Pregame: Illinois vs Ohio State, Wednesday, December 5th, 6:00pm CT, BTN

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#31
1) Just want to say that the people who want to abandon playing games in Chicago are incredibly short-sighted and small-time thinkers. Sorry, but you can't be the University of East Central Illinois. We are the state flagship school, and Chicago is where most of our state's population is. Yeah, I'm down in the dumps, too ... but we ARE Chicago's team based on popularity up there, and that will literally never change. We have to get better, AND we have to keep playing there. Period. You want to nitpick the opponent, date, start time, etc.? Fine ... but you have to maintain a presence.

2) Fall From Grace Time! Considering this covers a time where we literally made the NCAA Tournament only twice (i.e., it's not like we're going back to the "glory days" or anything), this drop in attendance is literally astounding, sad and embarrassing (losses in blue, wins in orange):

2010: 20,917 vs. Gonzaga
2010: 13,117 vs. UIC
2011: 15,144 vs. UNLV
2012: 18,136 vs. Auburn
2013: 13,017 vs. UIC
2014: 13,759 vs. Oregon
2015: 5,151 vs. UIC
2016: 9,036 vs. BYU
2017: 5,695 vs. New Mexico State

Ouch. We used to draw 13,000+ for frickin' UIC, and we will probably draw well under 10,000 for a ranked OSU team. This is not even considering just how far of a cry this is from drawing 19,000+ nearly every year.

If it makes anyone feel any better, we are still 38-15 at the United Center all-time, including 20-8 in regular season games. We reached our peak at 32-6 after beating Indiana in the 2007 Big Ten Tournament, which was our EIGHTEENTH straight victory at the UC. Wow, times are hard. :confused:
 
#33
Western Suburbs
I live in the Chicago land area, I attended all the games that Fighter listed except the UIC games and I will attend the OSU vs. Illinois game. As much as I agree with Fighter's number 1, I think that it would be beneficial if the UC game was eliminated for a year or two. Until Illinois puts a better product on the court, the attendance at the UC game will not be very good. Illinois does not sell out the SFC now so I am not sure why anyone would expect a large crowd at the UC.
 
#34
I live in the Chicago land area, I attended all the games that Fighter listed except the UIC games and I will attend the OSU vs. Illinois game. As much as I agree with Fighter's number 1, I think that it would be beneficial if the UC game was eliminated for a year or two. Until Illinois puts a better product on the court, the attendance at the UC game will not be very good. Illinois does not sell out the SFC now so I am not sure why anyone would expect a large crowd at the UC.
It may be part of a contractual agreement. Yet, the numbers are thoroughly depressing and even more depressing is the thought that the only way current attendance numbers could possibly improve is by Ohio State fans flocking to UC to see a promising team.
 
#36
Good thing we signed up for this Chicago gimmick rather than sticking to a true home game.

That game will be a true demonstration of how pathetic we've become. A "home" game in Chicago, in which nobody attends. Way to showcase the program, Josh.
So, I understand your frustation, but what would you have done differently? Keep in mind, these events have to be scheduled out quite a bit. We had an exciting new hire and a plan to improve. Would you have taken a more conservative approach? Just wondering because i sense that you would also be complaining about why we weren't showcasing our success (obviously, in a different scenario) more prominently.
 
#37
Western Suburbs
I think we will play better against tOSU than people project, yet winning would be tough. But I expect that we beat UNLV.
I hope you are right! I will also be in Champaign to see the UNLV game and if I can get some tickets I will catch Saturday's volleyball game which I hope Illinois is playing in..
 
Likes: KevinC
#39
Illini Basketball and the United Center have had a tremendous history through the years.

Timing and traditions are important. The 24 United Center winter games have established that Illinois plays 1) on a Saturday 2) versus a non-conference opponent.

This season there's Saturday non-conference games vs UNLV, East Tennessee State, & Florida Atlantic. Pick one of those games to continue the United Center tradition. It's easy to predict any of those games would have very low attendance, but if Illinois absolutely positively has to play a UC game this season those are the proper options imho based upon our UC history.

Moving the Ohio State game -- Wednesday against a league opponent -- goes against Illini Basketball's 24-year United Center tradition.

When you have a critical league game against a very good opponent in the middle the week with the students in town, that's a classic home game right there. Play that game in your home arena where you have the very best chance at victory. I don't know what the outcome of the Ohio State game will be no matter where it's played, but I'd like to see us respect the historic traditions of the schedule.

Now please beat Ohio State on Wednesday I'm ready for the crow. Go Illini


Illini Basketball's Non-Conference Game at the United Center-

1994 Sat, Dec 03 L Duke 21,500
1995 Sat, Dec 23 W Cal 15,046
1996 Sat, Dec 21 W UCLA 15,331
1997 Sat, Dec 13 W Clemson 9,282
1998 Sat, Dec 05 W Bradley 11,084
1999 Sat, Dec 18 W Kansas 16,714
2000 Sat, Dec 16 W Arizona 21,885
2001 Sat, Dec 08 W Arkansas 18,671
2002 Sat, Dec 12 W Temple 13,361
2003 Sat, Dec 30 W UIC 15,415
2004 Sat, Dec 11 W Oregon 21,224
2005 Sat, Dec 03 W Xavier 19,833
2006 Sat, Dec 09 W UIC 16,424
2007 Sat, Dec 08 L Arizona 19,573
2008 Sat, Dec 06 W Georgia 12,139
2010 Sat, Jan 02 L Gonzaga 20,917
2010 Sat, Dec 18 L UIC 13,117
2011 Sat, Dec 17 L UNLV 15,144
2012 Sat, Dec 29 W Auburn 18,136
2013 Sat, Dec 28 W UIC 13,017
2014 Sat, Dec 13 L Oregon 13,759
2015 Sat, Dec 12 W UIC 5,151
2016 Sat, Dec 17 W BYU 9,036
2017 Sat, Dec 16 L New Mexico St 5,695
 
#41
I wouldn't mind so much playing a conference game at the UC assuming it was a break game when our home court advantage isn't at it's fullest (not that it will be at its fullest anytime this year).
 
#43
I’m bracing myself for this to be the true low point for Illini basketball. But a small part of me believes Ayo has a huge homecoming and keeps us in it.
It's an interesting question, Where is rock bottom? It's right up there with, Do dumpster fires burn themselves out?
 
#44
It's an interesting question, Where is rock bottom? It's right up there with, Do dumpster fires burn themselves out?
Rutgers has shown us the true bottom. We aren't there yet, but we can definitely see it very clearly. We have more talent than they do, but the final product might just be as bad.
 
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