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

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#76
7 underclassmen, 2 freshmen, 4 upperclassmen, 9 returning players
**first time in 3 years we have more returning players than we have freshmen


So, those are the facts. I think we schedule 1-2 more marquee non-con games, none will be 3 games in 3 days.
The 9 return players/more returning players than freshman is not a fact yet. That is a major assumption.

Regardless, on the roster front, I hope next year we actually use all 13 scholarships on players that are eligible to play. I'm not sure the last time we did that.
 
#77
Someone had asked the following stats for 2017-18 team (cannot find the post):

First half: 13 - 18
Second half: 16 - 15
OT: 0 - 3

we did a (wee bit?) better in recovering in teh 2nd half in 2017-18 than this season.
 
#78
The 9 return players/more returning players than freshman is not a fact yet. That is a major assumption.

Regardless, on the roster front, I hope next year we actually use all 13 scholarships on players that are eligible to play. I'm not sure the last time we did that.
You’re right, but you missed the part where I said “as of right now”. Obviously a lot of ifs, but that’s what we have to work with right now.
 
#79
Someone had asked the following stats for 2017-18 team (cannot find the post):

First half: 13 - 18
Second half: 16 - 15
OT: 0 - 3

we did a (wee bit?) better in recovering in teh 2nd half in 2017-18 than this season.
I see this stat more so dictating that teams kinda let up on the gas and maybe we were more aggressive.
 
#80
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.
It'll be very interesting to see who leaves around the league, as usual. I'm hopeful we hold on to most of our roster. Once we get a better idea of player movement I'm planning on doing a summary of how teams stack up in terms of returnees. One interesting thing that I've found so far is that while there are other teams that gave freshmen the same kind of minutes we did this year, few had the same reliance on freshman production. Our top two options wound up being freshmen, which hopefully means if they stay we'll get a sophomore leap forward that's bigger than any team in the league.

It should be a softer conference next year as well. I expect that there will still be a lot of tough teams at the top, but Nebraska and Northwestern should be biblically bad after losing basically all of their key players. The league just didn't have any teams like that this year. I do think folks will be surprised at how good PSU and Rutgers are, though. PSU should be a tournament team (easily) if Stevens hangs around. That's life in the upside down, I guess.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed...
 
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#81
North Bethesda, Maryland
It’s been a loooong time since we could put PSU in the “sweep” category, unless we are the ones being swept.
Yep, but it's still incredibly difficult to swallow. We should be beating those two teams, plus NW and NU, with regularity. I know it's not where we are right now, but I have to believe we're going to get back to that level.

And speaking of beating NW with regularity...let it continue now. Also, being from the QC's, I would dearly love to beat Iowa. After that, everything else is gravy.
 
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#86
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.
I made this statement on another site but, an 18 yr old does not have the physical stamina that a 20 year old has. No matter how hard one tries, it is like wading through water. It doesn't mean that one doesn't have the desire or the talent. It simply means that an 18 yr old body hasn't reached the maturity that a 20 yr old has reached and no longer has the quickness that one had earlier.
 
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Likes: alaskaillini
#87
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.
You obviously only consider points scored as important. AJ had to deal with guards looking for their shot and no desire to pass to him unless they couldn't get a shot off. He did a great job in running the options of the offense. He did an outstanding job of getting his hands on balls on D and many other things.You are probably one of the guys that felt Cassius Winston would not make 1st team All Big Ten while he was Player of the Year and 1st team All American.
 
#89
I made this statement on another site but, an 18 yr old does not have the physical stamina that a 20 year old has. No matter how hard one tries, it is like wading through water. It doesn't mean that one doesn't have the desire or the talent. It simply means that an 18 yr old body hasn't reached the maturity that a 20 yr old has reached and no longer has the quickness that one had earlier.
Look the effort wasn't there. That's my concern. How many 18 years do we have seen a lot of minutes down the stretch here. Most everyone that has played is 19 or older. Besides maybe ayo. I don't believe there is a big jump from 18 to 20 in quickness. I believe all this has to do is with winning and losing once the losing started again team for the first time looked defeated. That I can agree from the mental side of things is a process but I don't believe it's about quickness or stamina. Hell Underwood said it's all a mental thing we are capable of beating good teams but also getting beat by anyone. Again my opinion.
 
#92
Look the effort wasn't there. That's my concern. How many 18 years do we have seen a lot of minutes down the stretch here. Most everyone that has played is 19 or older. Besides maybe ayo. I don't believe there is a big jump from 18 to 20 in quickness. I believe all this has to do is with winning and losing once the losing started again team for the first time looked defeated. That I can agree from the mental side of things is a process but I don't believe it's about quickness or stamina. Hell Underwood said it's all a mental thing we are capable of beating good teams but also getting beat by anyone. Again my opinion.
I do agree with ag and Jones making a jump from size stand point. But they haven't played a lot this last month.
 
#94
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 should see your ophthalmologist.
 
#95
In the last 6 games Illini opponents ppg average 69 vs Illini 81. That's been the story ppl can claim these teams are great but the whole picture shows that are d has been atrocious vs teams who can score unless they play us.
 
#96
Problem I see with your logic is that Aaron was playing out of position and size does matter. We have size coming in and I see Giorgi playing in Aaron's position with Kofi at center ala ADLR/Giorgi. We will be dependent on Antwan and/or Samba as backups as Kofi will have foul problems. With Trent and Ayo as guards that leaves Alan/DaMonte/Tevian for the other position and in the small lineup mix. One of the announcers mentioned that it necessary to rebound to compete in the BIG. We got beat up by bigger teams all year and that might have something to do with our second half woes. I also expect the defensive system to get tweaked. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is ____.
I expect a different D next year because we likely start two bigs next year, so you can't go out and press all the time with that type of team. But our rebounding will be light years better. People should enjoy pushing us around in Chicago cause we're going to be the pushers next year!
 
Likes: Ga65
#98
In the last 6 games Illini opponents ppg average 69 vs Illini 81. That's been the story ppl can claim these teams are great but the whole picture shows that are d has been atrocious vs teams who can score unless they play us.
PSU just beat Michigan and Maryland, IU beat MSU and their tough D not once but twice. It's not who you play it's when you play them. PSU and IU are just plain hot, and account for 3 of those recent losses, 2 others are at conference champ PU and at Wisconsin. So yeah, I don't think you're seeing the whole picture at all.
 
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Look the effort wasn't there. That's my concern. How many 18 years do we have seen a lot of minutes down the stretch here. Most everyone that has played is 19 or older. Besides maybe ayo. I don't believe there is a big jump from 18 to 20 in quickness. I believe all this has to do is with winning and losing once the losing started again team for the first time looked defeated. That I can agree from the mental side of things is a process but I don't believe it's about quickness or stamina. Hell Underwood said it's all a mental thing we are capable of beating good teams but also getting beat by anyone. Again my opinion.
I am not really trying to argue your opinion. I just know that me and a lot of the freshmen that I came in with on the football team, all felt that our legs were shot by the last couple of games. I also know that the basketball freshmen complained about the same thing. I am with you on the fact that there is not much of a leap in true quickness at those ages but, you truly do feel like you are wading through 4 ft of water. We came in able to run all day but had lost that physical ability by the end of the season. Not a mental thing but, some days, the legs were just not there. By the age of 20, it was truly a breeze.
 
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