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

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Women's basketball plays at 7PM on BTN+. If I find this game getting out of hand by then, I may just switch to the stream of the ladies taking on the Sycamores...that should at least be a win for Illini basketball with the way the ladies have been playing lately...
 
For sure. Our losses aren't bad at all, it just sucks that we couldn't have pulled one of them out. If we would have just predictably lost to Gonzaga, Iowa State and Nebraska but gotten a little luckier (like a healthy Frazier leads us past Georgetown and Trent's three goes in vs. Notre Dame), we are a drastically different 4-4. 4-4 gives us a chance to "gel" and get hot and potentially even finish the non-conference season 9-4 with an upset of OSU and still have Tourney hopes. As it stands now, our season is all but over, barring a drastic turnaround. :( That's what's so upsetting.

Don't get me wrong, I will watch all year and - assuming we see significant improvement by the end of the year and we look cohesive - I am absolutely still on the Underwood train; I really like some of our players.

Beating a ranked OSU team would go a long way for this "turnaround!"
The comeback against ND was heartening.

Given where we're at, I'll set a pretty crappy, but measurable goal: I hope the team finishes 2 games out of last place. We play Rutgers at home, so that should be 1 of them. Gotta find another on the schedule.
 
Why is Tyler Underwood getting more playing time than Samba Kane?
This is more in line with my complaint as to why TU is getting minutes at all. I believe the responses have been “5 minutes of mostly garbage time”, “Ayo had 4 fouls”, or basically I was making a bigger deal out of it than I should be.

It all comes back to this for me. Tevian is the only 6’6+ kid on our team that looks like the type of player/athlete that has dominated the Illini for years. Samba Kane is 7’ with above average athleticism and his offensive skills in the time he was in the game (limited of course) looked much better than DeLarosa’s methodical post moves then air ball or brick. Haven’t seen a 7 footer miss the rim from 3 feet out as many times as he has BTW. They are both lost on the defensive end. Okay. That could be said for the entire team in some stretches this year. I disagree with the idea that they will only learn in practice. They will learn by playing at game speed against the type of competition they will see in a B10 game. Not at practice in drills and playing with the scout team. These are the types of players you have said you need to have to play your style of basketball. Then play them.

I don’t care what the optics, these scholarship athletes are entitled to opportunities 1 through 10 and the walk ons get in with 90 seconds left of a blowout no matter which side of the win/loss column you are on. That’s it!

Big fan of Brad Underwood, but his reasoning for playing his son is crap. He is trying to send a message to his team and there are other ways. Tyler dove on one loose ball, other than that he looks so uncomfortable out there no way he is making a positive impact during meaningful parts of the game. Play the scholarship athletes or it will hurt your current team’s perception of what you’re trying to accomplish and I guarantee you recruits take notice of it as well. These kids don’t come here to watch intramural talent play on their stage.
 
Looking back at the seasons since we last went Dancin' (13-14 to now) but excluding the total rebuild year (last year), there always seems to be at least a couple of Conference games where we come to play and get a truly satisfying victory:

2013-14: 20-15 (7-11), NIT Second Round loss
W 53-46 at #18 Michigan State
W 66-63 at #24 Iowa

2014-15: 19-14 (9-9), NIT First Round loss
W 64-58 vs. #11 Maryland
W 59-54 at Michigan State

2015-16: 15-19 (5-13), no postseason
W 84-70 vs. #20 Purdue
W 68-66 vs. #20 Iowa (Indianapolis, IN)

2016-17: 20-15 (8-10), NIT Quarterfinals loss
W 85-69 vs. Michigan
W 73-70 vs. Michigan State (mostly due to the Tournament implications ... which we then blew at Rutgers)

That is my absolute minimum goal for this season at this point ... beat someone we shouldn't looking good. Provide us some true hope going into next year. An upset of Ohio State could really jumpstart this team to at least become respectable by the end of the year.
 
Likes: deucemu
This is more in line with my complaint as to why TU is getting minutes at all. I believe the responses have been “5 minutes of mostly garbage time”, “Ayo had 4 fouls”, or basically I was making a bigger deal out of it than I should be.

It all comes back to this for me. Tevian is the only 6’6+ kid on our team that looks like the type of player/athlete that has dominated the Illini for years. Samba Kane is 7’ with above average athleticism and his offensive skills in the time he was in the game (limited of course) looked much better than DeLarosa’s methodical post moves then air ball or brick. Haven’t seen a 7 footer miss the rim from 3 feet out as many times as he has BTW. They are both lost on the defensive end. Okay. That could be said for the entire team in some stretches this year. I disagree with the idea that they will only learn in practice. They will learn by playing at game speed against the type of competition they will see in a B10 game. Not at practice in drills and playing with the scout team. These are the types of players you have said you need to have to play your style of basketball. Then play them.

I don’t care what the optics, these scholarship athletes are entitled to opportunities 1 through 10 and the walk ons get in with 90 seconds left of a blowout no matter which side of the win/loss column you are on. That’s it!

Big fan of Brad Underwood, but his reasoning for playing his son is crap. He is trying to send a message to his team and there are other ways. Tyler dove on one loose ball, other than that he looks so uncomfortable out there no way he is making a positive impact during meaningful parts of the game. Play the scholarship athletes or it will hurt your current team’s perception of what you’re trying to accomplish and I guarantee you recruits take notice of it as well. These kids don’t come here to watch intramural talent play on their stage.

Thank you, I couldn't agree more. I want Tevian and Samba on the floor not the walk ons. I mean its not like the Illini are 2 - 6 or anything....Wait, they are
2 - 6 and going no where fast, not the NCAA, not the NIT. Lets see what potential they have and how they can contribute. I get it that DeLarosa is coming off an injury but he has done little to nothing and won't be on the team next year even if he was playing well. I started going to games again this year and its a 200 mile round trip. BU is getting close to losing me.
 
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These kids don’t come here to watch intramural talent play on their stage.
IMO, you play the kids who earn the playing time. Trent Meacham was a walkon for a couple years and played a big role on our best team since Dee left. If Tevian Jones has a problem with it, he should do whatever he needs to to get unsuspended and get back on the floor. 8 months ago, this board was sure that part of the reason 6 people left the team early was because they didn't have the right mental makeup to play for a BU coached team. Now people here are going to claim we should play kids who BU doesn't think have earned the time just to make sure their feelings aren't hurt. :noidea:
 
This is more in line with my complaint as to why TU is getting minutes at all. I believe the responses have been “5 minutes of mostly garbage time”, “Ayo had 4 fouls”, or basically I was making a bigger deal out of it than I should be.

These kids don’t come here to watch intramural talent play on their stage.
Does not seem a good strategy to insure player retention. Personally, I wonder if Underwood can survive another exodus of players.
 
I don’t care what the optics, these scholarship athletes are entitled to opportunities 1 through 10 and the walk ons get in with 90 seconds left of a blowout no matter which side of the win/loss column you are on. That’s it!
I think that's really the crux of the debate. Do you play a walk-on that can run the system, or a scholarship player who's got a higher ceiling, but is currently lost running it. Also, there's the issue of playing someone who may still have bad practice habits, and whether you need to send a message.

Mind you, I'm not taking a side, merely pointing out that for most coaches, there's an important balance there.

For me personally, playing time is the second most important motivational tool in coaches arsenal, and needs to be used wisely (i.e. you have to do something to earn your minutes).
 
It’s painfully obvious some of these guys are going out there and not playing to what they’re being coached to do in practice. The only leverage a coach has to straighten out players is time. If players are going to practice one way, then play in game a different way; then take their time. Underwoods statements are a clear indicator that he’s not happy with what these guys are going in game, because it’s not been what they’ve been practicing.
Coach can’t make the players do or not do on the court, so if they don’t do; put in a walk on. At this point I would think most people are like me, and are sick of seeing these guys go out there with absolutely no continuity. The only way to straighten out that mentality is to cut some of their time.
With our record sitting at what it is right now, there’s nothing to lose.
 
What we stand to lose is Tevian Jones at the end of the season and his buddy January de-committing.
It's amazing to me that people already don't trust Underwood to handle team discipline issues they know absolutely nothing about. People criticizing his system or recruiting at least have some available information to look at. With Tevain, people are just guessing that his punishment is too harsh and he should be back on the floor playing. What are you basing this on? What if it is an ongoing violation? We have absolutely no idea, but some people sure do seem certain Underwood is in the wrong here.
 
Does not seem a good strategy to insure player retention. Personally, I wonder if Underwood can survive another exodus of players.
No. He can't. Each exodus adds another two years onto the rebuild. Underwood won't be here that long if it happens again after this season....heck, he might not be here after this season. Though I highly doubt it.
 
I'll say this with the caveat that I'd rather see more Alan Griffin and a shorter bench, but Jones and Kane have shown no indication that they're familiar or comfortable with the offense yet. If you put one or two guys out there who are completely lost, you run the risk of stunting the growth of the rest of the team when the offense completely breaks down. Everyone on the team needs reps and it doesn't help if you slow the progress down to let guys who aren't ready play.

I don't think that this is just a matter of getting Ty minutes, and I think it's instructive that Adonis has seen his minutes decline even in the absence of an alternative at the 5. There isn't room for a guy who can't do anything but stop the ball and miss a turnaround jumper in what's supposed to be a fluid offense.
 
Likes: the national
I don’t care what the optics, these scholarship athletes are entitled to opportunities 1 through 10 and the walk ons get in with 90 seconds left of a blowout no matter which side of the win/loss column you are on. That’s it!
This is division 1 college athletics. Nobody is entitled to anything. If you don't come and work hard everyday you haven't earned playing time. You're basically saying these guys are entitled to play based on what they did in high school. To use a more extreme recent example, Baker Mayfield was a walk on at two separate schools before becoming the starting QB and Heisman winner. But, he should've got comfy on the bench because he hadn't earned anything but garbage time.


This sounds of the opinion of someone who has never played team sports. Thinking everyone gets playing time to not hurt any feelings.
 
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asking for a friend: what is ticket availability like from "third party sellers" outside assembly hall? In other words, is it fairly easy to buy tickets out front from people with extras? are there local rules or prohibitions against selling tickets out front?
 
For sure. Our losses aren't bad at all, it just sucks that we couldn't have pulled one of them out. If we would have just predictably lost to Gonzaga, Iowa State and Nebraska but gotten a little luckier (like a healthy Frazier leads us past Georgetown and Trent's three goes in vs. Notre Dame), we are a drastically different 4-4. 4-4 gives us a chance to "gel" and get hot and potentially even finish the non-conference season 9-4 with an upset of OSU and still have Tourney hopes. As it stands now, our season is all but over, barring a drastic turnaround. :( That's what's so upsetting.

Don't get me wrong, I will watch all year and - assuming we see significant improvement by the end of the year and we look cohesive - I am absolutely still on the Underwood train; I really like some of our players.

Beating a ranked OSU team would go a long way for this "turnaround!"
The difference with a current record and 4-4 is based on one thing imo...our defense and layups given away...Offense will come and go from one player to the next with usually the "star" being different people at different times. The defense has to improve and the easy shots have to minimized to some extent for us to have any chance to win games.
 
The comeback against ND was heartening.

Given where we're at, I'll set a pretty crappy, but measurable goal: I hope the team finishes 2 games out of last place. We play Rutgers at home, so that should be 1 of them. Gotta find another on the schedule.
Wouldn't bet on the Rutgers game if I were you...or any other for that matter this year.
 
I rather doubt many players are thinking "Gee I better work harder in practice, and execute the coaches system to perfection during games or Tyler is going to take all my minutes." Tyler is not exactly gobbling up the minutes.
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Check out those stats. Ayo leading team is total points (to be fair: Trent is averaging more), rebounds, and assists. Giorgi is tied in rebounds, and Trent averaging more on assists, but still pretty impressive.
 
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