Xavier 83, Illinois 74 POSTGAME

Serious question... if you are frustrated with the "zero patience" of the 0.1% of Illinois fans that remain posting on sites like this, where do you classify the 99.9% of fans that us 0.1%ers are still trying to convince to try and care.

I spent most of my Thanksgiving trying to explain "Illinois Athletics". It was dreadful. But glad to hear that the frustrated individuals still here, still talking, still caring are being labeled as "zero patience" fans by the 0.00001% that seemingly think all this makes sense and feels right. It isn't right, it doesn't feel good, and you are welcome that anyone still here remains and cares about our program's success.

Not being ANGRY right now about Illinois athletics is every bit as pathetic as not caring at all. Defending the current state of the Illinois athletic department is gross. Give me "I stopped caring" over "this is fine" every day of the week. At least their closed pocketbooks represent a reason for the athletic department to elicit change...
 
Likes: Tacomallini
We had a high number class, which on paper and adding in Adonis and Feliz is much stronger than Xavier’s and stronger than Big Pats. Now, Tevian, Kane, Higgs have made no impact this year (hoping Tev changes that). Our class is still getting major contributions from Ayo, GB, AF, and an 85% healthy AD. We all know where we sit for 2019!

We like to think we know, but I am not so sure. I remember having similar thoughts the year Tisdale was a senior, we had all these seniors and thought we were going to be really good. We will better than we are now, but we are currently 1-4. I hope it turns around solidly as much as anybody else does, but I think our football team had a better start. Comparisons to that get really scary. After rereading, I realize it is recruiting for the bolded.



As for the underlined, not sure how healthy Josh is. Wait a minute, need to work on my reading skills.
 
It’s just so difficult to believe the vision will come to fruition when BU’s history here, albeit short, has seen a high amount of deflections, and poor at best fall recruiting. If this staff doesn’t get the talent and balance in hete for 2028 and we lose key players, we will here this sentiment again and again.

It may be easier to simply enjoy the small victories, development, growth and improvements, along with recruiting wins and hope for a much better next year.
 
delete
Zero patience from so many posters. The ones who make their predictions about a losing season continue to be outraged because of the various reasons a super-young team that is loaded with talent? that must be developed cannot win now against more experienced teams with higher ranked recruits. Boggles my mind, but of course, this board is made for endless and circular discussions, so well done.
Trent and Ayo, beyond that the talent is questionable. Hope I am wrong about this. Not sure what our KenPom projected record is at this point,but I suspect he is projecting ~= last year at best. At this point I fear double digit wins is borderline. Not that I am happy about it.

GO ILLINI!
 
Yes. This was always going to be a 10 win team max. Anyone paying any attention for the last year should not be surprised. The reaction on here is crazy. Did people really think we were going to roll through this tough a schedule with 8 new players and no frontcourt?

I'm actually pleasantly surprised that Giorgi looks like a serviceable player and that Adonis can play already.
I absolutely did not think that was going to be the case.
So, the team is already exceeding my expectations at this point.

But they still aren't winning more than 10 games. The wins just aren't there on the schedule.
I can understand this on its face, but I can’t for the life of me see how any Illini fan can be okay with this.

delete


Trent and Ayo, beyond that the talent is questionable. Hope I am wrong about this. Not sure what our KenPom projected record is at this point,but I suspect he is projecting ~= last year at best. At this point I fear double digit wins is borderline. Not that I am happy about it.

GO ILLINI!
IIRC, KenPom has us right around 12 wins (projected wins). Not very good.

I’d agree on talent. Trent is a given. Ayo I think is talented too (especially since he can shoot 3’s better than expected) but they don’t seem to fit overly well together. Seems they are trying to fill the same role, rendering one ineffective when they are there together. That could change/progress of course.

Giorgi has some positive attributes, but I’m not sure how he will handle plus athletes. He’s really struggled with that so far by way of fouling.

I like Griffin. I think he’s s solid four year guy. Jones should come around in time. Neither has proven consistently good play yet.

Our front line is really thin. We have some nice glue guys but our overall talent isn’t where we need it to be.
 
Last edited:
Serious question... if you are frustrated with the "zero patience" of the 0.1% of Illinois fans that remain posting on sites like this, where do you classify the 99.9% of fans that us 0.1%ers are still trying to convince to try and care.

I spent most of my Thanksgiving trying to explain "Illinois Athletics". It was dreadful. But glad to hear that the frustrated individuals still here, still talking, still caring are being labeled as "zero patience" fans by the 0.00001% that seemingly think all this makes sense and feels right. It isn't right, it doesn't feel good, and you are welcome that anyone still here remains and cares about our program's success.

Not being ANGRY right now about Illinois athletics is every bit as pathetic as not caring at all. Defending the current state of the Illinois athletic department is gross. Give me "I stopped caring" over "this is fine" every day of the week. At least their closed pocketbooks represent a reason for the athletic department to elicit change...
Any fan who is "ANGRY" about the state of the program takes it too serious. And your anger should be directed a the people who got UI athletics into the present predicament - and they aren't the current players, coaches or administration. The zero patience with BU comment reflects the fact that we are only 5 games into year 2, and most of you have already written this year off, and based upon having done so have now concluded that the BU coaching team is a failure. That may not be "zero patience" but it is close to it. Let BU coach the team, let the players play the game, support them in doing so, and then see if they actually do win 10 games or less. Don't complain based upon your own projections of where this team is going. Besides, BU isn't going anywhere soon, and isn't going to change anything based upon the complaints made in this forum, so you might as well sit back and enjoy the good and let go of the bad for the next couple of years.

I have watched a lot of tournament basketball over the years, and our performance in games 2 and 3 in Maui was not that surprising. The physical exhaustion of three games in three days in one thing, but mental or emotional exhaustion is generally more important. The Gonzaga game emotionally exhausted our guys and there was no opportunity to recover. I don't think that those two games are an accurate predictor of how this team will play the rest of the way - where they can recover and prepare for each game. Hopefully, that experience will prepare them for the future including the B1G tourney.

Those fans that now say that they don't care anymore will be back claiming to have been fans forever when we turn the corner, whether it is this year or next. So I am not worried about those fans.

This rebuild is not just about coaches and players but support of the administration including the upgrading of the facilities. We are not quite there yet.
 
Sycamore, Illinois
Any fan who is "ANGRY" about the state of the program takes it too serious. And your anger should be directed a the people who got UI athletics into the present predicament - and they aren't the current players, coaches or administration. The zero patience with BU comment reflects the fact that we are only 5 games into year 2, and most of you have already written this year off, and based upon having done so have now concluded that the BU coaching team is a failure. That may not be "zero patience" but it is close to it. Let BU coach the team, let the players play the game, support them in doing so, and then see if they actually do win 10 games or less. Don't complain based upon your own projections of where this team is going. Besides, BU isn't going anywhere soon, and isn't going to change anything based upon the complaints made in this forum, so you might as well sit back and enjoy the good and let go of the bad for the next couple of years.

I have watched a lot of tournament basketball over the years, and our performance in games 2 and 3 in Maui was not that surprising. The physical exhaustion of three games in three days in one thing, but mental or emotional exhaustion is generally more important. The Gonzaga game emotionally exhausted our guys and there was no opportunity to recover. I don't think that those two games are an accurate predictor of how this team will play the rest of the way - where they can recover and prepare for each game. Hopefully, that experience will prepare them for the future including the B1G tourney.

Those fans that now say that they don't care anymore will be back claiming to have been fans forever when we turn the corner, whether it is this year or next. So I am not worried about those fans.

This rebuild is not just about coaches and players but support of the administration including the upgrading of the facilities. We are not quite there yet.
The exhaustion excuse would hold some weight if the teams we played hadn’t played a similar schedule in the tournament.

How many years are we going to use the “rebuild” justification for the on court performance? When does the current season begin to matter as much as one in the future? I don’t see many signs that we are building anything.

A lot of schools go through down periods but, ours seems to be excessively long in basketball and football.
 
The exhaustion excuse would hold some weight if the teams we played hadn’t played a similar schedule in the tournament.
The compressed schedule is something that hurts a team that has so many newcomers, though. You can't prep for specific teams, and you don't have your own systems down well enough to just execute them without practice time.

How many years are we going to use the “rebuild” justification for the on court performance?
Two. To preemptively answer the question, I will lose faith if we don't show improvement as this season wears on. I'd hoped it would manifest with a few more wins, but between the schedule and Kipper's face showing up on my milk carton we'll probably have to squint a bit harder to see it.

We are averaging 75 ppg vs big boy competition.

We are giving up 85. Our offense is scoring enough points to win, and that is crazy because:

1) we take some terrible shots in transition offense. I want to shoot my tv every time we take a long pull-up 2.

That leads to...

2) we’re not super efficient to my naked eye (actual stats could prove me wrong but I have no way of checking). We never seem to hit a good rhythm cause we take a lot of quick, bad shots, and then don’t hit enough of the good ones we get.

But again, we’re scoring fine. The defense is a disaster. We suck at man, 1-3-1 and 2-3. And i will give BU some minor props for effort. We switched from a 1-3-1 to a 2-3 a couple times mid possession to try to throw X off. Yet they still took layups cause our defense is that bad.
I'm not calling you out here specifically, but I think that the current narrative is overstating both how bad the defense is and how good the offense is. In those four games you've cited, there have been an average of 75 possessions per game. That means that the offense is generating one point per trip, which is .02 below the NCAA average. It is not a good offense, and I think folks have overlooked the role that our extended scoring droughts have played in our losses. (And to your point about how they look to your naked eye, you're a lot better scout than you're giving yourself credit for.)

The defense is, in fact, worse, clocking in at 1.1 points per possession. That's not good, but context matters -- three of those four opponents have been top-25 offenses (Gonzaga is #3, ISU #18, and Xavier #25 per Pomeroy's adjusted efficiency metric). We've faced a couple of good defenses, but Georgetown is pretty pedestrian and Xavier is even worse than we are (#154 vs #112).

And, yes, with this few games it's tough to separate out the impact that the games Illinois has played have on the other teams' respective AEM numbers. But we're not the only team that they have performed well against this year. Xavier played two excellent defensive teams in Auburn and Wisconsin and scored far more efficiently than others have. And that Gonzaga team that we held to 'only' 1.07 PPP clocked in at 1.18 in its next-worst performance.

As for whether or not the system needs to change, you always want to adjust, right? But you've made another good point here -- this team is not executing on defense, so it might not matter too much what system is in place. There's been a lot of talk about what Underwood did at OSU, but I'm not sure how much substance there is to that narrative. Assuming the story is correct and that he made a change six games into the conference schedule, his team did improve from 1.19 to 1.125 PPP on defense.

But that improvement came against a somewhat weaker stretch of opponents, especially in terms of three-point shooting. Their defensive 3P% dropped by about five points, and that was a major contributor to the improvement in defensive efficiency. If you look at the four games they played to end the season -- all losses -- they got absolutely torched, giving up 1.28 PPP. Those four games were against elite shooting teams (KU, Michigan, and ISU twice), who made about half of their threes.

Maybe some of the improvement was due to a change in systems, but there were a lot of other things going on that you can point to as well.

I personally think that if this team executes, it can play pretty good defense. They did that against Gonzaga, holding them to .17 PPP less than their average by limiting the number of shots Gonzaga got up and holding them at or around their averages in shooting and offensive rebounding. They didn't do it against ISU and Xavier. (And, to reiterate, they put in very pedestrian performances on offense, scoring between 0.99 and 1.01 PPP in each game.)

Inconsistency is what you get when you have a young team, I guess. It's not going to be much fun watching them try to figure it out, but I really don't think that there's a magic bullet Underwood can fire to speed things along.
 
All this any “sane fan” couldn’t expect more than 10 wins, what do you expect with so many freshmen, what a loaded tournament, it’s not fair to judge BU in year 2, blah blah really feels like Monday morning quarterbacking. It’s real easy to retreat and bring out the white flags after watching games. I can’t recall too many 10 win projections, most comments were at least 14 like last year, and a lot of higher predictions.

It’s getting VERY tough to take the long road and better days are surely ahead with the turnover and current recruiting state.

What will make next year much better than year one and what seems to be how year two will end up? We don’t have reinforcements signed up yet and now need to hope for a spring fling. The spring class last year seemed so stealth, but Kane, Higgs, and Jones are essentially removed from the equation, so you have GB and AG for your spring class this year; AF and AD being transfers.

I would be more than forgiving if the Calvary was signed and coming, but so far they’re not, so to all you Pollyannas, please tell me why the naysayers should stop being so doubtful and what are the tangible reasons they should expect good times ahead.
 
But they still aren't winning more than 10 games. The wins just aren't there on the schedule.
I disagree... I think the Illini will be sitting at 6-7 heading into the proper stretch of Big Ten play (the 2 games against OSU and Nebraska counted into the 6-7). Then might drop to as bad as 7-14 following a road game at Minnesota. But by the time that this young team should be playing its best basketball, there are a run of winnable games to end the season. Schedule is absolutely brutal but if the team holds it together, they can get to 12-14 wins.

I hate that we are debating whether it'll be 10, 12, or 14 wins, but that is where we are with a down --albeit pointing up-- program and a brutal schedule.
 
How many years are we going to use the “rebuild” justification for the on court performance? When does the current season begin to matter as much as one in the future? I don’t see many signs that we are building anything.
We are where we are. The question is whether the AD is making the right decisions. Really too early to tell if the last one (BU) is the right one. All you can do is try. Or are you just mad that some other fans aren't mad enough? What do you propose JW or BU do at this point? It is their jobs on the line. Do you think they are not taking those jobs seriously enough?

Our team is young. I just finished watching Nevada v. Umass. Nevada looked to average about 23 years old. They are men. Our guys still look a little like HS players in comparison. We will get more competitive with experience and maturity.
 
Likes: krushdad
There seems to be a consensus on both sides of this debate that we're already condemned to a lost, write-off season, and I don't agree with that at all.

Notre Dame and UNLV are very winnable games, let's clean up our fouling, show more balance on the offensive end and go get some wins.

I'll repeat Captain Obvious: the way to get better is by getting better.
 
Likes: alaskaillini