Cincinnati 71, Illinois 51 Postgame

16 for 57 field goals, 3 for 22 three pointers and 1 for 14 from Hawkins and Frazier tells me what happened without even seeing the opponents score. Unbelievable!!(n)
Washington State
I was at the game with my kids for their first live Illinois game. That was brutal. The best part was my son being chosen to shoot 3’s during a media timeout midway through the 2nd half. He won making 7. Proud dad moment.
Anyway, it comes down to being out toughed. We are not a “tough” team. We woof a lot, and pound our chest, and shoot our veins up with some type of fake ice water, or jaw with the other team. Then when the other team steps up to that challenge we fold.
My humble opinion is that we need to get back on defense, get in a stance and guard! The only talking should be to each other to communicate on defense. We should never react to the refs. They were bad at points and did take us out of our rhythm. But they HAVE TO roll with that. But they are too busy running their mouth and overblowing their reactions. Shut up and play.
As an example, Belo was having a pretty good game in the first half. Cincy took the lead and the Curbelo hit that step back 3. That was the type of shot that could have ignited us on the defensive end and had a nice little run to close out the half. The type of shot that HE could have rode from a confidence stand point. Instead he starts jawing at the bench, because they had been hawing at him, and they got exactly what they wanted. They got the momentum, they got free throws to take the lead again (never to lose it) and they exposed our fake toughness. We had nowhere to hide. We were the bully that got punched in the face and became the b*%#h the rest of the game.
My one criticism of Underwood has been allowing this primadona fake toughness to continue. I would tell them they have not earned the right to complain about officiating. They have not earned the right to woof at the other team. They have not earned the right to ANY histrionics.
Get in a stance and guard!!
I think your son winning the 3 point contest was the highlight of the night for all Illini fans.
16 for 57 field goals, 3 for 22 three pointers and 1 for 14 from Hawkins and Frazier tells me what happened without even seeing the opponents score. Unbelievable!!(n)
And the one made FG was a wide open dunk by CoHawk.
3 for 22 is even worse than the Starks implosion I mentioned earlier. And I still remember that game 25 years later 😳
I'm just surprised he didn't get subbed in at the 18 minute mark of the second half
He had not shot yet.
But, I did make the joke, we were down 20 at the time, that “if those could have counted for us, you just put us up 1.” His response was “Well, Frazier, Grandison and DaMonte are out scoring me by 1 point right now, whether those shots count or not. “ 😂
Obviously, BU is going the Izzo route. Let his team lose early, get their attention and come conference season they will be rolling through everyone.....I hope.

I'm really starting to wonder if our assistants last year were much better x's and o's coaches than this years assistants.
Anything is possible I suppose. But it’s all so subjective. Gentry was supposed to be a crackerjack X’s and O’s guy…yet, Loyola( THE game that shall live in infamy) happened on his watch.

Another thing to think about is having the theoretical knowledge and being effective at conveying that knowledge to 18-25 yr olds involves separate talents.

I’ll tell ya somebody else who’s highly thought of in coaching circles as a bright, innovative X’s & Os coach.
If you just want to post up Kofi and have everyone else stand on the perimeter motionless, good luck with that.
I thought the situation was about Kofi having 3 defenders surrounding him. It was also mentioned that shooters were wide open. Passes to those shooters also need to be initiated by the pg.
Last edited:
Astute points. At first I was as angry as everyone else about the game, but then I became curious as to what the heck was going on. This is a team of *great* players who have no concept of where *their* shots should come from (with the exception of Trent - he knows where is his money.) It reminds me of how much I loathed watching Mike Davis. Every swooned over his rebouding, but when you actually watched him closey - he was the king of running down the easy rebound to pad the stats. The he would hold the ball on his hip and take a breath and make a weak outlet pass that did nothin. Despite his frame and his stats he was absolute liability from a team chemistry and team ball standpoint. Just a selfish flowkiller. We have some strong basketball players that have been overpraised for low value skills and can't breakout of the mindset. I *really* thought Kofi would develop a strong kick-out game. It will benefit him so much a lessen those 3-4 defender scrums that currently hang off of him. Foul or no foul, he needs to play one-one-one bully ball by being a threat to kick it out. It is a multi-million decision byK ofi as ti whether he wants to do this or not, I have a feeling it wll be a main feature fo future practices

We are team of very good shooters where the wrong shooters shoot and the right shooters are taking crazy shots under duress. DMW may not make a 3 this year, See DMF Fr and So,. year for perspective.m His breakout last year was because Ayo got him open looks snd DMW's psyche benefited by more than anyone in college basketball from no fans in the stands. Made it seem like practice to him and he was able to shoot like practice. No chance this year., He's slow, a poor ballhandler and will prompyly revert to previous abysmal form. He needs to play spot defence, get a couple rebounds and ride the pine. HE IS WAS HE IS at this point.

It'a not an insult to say that Curbelo is better off the bench as the sixth man. He gets a chance to feel the game and knows that he wants to do when he's end. He's still a magician with the ball, but the 'Steve Nash' comps have gone straight to his head. He will not shoot better than 15% from 3 this year. And his propencity to try to split thee defenders no longer works. He's not spending enough time patiently running through at least 1 offensive set prior to freelancing. If he actually studied Steve Nash, he'd see how to maximize his skillset and height while still running smooth, unselfish offense. Brad has a tough Challenge with Curbelo. Have to give him the hook when he makes a stupid play and sit for a while. Frazier, Hutch and Plummer can handle adequately while he's out.

We clearly have a team chemistry for the moment because the rotations have not put the right units on the floor to be successful. Payne & Curbelo is a bad mix. Belo feeds him fancy passes in places he cannot finish. Kofi needs to have confidence when he kicks out to a lock down shooter ready to go. If he did that three times in a row, he'd be amazed at how open his footwork will be in the lane the next time down. He's got millions of dollars riding on his ability to do that consistently.

Hutch is one of our best players and needs starters minutes. He is smooth, long, can handle the ball and is a menace on defence. Also him being in the game makes DMW or Plummer sit, which automatically improved flow.

If I was going with the best 5 from a talent and cohesive game standpoint to stand toe-to-toe with Gonzaga it would be:


That unit will play some D, has multiple initiators, the ball doesn't stick and we have the size to cause mismatch problems everywhere. Importantly, we then crash down on Kofi, he can kick to any of these guys with an offensive mindset.

Similarly - I need to see more tick from Melendez and Goode. The both look long and athletic and are agrressive on glass and moving the ball. Haven't looked like typical freshmen. I'd use BBV to spell Kofi at this point. Payne seems really raw and has bad hands. Good defensive presence at times.

However - we need to get our best offensive flow in the game and that is the guys above. I'd bring Curbelo off the bench first - he thrived in that role last year - but preserve a quick hook for bad decisions. If he wants to be the leader of the team, he needs to lead by mental toughness and by making the correct plays first - before trying the spectacular plays.

We have plenty of talent on this team. BU is just being stubborn early on with how he's deploying it.
Great post. I was about ready to go crazy when you started on Mike Davis and ask how you felt DMW was any different, but you handled it perfectly.
Not sure there was any coaching tonight..or in the off-season for that matter..did Kofi ever kick the ball out of a double, triple, or quadruple team..can’t remember seeing it happen

He did kick out to a wide open cohawk who failed to shoot the ball.
Looks like the bball team caught the putrid puckey no-offense virus from the football team
It’s all about what happens when your opponent challenges you out on the floor.

There is ebb-and-flow to every game. There are going to be points in the game when the opposition is going to challenge you and then it becomes how will you respond back.

For years, the Illini seem to lacking in the court-savvy and ice-in-the-veins that good teams must have when they are challenged. Too often, the Illini fold (or panic, or both). We saw this again last night in a big way. Total collapse. And your opponent can smell your fear and turn a close game into a rout.

And as has been pointed out, there is something wrong with this team going back to the Loyola fiasco. The Illini looked like they didn’t belong on the floor with them and the final score proved that. Something is OFF.

Where is the heart on this Illini team? Sure, on-court leadership must emerge and someone must take control when things start to get out of hand on the floor. But who is going to be the Jordan-style-kick-rear-ends-on-the-floor-and-in-the-huddle when things are unraveling? You can’t get this just from a coach. It has to come from the floor guys.

Right now, the Illini are a bunch of pieces that aren’t fitting together. That can be fixed.

But the ‘heart’ angle is more concerning. Kofi seems too laid back. Frazier and DMW step up in occasional moments but haven’t shown a consistent ability to take control when the game is on the line. Where is the Alpha?

Getting frustrated or pouting or getting negative is not going to be the path to success for this group. Playing ball is supposed to fun, not drudgery. These guys have to find the fun in the game again and man-up to find the leadership that they are so lacking in right now.
I would like to see RJM's minutes increased substantially. Other teams are sagging off Belo, and double/triple teaming Kofi. Of all our wings, RJ seems to have the most talent and natural inclination as a slasher to get to the basket. Most of the other wings are more spot up shooters, and a stationary player is much easier to guard. Either we find someone to fill the slasher role, or we will face the same defense all season.
I thought the situation was about Kofi having 3 defenders surrounding him. It was also mentioned that shooters were wide open. Passes to those shooters also need to be initiated by the pg.
Will Ferrell Lol GIF by NBA

Or...hear me out...they need to be initiated by each other?
You can't blame the ball sticking solely on Curbelo, or even TF when Belo was catching a breather.
Anyway, the game sucked, the offense stunk, the effort was abysmal on the glass.
This is splitting hairs.
This one by the numbers (10 point favorite and 20 point loss= -30 points) is the worst loss that I could find in Illinois history. Somebody help me if there is one worse. The UNLV game at UC in 2011 was bad but nowhere near this one.
This one by the numbers (10 point favorite and 20 point loss= -30 points) is the worst loss that I could find in Illinois history. Somebody help me if there is one worse. The UNLV game at UC in 2011 was bad but nowhere near this one.
What made this even worse, we came out and put them down by 15. I was getting ready for an easy win. Instead we get blown out. Never seen anything like it before.