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

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#51
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.
What would I have done differently? Easy. Play the game in Champaign.

You build a program by winning. Pure and simple. Winning cures all. And we stand a better chance of winning this sort of conference game in Champaign than in Chicago. We need to maximize our changes to win. Period.

We are subordinating our win probability for the sake of marketing the brand in Chicago. Big mistake. Focus on winning first, and then worry about expanding the brand. But, a brand without a quality product is destined to fall flat.

We have our annual UC game. Stick with that. Keep our scheduled home games at home.
 
#52
Wednesday is my birthday ... the girlfriend and I are heading to my parents' house for some steak and wine and watching the Illini. At this point in my sports life, I am desperately in need of some positive vibes (even the Bears, the bright spot of the fall, left me hangin' on Sunday), so ... the Illini have never lost on my birthday while I have been alive, including 1-0 at the United Center!!

2015-16: W 80-68 vs. Western Carolina
2009-10: W 84-77 Boise State
2005-06: W 75-49 vs. Arkansas-Little Rock
1999-00: W 72-61 vs. Seton Hall (Washington, DC)
1998-99: W 53-48 vs. Bradley (Chicago, IL)
1994-95: W 76-69 at Kansas State
1992-93: W 88-61 vs. Chicago State

If we can go undefeated vs. this very large sample size of high quality opponents, what on Earth can stop us on Wednesday night?

GO ILLINI!
 
#53
Fight Illini at UC: Pull the upset. But it's nuts - Illini should be playing at SFC. But are the students still in Champaign Wednesday? I guess so, don't know. Why, schedulers, would you saddle a young, unproven team with such a tough non-conference schedule and a date against Ohio State at UC. Hubris. I know schedules are made well in advance, but c'mon.

Plus side: Illini nearly beat Gonzaga. Proud of them.
 
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#54
Wednesday is my birthday ... the girlfriend and I are heading to my parents' house for some steak and wine and watching the Illini. At this point in my sports life, I am desperately in need of some positive vibes (even the Bears, the bright spot of the fall, left me hangin' on Sunday), so ... the Illini have never lost on my birthday while I have been alive, including 1-0 at the United Center!!

2015-16: W 80-68 vs. Western Carolina
2009-10: W 84-77 Boise State
2005-06: W 75-49 vs. Arkansas-Little Rock
1999-00: W 72-61 vs. Seton Hall (Washington, DC)
1998-99: W 53-48 vs. Bradley (Chicago, IL)
1994-95: W 76-69 at Kansas State
1992-93: W 88-61 vs. Chicago State

If we can go undefeated vs. this very large sample size of high quality opponents, what on Earth can stop us on Wednesday night?

GO ILLINI!
I am very glad you started drinking this early. Statistics is not for the weak. Happy Birthday.
 
#55
Yep.

This was stupid the moment it was announced. Why voluntarily give away a home game at a crucial point early in the season when this team needs confidence? We all knew that this team was going to face a really tough OOC stretch. And here we are, going on the road for the sake of marketing the "brand".

Good thinking, Josh. We'll see how that works out for you.
It’s a great idea if we were good.
 
#64
Thank you for your insight and big time thinking "fighter of the night". I no i'm a pee brain but playing Ohio St. in Chicago is a BAD idea! You don't give up a conference home game! Period. And i don't care how many people live in Chicago, because out of the 5 million or so only 5-6 thousand got the message 2 out of the last 3 years. If they win, GREAT
 
#67
Thank you for your insight and big time thinking "fighter of the night". I no i'm a pee brain but playing Ohio St. in Chicago is a BAD idea! You don't give up a conference home game! Period. And i don't care how many people live in Chicago, because out of the 5 million or so only 5-6 thousand got the message 2 out of the last 3 years. If they win, GREAT
The fact this game no longer provides a significant home court advantage is the sad, but true issue.

Genuine question, if the UC was packed full of Illinois fans as in the glory days, would this whole dilemma if it being a home game not be a dilemma?
 
#68
Western Suburbs
The fact this game no longer provides a significant home court advantage is the sad, but true issue.

Genuine question, if the UC was packed full of Illinois fans as in the glory days, would this whole dilemma if it being a home game not be a dilemma?
If you packed the UC I think a lot of the complains would disappear.

Here is the issue that I see with the Chicago fan base: If you don’t play a game in Chicago do you lose the 5000 or so fans that come to the UC games. I understand the home game argument and I do not like the Wednesday night at 6:00 PM start time for the game. As I see it you either stop playing in Chicago for a few years and hope the Chicago fans return when you return to Chicago or you play a game in Chicago on a weekend and get an opponent with name recognition. How about moving the Arizona game to Chicago? I bet you would have the central Illinois fans go ballistic if you did that. Thoughts?
 
#70
Brad Underwood has turned to his son on multiple occasions already this season.

"He knows the system backward and forward," Brad Underwood said. "He's been around a lot of winning. He's seen how it's been done right — especially back at (Stephen F. Austin) and Oklahoma State — and how it works. His positioning is very good. He's an IQ player, and he's not afraid to stick his nose in there and grab a couple rebounds as well as take charges." Brad Underwood
http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/illini-sports/2018-12-02/ui-basketball-notes-i-have-grow.html
 
#72
I think some of the reason you keep the UC game even with the low attendance is it is used in recruiting. You are telling players in Chicago you are committed to playing a game close to home for them. Low attendance or not, that means something to them and their families. You can debate how effective a recruiting tool it is when the place isn't packed like it used to be.
 
#73
Maybe UI should foot the bill here and offer free tickets to high school kids and younger for the United Center game. Looking at the first market tickets still available, something needs to be done to get butts in seat.
 
#75
FTR, I am not anymore defending this specific choice for a United Center game. It would ALWAYS ideally be a Saturday afternoon non-conference game while the students are on break; that seems like common sense. Until we get back to the point where we can welcome the likes of Duke, Kansas and Arizona into a packed, orange-clad United Center and give them hell, our "perfect" United Center game is a Saturday afternoon game circa December 15th (I always liked the idea of playing in Chicago and St. Louis back-to-back Saturdays to pretty much wrap up the non-conference) vs. a Marquette-type opponent that will bring some fans (but nowhere near as many as we would) and we can beat.

Bottom line, the crowds won't improve until we don't suck. Our decent crowds from 2010-2014 were "ancestral" from when we were better. Eventually, the fans stopped coming. There is always a lag effect in attendance (see us selling out the 2007-08 home games despite a 16-19 record), and this unfortunately means this (probably) won't be our last "dud" attendance-wise at the UC ... but I just don't think you can abandon this game. It makes us stand out.
 
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