Illini Basketball 2020-2021

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#226      
This schedule is not turning out favorably. Hopefully, this team can rise above it.

Playing the #1-ranked team in an early-season event, playing Duke on the road and playing Missouri in Columbia is not ideal
Actually, I love it. I want us to schedule more tough games on the road. I would even prefer to have fans in the stands at those tough games! This team is old enough and talented enough to be ok in those spots and it sets you up for postseason play. You don't win national titles by playing cupcake critter schools all year long.

Back in the days of my coaching career, I knew we had a loaded team. Started the previous year 26-0 before having some unfortunate injuries hit us around postseason. However, the next year, all 9 starters returned, and I scheduled the most brutal possible schedule. Loaded up with big schools, powerhouse programs, and raised the level of competition. Finished the year with 8 losses I think, but also the state runner-up. (should never have happened, but it did) Anyway, my point is, we have the stable full of able and willing players that can handle it this year and know that the prize is in the postseason, not the regular season.

Even losses to Baylor and/or Duke will not kill us come postseason as long as they are not blowouts, however a win/split would go a long way to favorable seeds in the postseason.
 
#227      
This schedule is not turning out favorably. Hopefully, this team can rise above it.

Playing the #1-ranked team in an early-season event, playing Duke on the road and playing Missouri in Columbia is not ideal

Why? Who cares is they lose a few on the way if it makes them ready for the best in the country in the long run? Izzo's been doing it forever, to great success.

Great teams fear no one, and I think these guys are ready for the challenge. Embrace it --could be a special season.
 
#230      
Azubuike destroyed Baylor last year in their game. Kofi will be a very difficult problem for them. However, Trent will have his hands full with Butler. Has range with good hands and quickness. Will be an excellent early season test of two veteran teams. Like our chances but we will need to play defense like we did against Iowa in our last game. Protect the three point line and the basket. They shoot just over 30% elsewhere.
 
#233      
Admin
Schedule update, officially official-

Wed, Nov 25: North Carolina A&T
Thu, Nov 26: Wright State
Fri, Nov 27: Ohio

Wed, Dec 2: Baylor in Jimmy V Classic
Tue, Dec 8: at Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Sat, Dec 12: at Missouri

1 non-conference game and B1G schedule remaining to be announced.

 
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#234      
Springfield
From a player's and coach's perspective, I promise they fear no one and would welcome a schedule of playing 30 games against top 10 teams only. Not a one of them would prefer otherwise...except maybe the guys on the bench who would like an opportunity to get on the official stat sheet for the season as proof to their kids and grandkids. Jim Boeheim is a !!!!!, but the selection committee is biased towards record much more than competition though they claim not to be....thus enter the Wright States, Middle Tennessees, and Prairie Views.
 
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#237      
Schedule update, officially official-

Wed, Nov 25: North Carolina A&T
Thu, Nov 26: Wright State
Fri, Nov 27: Ohio

Wed, Dec 2: Baylor in Jimmy V Classic
Tue, Dec 8: at Duke in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Sat, Dec 12: at Missouri

1 non-conference game and B1G schedule remaining to be announced.

I’m liking how this is shaping out. 3 straight days of games should hopefully really help this team find some rhythm together, then you have two incredibly tough games with a chance to prove you’re as elite as the hype would say. Then a revenge game against the stinky cats. We will have a nice mix of competition and emotion going into the conference schedule.
 
#240      
Still thinking Cole maybe the surprise player. We are expecting Adam and Belo to be contributing but Cole was like a Kofi in that he wasn’t the feature player on a very good team. If BBV isn’t healthy then there is a need at the four and Cole sure has some talent despite his weight.
 
#243      
From a Covid perspective - the more travel, the more risk - simple as that. I'd rather be playing Duke in a packed arena as opposed to this environment.
 
#249      
Hadn’t really watched Baylor last year but find the matchups interesting. They lost Gillespie their 6’9 big man and leading rebounder. Their 2nd leading rebounder was 6’5 Vital who is their defensive specialist and based on his stats gets his points at the rim and doesn’t need to be guarded otherwise (shooting % away from the rim is very poor 19%). Looks like their equivalent to DaMonte. Curious as how BU will game plan. Start Giorgi and make Vital guard a big man? If we start DaMonte, suspect Vital will be guarding Ayo. (Of course that would also allow Ayo to guard Vital and allow him to double team) However if Giorgi’s shooting hasn’t improved he would be free to double team Kofi. Start Grandison and if he is not guarded by Vital he can post up a smaller guard. Should be a fun time for BU has he has a lot of choices the opposition doesn’t. Their three guards can all shoot so Trent, Ayo, Belo, and Adam must all defend. Team has some commonality with our 2004-05 team.
 
#250      
Hadn’t really watched Baylor last year but find the matchups interesting. They lost Gillespie their 6’9 big man and leading rebounder. Their 2nd leading rebounder was 6’5 Vital who is their defensive specialist and based on his stats gets his points at the rim and doesn’t need to be guarded otherwise (shooting % away from the rim is very poor 19%). Looks like their equivalent to DaMonte. Curious as how BU will game plan. Start Giorgi and make Vital guard a big man? If we start DaMonte, suspect Vital will be guarding Ayo. (Of course that would also allow Ayo to guard Vital and allow him to double team) However if Giorgi’s shooting hasn’t improved he would be free to double team Kofi. Start Grandison and if he is not guarded by Vital he can post up a smaller guard. Should be a fun time for BU has he has a lot of choices the opposition doesn’t. Their three guards can all shoot so Trent, Ayo, Belo, and Adam must all defend. Team has some commonality with our 2004-05 team.

I also didn't watch much of them last year. Lucky for us, Baylor has a loaded schedule before we play them so plenty of chances to check them out.

They play Arizona St (36th in Kenpom), probably Villanova (4th), and Seton Hall (50th). Weird that the Big East/Big 12 challenge is still on but the Gavitt games got cancelled.
 
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