Pregame: Illinois vs Rutgers, Saturday, January 11th, 11:00am CT, BTN

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#76
We're most likely on the good side of the bubble for now. We have a bad loss with Miami, and Missouri isn't too good either, but with Missouri at a neutral site, that's unlikely to be as damaging. Michigan and Wisconsin give us a couple good wins. We just have to keep fighting and the results will come.

Rutgers is playing well, but not as well on the road. Their only road win is Nebraska. They have 3 Q1 wins at home though, which is impressive.
 
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#77
It really doesn't matter where we are "on the bubble" now. Only that there's a chance we could get in.

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so your saying.jpg


So your saying, we have a shot.....
 
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#80
Just FYI as I had mentioned Lunardi, he updated his bracket, and we're the very first one out. Lots of time to go...
 
#81
Other than Young at 6’2” all their guards are 6’4 and up. Only 3 pt % to worry about are Yeboah and McConnell. Need to stop them from getting to the rim. Haven’t watched them play but with that size would be logical to clear the center and post up the guard. Time for a zone defense?
 
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#82
I hope the coaching staff tries to make sure they have two three point shooters on the court at all times. If Kipper and or Damonte is on the court and they are playing big, that makes scoring difficult.
 
#84
We're most likely on the good side of the bubble for now. We have a bad loss with Miami, and Missouri isn't too good either, but with Missouri at a neutral site, that's unlikely to be as damaging. Michigan and Wisconsin give us a couple good wins. We just have to keep fighting and the results will come.

Rutgers is playing well, but not as well on the road. Their only road win is Nebraska. They have 3 Q1 wins at home though, which is impressive.
What caught my attention was their 20 point win vs Seton Hall. That's a good team.
 
#85
Not that Joe Lunardi is scripture, but we were out (5th) before the Wisconsin game, so I'm confused on how beating an unranked team, who was an projected 8 seed themselves, jumps us from Out to 8/9.
The Net is what the NCAA uses and we're 34. So don't be confused, just don't trust Lunardi. Lunardi is a weak source IMO. Maybe they adjust a bit and we're a 10 or 11, but that's the worst that we could be at this point. Wisconsin was like 24 in Net, now 29, so impressive win on the road no matter what. Quad 1 road wins are NCAA gold.
 
#86
With a big step forward as a program last night.....we have to be honest.....if it truly was the step forward that it should be then Rutgers @ home HAS to be a W.

Period. No excuses. I don't care how tough Rutgers is playing....a home loss here is as much a step back for the program as the Wisky road W was forward.


The only way is forward now.
Rutgers net is 21 at this point, higher than Wisky and Illinois, so I think that is a stretch, but yes, we do need to win.
 
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#87
St. Louis
Purdue was big and Wisconsin was huge. That said, Underwood has a pretty big task of getting these guys ready to go for tomorrow. Somewhat quick turnaround and a Saturday morning game coupled with an emotional victory a couple days ago are some tough obstacles. That said, find away to win this game so they can have a few days to get ready for the next stretch of games. To me it doesn't matter how ugly they do it, just find a way for this one.
 
#88
They were without Baker when they beat Penn St.

Rutgers is a very good team. Won 6 in a row with wins against Wisconsin, Seton Hall, Nebraska and Penn St. in those last 6 games.

We better be ready to play.
Pretty sure Seton Hall's best player, pre-season Big East player of the Year, didn't play against Rutgers. Note also, those were all at home except Nebraska.
 
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#90
After we beat Michigan I was suddenly feeling like we turned the corner then.....Missouri. I really hope Rutgers isn't another Missouri, cause my heart tells me we should dominate this game.

I really want Ayo to step up and show everyone why he should be in the NBA. He played the best I've ever seen him last game between knowing when to feed someone and when to carry it on his back.

So I'm going to go ahead and predict that Ayo leads the team in making a statement tomorrow.

Illinois wins by 15.
 
#93
McConnell
This kid is the key, if we slow him down..we win by double digits. If he can get to the rim, short jumpers, and occasional 2 and rebound like Griffin...well then I am afraid we will not win this one and could lose ugly. No other player on Rutgers (matchup wise) worries me. McConnell is that kind of kid that could go for a career high. We should hope that Grandison/Hutcherson turns out to be that impactful for us next year.
 
#94
Mizzou and Miami derailed the season, but beating Mich, PU, and Wisc have righted the ship. I still think we need the next two games to really feel like we are in a positive position to make the tournament.

We bucked the trend of fading late in a close game last night. If we can prevent a let down game early in the conference season (i.e. RU and NW at home), I have real (and justified) hope in this team.
Derailed the season? Righted the ship? I think we’re about to take off!
 
#95
Geneseo, IL
These next two games against Rutgers and NW are huge if the Illini want to finish over .500 in the league. As usual, I'm a master at stating the obvious.
 
#96
Winged Warrior
Rutgers net is 21 at this point, higher than Wisky and Illinois, so I think that is a stretch, but yes, we do need to win.
Net whatever..doesn't matter. It's not a stretch at all when you are talking about the direction of the program.

I'm not looking at this game through they eyes of "this year".

If Illinois basketball is on its way to being Illinois Basketball again....you win these games.

If we lose, then we know that Wisky was more a fluke win and not an absolute indicator of future direction.

Win this game following the emotional win at WI, combine that with our recruiting...now you have multiple serious indicators of forward direction.
 
#97
The Net is what the NCAA uses and we're 34. So don't be confused, just don't trust Lunardi. Lunardi is a weak source IMO. Maybe they adjust a bit and we're a 10 or 11, but that's the worst that we could be at this point. Wisconsin was like 24 in Net, now 29, so impressive win on the road no matter what. Quad 1 road wins are NCAA gold.
10 or 11 is not the worst we could be. We could be out as Lunardi predicts. NET is the new RPI. The committee uses it as a resource, but it is not the only for final say. The committee still looks at a variety of factors, just as it did with RPI.
 
#98
It is very rare for a team to be in both the Top 40 NET (previously RPI) and Top 40 Kenpom and not make the Tournament. Only ~2-5 teams each year fall into that category and they are typically at the tail end of conferences that already got a large number of teams in and it's the teams that racked up too many losses and not enough BIG wins despite the metrics overall liking them.

If Illinois can get 3 wins against Nebraska and Northwestern and finish ~10/10 in conference play it should be enough to make the tournament without too much worrying. 11 wins should remove all doubt even if we drop 1 game to Nebraska/Northwestern (since it would mean 1 more good win).
 
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#99

Deleted member 645583

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Illini at home + the way they can play = victory. But not a given in the BIG. Got to take Rutgers seriously. And I do, and so does Coach and team, I'm sure. One of the posters on Buckyville thought Illinii are top 3 BIG teams. I sure hope so. Thanks to that monster in the middle. How the heck did Illinois land Mr. Kofi? Start immediately, I'm sure. Obviously. But more. Pretty good school overall, I hear. I just love watching the K - in action. (Courtesy of Tracy-Hepburn "Pat and Mike", best sports movie of all time! ) Discuss.

GO ILLINI!
 
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