Pregame: Illinois vs Rutgers, Saturday, February 9th, 3:00pm CT, BTN

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#26
Let's see how the Illini handle a little success. Rutgers has a lot of beef inside that might give us some trouble. It would be too easy to overlook this team but I like what Ayo was saying in the post game interview.
 
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#27
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
Guys, we lost to FAU. There is no bubble. BTT is the only way.
While I don't think we are or will be on the bubble, a team can certainly make the dance with one bad loss on their record. The problem isn't FAU. The problem is FAU and all of the other losses.

Still, in the magical world where we actually finished on a 10 game win streak, I'd imagine that counts for something.
 
#29
The Villages, FL
I see 6 more Big Ten wins in the regular season. That puts us at 10-10 in the conference. Assuming we don't win the BigTen tourney, where do we go post season? NIT? Dare we dream of more?
 
#31
Rutgers is vastly improved from last year and will cause us problems down low...Their problem,IMHO, is they play out of control for most of their games and allow other teams to get a run going against them...our pressure D will cause them deep problems and we should turn them over enough to offset their advantage in the paint...also, their bigs, while large , dont have a good touch around the basket , sometimes missing the rim altogether when close to the bucket...

they are improved but we are reaching our peak and we have the mojo to extend the winning streak further....Good things are happening for us and we will continue to grow as a team on the rise...

Illini 78
Rutgers 70
 
#32
I'm going on Saturday. My first trip to the House of Paign since 2013 when the lads beat up a ranked Ohio State team. I watched the 2nd half of Michigan@Rutgers last night. Rutgers is improved, hopefully the team stays focused. Not sure Rutgers has a decent PG either
 
#35
Was checking out Rutgers stats, looks like they regularly go 9-10 deep with 10 guys averaging 12+ minutes per game, 9 of those averaging 15+ min. I don't think we are going to wear them out like I think we did MSU, however, Rutgers shoots very poorly. They shoot 40.7% from the field (326th), 31.9% from 3 (290th), and 63.5% at the FT line (333rd). Strength is definitely rebounding at 39.4 RPG (27th). Hoping we can speed them up, turn them over, and keep them under 45% from the field. Their leading scorer and rebounder (Omoruyi) is listed at 6'7". They've got a 7 footer (Doorson) who logs about 18 MPG and is a good shot blocker, but isn't a huge scoring threat and is awful at FT shooting (36%). Should be a W at home, I'll be really disappointed with a loss, even if this is an improved Rutgers team.
 
#36
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Can't take our foot off the pedal. Don't think that will be an issue. Rutgers is definitely way better, but I don't think they'll handle our defensive intensity well. Love how the team is gelling. Identity is being formed and its awesome.
 
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#37
Just wanted to bring it up although it has nothing to do with the upcoming game, but remember that time from Mid December to Mid Janurary where we are feeling more faith in the football program than the basketball program? Feels weird to think that now.
Ha, I was having that exact same thought this morning! Good to know that others have these odd moments
 
#39
Just wanted to bring it up although it has nothing to do with the upcoming game, but remember that time from Mid December to Mid Janurary where we are feeling more faith in the football program than the basketball program? Feels weird to think that now.
If we hadn't lost Larry Boyd and the DC/assistant search hadn't shaped up to be a total disaster, I'd still be feeling pretty good about football. But I certainly don't mind feeling better about basketball currently!
 
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#41
Guys, we lost to FAU. There is no bubble. BTT is the only way.
Come on live a little... Isn't it infinitely more likely that a team with one loss to a Kenpom 150+ rated team gets into the tournament than it is that we finish 10-10 in conference.

Nevada lost to #174 UNM (rivalry game) i think they're as safe as you can be in early February.
 
#42
Winged Warrior
I almost failed statistics (hardest class ever)....but I think there is just as much of a chance we win out vs. winning the B1G Tourney. Maybe not statistically, but as I said, I suck at that.

If we win out and win one in the BTT , 17-15.....we are last four in. PROVE ME WRONG!
 
#44
As I said in my latest post in the MSU postgame thread, I think we DO have a bit of a hangover game. However, I do not think we play badly enough to lose. I am predicting a 75-69 win that nobody is that impressed with ... but I am also predicting that lights another fire under our rears that we ride right into an upset in Columbus. :)
 
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#45
Well, yeah. FAU is just a very good stand-in for a very bad first half of the season. I didn’t think I needed to list them all - we were all there.
Yeah, forget the FAU game, young not-that-good teams have home stinkers against cupcakes and take on ugly losses, that happens all over the place.

The real story of the first half of our season is that we lost four games to teams clearly worse than us (Georgetown, Xavier, Notre Dame and Mizzou) where we were in all of the games and seemed to just bend over and accept that the other team was better. That's gone now, and it needs to be gone forever. It should be, you can see the belief building in our guys. Trent Frazier said in an interview last night that the key to our emergence is them "realizing what Coach wants us to do is actually gonna work" and that totally comports with what the eye test is showing me lately. These guys didn't think their efforts were going to win them anything but a respite from being yelled at in November, now they realize there's light at the end of the tunnel.

But a game against a real team that we're "supposed" to win is a new kind of challenge for our guys. Let's see how they do when Rutgers throws an unexpected punch, which they will in this game.
 
#46
How can this Illini team best position itself to get two wins in the B1G tournament? Well, step right up to mred's 2019 Big 10 MBB Bracket Generator and Tiebreaker and generate all the scheduling combinations and permutations that your little heart desires.
Wow, that site is awesome. I plugged in my predictions for our young Illini and the other B1G teams down the stretch and got these seeds:

1. Michigan (17-3)
2. Purdue (16-4
3. Wisconsin (16-4)
4. Michigan State (15-5)
5. Maryland (12-8)
6. Iowa (11-9)
7. Illinois (10-10)
8. Indiana (8-12)
9. Minnesota (8-12)
10. Ohio State (8-12)
11. Rutgers (6-14)
12. Nebraska (5-15)
13. Northwestern (5-15)
14. Penn State (3-17)

This would get us a first round bye and a second round matchup with (10) Ohio State ... rematch vs. the Buckeyes in the United Center while we are playing hot?? Bring it!! A win vs. OSU would pit us against (2) Purdue, which would obviously be tough. Optimistic to pick us as the 7 seed? Of course. However, that simulator shows that we can drop all the way down to 10 (a perfectly realistic finish, IMO) and still avoid that first round of games. This season's goal needs to be a BTT run and momentum for next year, and it's not as crazy as it sounded a month ago. If we can avoid those first few games, it becomes a difficult-but-not-impossible goal to win our first game and hope to get hot/play inspired in front of a hopefully friendly crowd in Chicago.
 
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#47
For some reason I've seen parts of Rutgers' last 3 games, and they are not a bad team. I'm glad we have them at home rather than having to hit the road after that big win over MSU. Don't see this as being easy, but not sure how well that match up with our style of play. I'll go with a 72-65 win because of the let down potential of the game, but could see it being an even bigger of victory.
 
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#48
I know you guys are shooting for the stars right now, but let’s not forget how good the B1G is this year. Everyone can beat everyone and every game is a dog fight.

Im hoping we can win 3 more in the regular season. That would give us enough momentum to go into next year. Less than 3 wins would kind of kill that momentum. 4-5 wins and we’re everyones dark horse next year. 6+ wins and we should go ahead and book 2020 Final 4 travel plans.
 
#49
Mad Scientist
Arizona, USA
For some reason I've seen parts of Rutgers' last 3 games, and they are not a bad team. I'm glad we have them at home rather than having to hit the road after that big win over MSU. Don't see this as being easy, but not sure how well that match up with our style of play. I'll go with a 72-65 win because of the let down potential of the game, but could see it being an even bigger of victory.
I honestly don't think there are any bad teams in the Big Ten this year. Even the bad teams are dangerous, and according to KenPom, every team is in the top 100 and only Rutgers is outside the top 70. That's a pretty dangerous group.
 
#50
Wow, that site is awesome. I plugged in my predictions for our young Illini and the other B1G teams down the stretch and got these seeds:

1. Michigan (17-3)
2. Purdue (16-4
3. Wisconsin (16-4)
4. Michigan State (15-5)
5. Maryland (12-8)
6. Iowa (11-9)
7. Illinois (10-10)
8. Indiana (8-12)
9. Minnesota (8-12)
10. Ohio State (8-12)
11. Rutgers (6-14)
12. Nebraska (5-15)
13. Northwestern (5-15)
14. Penn State (3-17)

This would get us a first round bye and a second round matchup with (10) Ohio State ... rematch vs. the Buckeyes in the United Center while we are playing hot?? Bring it!! A win vs. OSU would pit us against (2) Purdue, which would obviously be tough. Optimistic to pick us as the 7 seed? Of course. However, that simulator shows that we can drop all the way down to 10 (a perfectly realistic finish, IMO) and still avoid that first round of games. This season's goal needs to be a BTT run and momentum for next year, and it's not as crazy as it sounded a month ago. If we can avoid those first few games, it becomes a difficult-but-not-impossible goal to win our first game and hope to get hot/play inspired in front of a hopefully friendly crowd in Chicago.
I have us at #5.
 
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