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

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#51
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.
Agreed, the Big Ten is an absolute gauntlet this year, especially with some of the "bad teams" (going by record) kind of figuring it out ... like us. :) It got me curious what the Big Ten would look like if we only took each team's last four games:

Purdue (4-0)
Wisconsin (4-0)

Illinois (3-1)
Michigan (3-1)

Iowa (2-2)
Minnesota (2-2)
Ohio State (2-2)
Rutgers (2-2)

Indiana (1-3)
Maryland (1-3)
Michigan State (1-3)
Northwestern (1-3)
Penn State (1-3)

Nebraska (0-4)

I will be the first to say that this is a somewhat meaningless, cherry-picked stat, but ... considering our competition and wins over that 4-game stretch, we really are playing some of the better basketball in the conference. It's nice to see the team coming together, and we have a fairly favorable schedule to finish strong!
 
#54
Winged Warrior
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.
Shhhhhhhhhh......clear your mind....look deep.....deeeeply into my orange......

https://www.illinoisloyalty.com/For...february-9th-3-00pm-ct-btn.24849/post-1449108
 
#55
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.
I agree with the general sentiment, but 3 seems too low to me as the low bar.

We have 4 home games remaining - all winnable. We've also yet to win on enemy territory.

I'm going to be excited about next year regardless, but to truly have confidence, I need no less than 4 wins and possibly 5. Good teams protect their home court and can win on the road.
 
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#57
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Relentless. That's our identity, and I love it. We're not all the way there yet, but Ray Charles can see it coalescing. Super appealing style of play. Players have bought in, big time. Relentless.

Don't know that I've ever seen as dramatic a turnaround during a season as this one.
 
#58
People keep saying stuff like this as though beating Maryland at MSG means nothing. If you want a "true" road win, fine, but this team can win outside Champaign.
People keep saying stuff like this as though neutral court wins are the same as winning in your opponent's place.

FWIW, I value the MSG win a lot.
 
#59
Bonnaroo Land
You are correct....win BTT and we're in.....otherwise no hand ringing on Selection Sunday
Win out in the regular season, then in for sure with 2 wins in BTT, and sweating with 1 (NIT if lose first game in BTT). Although it is a million to one shot to do this, just saying there are 2 scenarios to get in. And yes, because of SOS this scenario would absolutely get us in.....(Although again, million to one shot).
 
#60
Win out in the regular season, then in for sure with 2 wins in BTT, and sweating with 1 (NIT if lose first game in BTT). Although it is a million to one shot to do this, just saying there are 2 scenarios to get in. And yes, because of SOS this scenario would absolutely get us in.....(Although again, million to one shot).
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#63
Orange view: 2010-11 UConn 9-9 conference record wins the conference tournament in five games and then goes on to win the national championship. But they won the Maui tournament so it doesn't apply.
 
#64
Illini optimist
Charleston
81-65.

Watched Rutgers. While they play 10 guys, they play rather ploddingly.

We average 5 shots/game more than they do, but they out rebound us. So, we play much faster. If your game style is not up to OUR speed it doesn’t matter how MANY people you play.

“You want the truth? You can’t handle our truth!”
 
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#65
Relentless. That's our identity, and I love it. We're not all the way there yet, but Ray Charles can see it coalescing. Super appealing style of play. Players have bought in, big time. Relentless.

Don't know that I've ever seen as dramatic a turnaround during a season as this one.
Reminds me of Groce’s first year where we looked dead in the water. Then beat IU and went on a hot streak to make the tournament.

Except this team is young and loses almost nobody. The exact opposite from that team.
 
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#68
People keep saying stuff like this as though beating Maryland at MSG means nothing. If you want a "true" road win, fine, but this team can win outside Champaign.
I was at MSG. Everything was Maryland except the arena itself. Maryland had a lot of fans. It's a relatively short drive from the Crab State up to Manhattan. As loud as we were--and I remember someone saying that they could hear the ILL/INI on the TV--Maryland fans could be even louder. Of course by the end they were getting pretty quiet, and even leaving early. (Really? Why do people do that?) Maryland also had the announcer and the lights. Illinois did bring our pep band, but otherwise, this may not have been a full home game for Maryland, but it was definitely a road game for us.
 
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#69
If we finish 18-17, our weak start will get discounted and we'll be squarely on the bubble. Unfortunately, I don't see how we beat Wisconsin or Purdue on the road.
With what we have been doing recently?

Yes, we can. Great, consistent D. And, a wee bit better shooting.

However, there will be a diff between "we can" and " will we". I opt to take the prior.
 
#70
Let’s just say that we by some miracle run the table the rest of the season, but get eliminated in the Big Ten Tournament Final. I compiled our would be 19-16 record using the NCAA NET Ranking (I know it’s not the best ranking tool, but maybe the Big gets one the committee will use) by grouping each win as they would stand today. I also added the three Big Ten Tournament wins in brackets next to their quadrants as who we would play if the season ended today (we are in 10th Place currently) so it would be neutral court victories over Minnesota (Q2), Purdue (Q1), and MSU (Q1), and a loss to Michigan (Q1).

Q1: 6-9 (8-10)
Q2: 6-4 (7-4)
Q3: 2-1
Q4: 2-1
Key Wins: vs Maryland, vs MSU, @ OSU, @ Wisconsin, @ Purdue, @ Penn State (yes Penn State would count as a quadrant 1 win as they are currently hanging on at 75th)
Bad Losses: vs FAU, vs Georgetown

With this resume we would get in pretty easily. I think if we are able to scrap together 5-6 Quadrant 1 wins while not taking any losses outside of quadrant 1 (which basically means win our home games) that we have a good chance of making it. My two realistic routes without the auto bid are either a 6-2/7-1 finish with those 1/2 losses being apart of the 4 remaining road games that are all currently quadrant 1 coupled with the run in the Big Ten Tournament or finishing 8-0 with a first round win in the BTT.

If it ends up we somehow burn off another 11 straight until we lose that may be good enough for a 7/8 seed. The first option I mention in the paragraph probably has us around a 9/10 while the last one would have us most likely closest to the bubble but still in.

Here is a link to a Sports Illustrated article (https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2018/03/06/ncaa-tournament-bubble-watch-2018-teams-updates) about last years bubble. At the most there was 3-4 quadrant 1 wins and each team had at least 1 sub-100 loss (which we have one of, thanks FAU) so it is not as crazy as some may think if we get hot down the stretch to receive an at large. One thing is that we need at least a winning record as no team has ever been admitted with a .500 or lower without an auto bid so no matter how good our Resume is there has to at least be more W’s than L’s. Of course I don’t currently believe this will happen, but the way the guys have been playing have me drinking the orange kool-aid and I’m ready for anything to happen. Go Illini!
 
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#71
If we finish 18-17, our weak start will get discounted and we'll be squarely on the bubble. Unfortunately, I don't see how we beat Wisconsin or Purdue on the road.
I think we win the Wisky game, not the Purdue game however. We contained Happ the first time, not Reuvers, reverse it this time, Happ won't hurt us as much as Reuvers did the first time and our guards play much better. 83-74 on the road.
 
#72
LittyvILLe
With what we have been doing recently?

Yes, we can. Great, consistent D. And, a wee bit better shooting.

However, there will be a diff between "we can" and " will we". I opt to take the prior.
On the road but, we beat the 4,5 in the latest big 10 standings they were higher until we beat them, we're going for 3,2 next. Can we take it on the road?
 
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#73
Funny how this discussion about the Rutgers game has turned into anything but. Getting back to Rutgers, will we come out cocky against Rutgers--or at least too self-assured--after a big win and suffer the consequences? Or has this team learned the lesson of overconfidence? I think the Michigan State game taught them two things, (a) that they can play with top caliber teams, and (b) they can't let up on the gas if they want to. And if they slack off at all against the "We are, are you?" team, they will lose.
 
#74
Funny how this discussion about the Rutgers game has turned into anything but.
That is what a good dose of optimism can do to a thread on the internet. Contagious.


Getting back to Rutgers, will we come out cocky against Rutgers--or at least too self-assured--after a big win and suffer the consequences? Or has this team learned the lesson of overconfidence? I think the Michigan State game taught them two things, (a) that they can play with top caliber teams, and (b) they can't let up on the gas if they want to. And if they slack off at all against the "We are, are you?" team, they will lose.
There is a recent article out there (on my cell), that provides another dimension: chemistry. It mentions how last year Mark Smith and Trent could not play together and that Ayo and Trent have recently figured it out. Ayo is the new PG.

Also, others have accepted their roles and therefore are playing together. Chemistry. Culture.

Hoping that Alan and Samba can get to contribute more.

I think they will do just fine. They will win this next game (sticking to the Rutgers theme).
 
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#75
Tim Miles contrasted gliders and bangers in bigs. It appears to me that we can handle one banger with either Giorgi or Adonis but if they have two, we don't have an answer. Haven't watched much of Rutgers but they sure have a bunch of big men that would appear to be bangers.
 
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