%.

With only 4 returners with experience in BUs system, we ended the year about where the majority of people on here predicted - 7 B1G wins, including two ranked opponents. Don't understand all the negativity. The team will come back next year refreshed and stronger, both mentally and physically; won't have to spend all their available time learning BU's system; and will be able to focus on the little things that are the difference between winning and losing. Next year's team is going to be a vastly different team early in the season than was this year's team.

I still believe that this team could be a little like Kruger's team in 98-99, which only won 3 Big Ten games and finished last, but had their run in the BTT (which if you all remember was at the United Center). Both teams were very young. Both teams had to play in an up year of the conference. If these guys can win 2 or 3 BTT games, then I think the comparison will be justified. Heck even if we lose to NW, we will have still won more B1G games than that team did including the BTT games.
 
#70
W/L’s:

2017-18: 5-13 vs power 5/NCAA tournament teams+UNLV .277, 4-15 in conference games

2018-19: 8-19 vs power 5/NCAA tournament teams+UNLV .297, 7-13 in conference

Roster turnover:

2017-18: 6 underclassmen (4 freshmen), 7 returning players, 4 returning starters (Black, Kipper?, Finke, Lucas)

Starters: Lucas (S), Trent (F),Alstork(G. Sr), Black (J), Finke (Rs. Sr.)

Offseason: 8 lost players (5 transfers, 4 starters depart)

2018-19: 9 underclassmen (6 freshmen), 4 returning players (scholarship), 1 returning starter

Starters: Ayo (F), Trent (S), Williams (S), Jordan(Sr)**, Giorgi (F)****

**6”5 guarding the 4
**** 6”9, next best offer: Hofstra

2019-20 (as of now):

Nonconference: @Arizona, Missouri, Gavitt Game, ACC/B10, TBD

20 conference games

minimum 24/31 games vs. Power-5 Opponents

Roster Breakdown:
PG/SG: Ayo*, Trent*, Feliz, Williams
SF: Jones, Griffin
PF: Giorgi*, Nichols
C: Cockburn*, Kane, January

*double digit scorer/Top 40 recruit

Seniors: Nichols, Feliz
Juniors: Trent, Williams
Sophomores: Ayo, Jones, Griffin, Giorgi, Kane
Freshmen: Cockburn, January

7 underclassmen, 2 freshmen, 4 upperclassmen, 9 returning players
**first time in 3 years we have more returning players than we have freshmen


Starting 5: Ayo (S), Trent (J), Jones (S), Giorgi (S), Cockburn (F)
Bench: Feliz (Sr.), Nichols (Sr.), Williams(J), Griffin (S), Kane (S), January (F)

So, those are the facts. I think we schedule 1-2 more marquee non-con games, none will be 3 games in 3 days.

@Arizona is a likely L/toss up
Mizzou has to be a win
Likely get a lower level Big East team, but on the road—toss up
ACC/B10 at home, has to be a win
1-2 more “marquee games” likely at home, have to win

Assuming we schedule a few cupcakes that’s 9-2 at best IMO. 7-4 at worst. Possibly 10-1 depending on matchups/rest of schedule

Big Ten:
Wisconsin:Happ, Iverson
Purdue: Cline, Eifort, maybe Edwards
Maryland: Likely losses Fernando, Smith
Iowa: Baer, Cook?
Northwestern: sucks
Indiana: Langford
Michigan: Matthews, possibly Iggy/Poole
MSU: Goins, McQuaid
Penn State: Reaves
Nebraska: Palmer, Watson, Copeland,Borchardt
Rutgers: Doorson
Ohio St: Jackson, Lane, Woods
Minnesota: McBrayer, Murphy

Obviously i’m not sure on recruiting classes, but Michigan St, Indiana, Ohio St, Maryland, Michigan likely bring in high-level talent

Likely to be better than us: MSU, OSU, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan, Maryland

Likely to be similar to us: Wisconsin, Indiana, Rutgers, Penn State

We should beat: Northwestern, Minnesota, Nebraska

Recipe for NCAA’s:
1. Return mostly if not everyone
2. 1 more spring signing that can make an impact right away (wing)
3. 8-9 non-conference wins at a minimum
4. Sweep Northwestern, Minnesota, Nebraska
5. Go .500 against Wisconsin, Indiana,Rutgers, Penn State
6. Win 2-3 games against MSU, OSU, Iowa, Michigan, Purdue, Maryland
7. Win the gimme games on schedule
8. Win 1-2 BTT games

that would put us somewhere around 18-14–23-12. with 9-12 conference wins, likely 6-8 in conference standings

I think that’s very doable. Go illini.
 
#71
North Bethesda, Maryland
that would put us somewhere around 18-14–23-12. with 9-12 conference wins, likely 6-8 in conference standings

I think that’s very doable. Go illini.
That's a great breakdown. I still hope we can put PSU and Rutgers into the sweep category. I think a big key is not losing anyone. This season was difficult for a reason, and the new guys brought in have to pay dividends by staying. I don't know if we can afford to lose Samba and/or Tevian. Not that I have any knowledge whatsoever that it's even a possibility, I'm just looking at positions of need. Think of how different things might be if Ebo didn't leave. If we are able to keep everyone, get January in the fold, and add another wing perhaps, I think we're cooking. If Higgs is still around, maybe he can bring a little Sergio/Johnson grit.
 
#72
It’s been a loooong time since we could put PSU in the “sweep” category, unless we are the ones being swept.

The post above has a lot of good breakdown. What it doesn’t account for is what teams add next year.

If I had to prognosticate on next season I’d say 8-3 non-conference and 8-9 B1G wins. Probably an NIT bid. Question is, would that be good enough?
 
#73
Recipe for NCAA’s:
1. Return mostly if not everyone
2. 1 more spring signing that can make an impact right away (wing)
3. 8-9 non-conference wins at a minimum
4. Sweep Northwestern, Minnesota, Nebraska
5. Go .500 against Wisconsin, Indiana,Rutgers, Penn State
6. Win 2-3 games against MSU, OSU, Iowa, Michigan, Purdue, Maryland
7. Win the gimme games on schedule
8. Win 1-2 BTT games
#1 is absolutely key. We've looked past roster turnover when Underwood was hired and after the first season. They say 3 is a trend, and if it happens again this offseason, well, that would say we're not good managing expectations around our recruiting.

I think #2 is unlikely, and not needed if we do #1. It would certainly buy more optimism.

Everything else on that list has it's best chance if the freshmen Underwood recruited want to develop here.
 
Likes: DeeForThr33
#74
It’s been a loooong time since we could put PSU in the “sweep” category, unless we are the ones being swept.

The post above has a lot of good breakdown. What it doesn’t account for is what teams add next year.

If I had to prognosticate on next season I’d say 8-3 non-conference and 8-9 B1G wins. Probably an NIT bid. Question is, would that be good enough?
Non Conference if the team stays 80+% together will be about right, the conference however should be no less than 10 wins, however we will play the big boys more often next year due to this year schedule imo.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.