Illini Basketball 2020-2021

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#402      
I know this is a perception bias and has nothing to do with BU, but I can’t help worrying he’s another Bruce Weber

Great guy, good coach, paid his dues, has a great year with the right collection of talent but can’t keep recruiting going to sustain success and it all goes away
 
#406      
I know this is a perception bias and has nothing to do with BU, but I can’t help worrying he’s another Bruce Weber

Great guy, good coach, paid his dues, has a great year with the right collection of talent but can’t keep recruiting going to sustain success and it all goes away
Disagree. Weber was stuck in ways and runs his system to a fault. Wouldn’t let Tisdale shoot 3’s when he very well may have been the best shooter on the tram. Underwood scrapped his whole system because the analytics said it wasn’t working and with the new system is top 10 in offensive efficiency.

On recruiting, he’s done at least as well as Groce so far and has landed a highly rated kid in each of his first 4 classes. Mark Smtih (didn’t work out but was Mr. Basketball w/MSU and Kentucky offers), Ayo, Kofi, Ace and Belo. And that moves to 5 for 5 if we somehow pull Burnett or Boakeye.

And he also seems to be able to find gems who fit his system or have character traits he’s looking for. Feliz was a great find. Griffin wasn’t highly recruited. And it wasn’t Ayo who broke the freshman scoring record, it was Giorgi. Giorgi may have struggled the past 2 years but I don’t think anyone can argue he hasn’t outplayed his ranking here. Too early to tell with Hawkins but he’s certainly shown flashes of being a real player for the next 3 years.

So, I think Brad has shown the ability to adapt based on what analytics show and what personnel he has, is able to successfully implement different systems, is able to pull high level kids (and really, I think the level of kid you want in modern college basketball. Highly rated/recruited but most likely around 2-3 years), and can uncover the occasional diamond in the rough.

BIG will be brutal for the foreseeable future and I doubt we will be in contention for conference titles year in and year out, but I don’t see any reason BU can’t replicate, say Purdue or Wisconsin’s level of success, with a chance to be at an Izzo/Beilen level.
 
#408      
Disagree. Weber was stuck in ways and runs his system to a fault. Wouldn’t let Tisdale shoot 3’s when he very well may have been the best shooter on the tram. Underwood scrapped his whole system because the analytics said it wasn’t working and with the new system is top 10 in offensive efficiency.

On recruiting, he’s done at least as well as Groce so far and has landed a highly rated kid in each of his first 4 classes. Mark Smtih (didn’t work out but was Mr. Basketball w/MSU and Kentucky offers), Ayo, Kofi, Ace and Belo. And that moves to 5 for 5 if we somehow pull Burnett or Boakeye.

And he also seems to be able to find gems who fit his system or have character traits he’s looking for. Feliz was a great find. Griffin wasn’t highly recruited. And it wasn’t Ayo who broke the freshman scoring record, it was Giorgi. Giorgi may have struggled the past 2 years but I don’t think anyone can argue he hasn’t outplayed his ranking here. Too early to tell with Hawkins but he’s certainly shown flashes of being a real player for the next 3 years.

So, I think Brad has shown the ability to adapt based on what analytics show and what personnel he has, is able to successfully implement different systems, is able to pull high level kids (and really, I think the level of kid you want in modern college basketball. Highly rated/recruited but most likely around 2-3 years), and can uncover the occasional diamond in the rough.

BIG will be brutal for the foreseeable future and I doubt we will be in contention for conference titles year in and year out, but I don’t see any reason BU can’t replicate, say Purdue or Wisconsin’s level of success, with a chance to be at an Izzo/Beilen level.
Also, I never remember Bruce placing much value on assistants such as Orlando Antigua who have a strong recruiting presence independent of him.
 
#409      
When BU was hired, if you'd told me that within 4 years we'd been ranked in the Top 10 in the country, battling for a conference championship, and considered by many to be a strong contender for making the final four, have a player that is probably going to be drafted in the top 20 in NBA and is getting mentioned as B10 player of the year as well as NPOY...another player that is by most 1 of the top 3-4 centers in the country and has a good chance to be drafted as well...I would have said hell yea...sign me up......I think BU and staff has taken us where we all wanted to be....now the challenge is keeping us there....can this staff consistently keep the good recruits coming and maintain the level that we're currently at????....I think yes.....next couple years will be interesting
 
#410      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Disagree. Weber was stuck in ways and runs his system to a fault. Wouldn’t let Tisdale shoot 3’s when he very well may have been the best shooter on the tram. Underwood scrapped his whole system because the analytics said it wasn’t working and with the new system is top 10 in offensive efficiency.

On recruiting, he’s done at least as well as Groce so far and has landed a highly rated kid in each of his first 4 classes. Mark Smtih (didn’t work out but was Mr. Basketball w/MSU and Kentucky offers), Ayo, Kofi, Ace and Belo. And that moves to 5 for 5 if we somehow pull Burnett or Boakeye.

And he also seems to be able to find gems who fit his system or have character traits he’s looking for. Feliz was a great find. Griffin wasn’t highly recruited. And it wasn’t Ayo who broke the freshman scoring record, it was Giorgi. Giorgi may have struggled the past 2 years but I don’t think anyone can argue he hasn’t outplayed his ranking here. Too early to tell with Hawkins but he’s certainly shown flashes of being a real player for the next 3 years.

So, I think Brad has shown the ability to adapt based on what analytics show and what personnel he has, is able to successfully implement different systems, is able to pull high level kids (and really, I think the level of kid you want in modern college basketball. Highly rated/recruited but most likely around 2-3 years), and can uncover the occasional diamond in the rough.

BIG will be brutal for the foreseeable future and I doubt we will be in contention for conference titles year in and year out, but I don’t see any reason BU can’t replicate, say Purdue or Wisconsin’s level of success, with a chance to be at an Izzo/Beilen level.
This.

He's so much different from Weber in important ways. It reminds me of watching Michigan-Ohio State football games in the late '90s/early '00s before OSU finally fired John Cooper. The ABC cameras would cut to Lloyd Carr and Cooper on the sidelines occasionally. Carr exuded tenacity and confidence in his team. Cooper always looked like a deer in the headlights girding himself for impending doom. The results followed. Weber always reminded me of Cooper; BU reminds me of the resolve and confidence I saw in Carr. (And the analogy ends there.)

BU has re-established the program very quickly, has been flexible (unlike Weber, as you note), acknowledged what wasn't working, and replaced it with something that works very well. He has fire, passion and confidence, and the team seems to consistently seems coherent and united. Best of all he clearly (to me, anyway) loves the Illinois job. I'm very pleased he's our coach.

Loved the Trib story. One of the things I like best about BU is he clearly seems to appreciate the opportunity has has at Illinois, is looking no further, and simply wants to win here.
 
#412      
I know this is a perception bias and has nothing to do with BU, but I can’t help worrying he’s another Bruce Weber

Great guy, good coach, paid his dues, has a great year with the right collection of talent but can’t keep recruiting going to sustain success and it all goes away
Weber inherited his talent, BU recruited and developed his. Just brought in Curbelo and Miller, and now Goode and Melendez. Your fears are unfounded.
 
#413      
I know this is a perception bias and has nothing to do with BU, but I can’t help worrying he’s another Bruce Weber

Great guy, good coach, paid his dues, has a great year with the right collection of talent but can’t keep recruiting going to sustain success and it all goes away

Except Underwood and Co. built this team. Bruce Weber inherited his. There's no parallelism there.
 
#415      
Also, I never remember Bruce placing much value on assistants such as Orlando Antigua who have a strong recruiting presence independent of him.
Tracy Webster was a good recruiter in the first few years before he got a job at Kentucky - we had top ten recruiting classes nationally after Webster left with the DJ, BP Bertrand class and the Myers Leonard, Jeremy Richmond class

Weber won the Big Ten his first two years tied for second his third year after losing Deron as a top 5 pick in the draft and Luther who was a first round pick

I mean Weber had good assistants incredible success on the court, good recruiting classes, but couldn’t sustain it

I love where we are right now as a team and I hope we can sustain it- but let’s not pretend BU is in a whole other class than Weber as a coach
 
#420      
For funzies, thought I'd look up some all time Illini greats in the assist column as freshman. Total Assists:

159 Dee
145 Deron
115 DMAC (finished 3rd all time in the BIG)
105 Kiwane Garris
104 Ayo
89+ Andre Curbelo

I would project Curbelo to easily get into the top 4, and likely to pass DMAC's totals, especially if they make a run in either the conf tournament or the NCAAs. Keep in mind he's doing this contributing as a sixth man --amazing. His per 8.4 APG per 40 blows away every single one of those players!
 
#421      
For funzies, thought I'd look up some all time Illini greats in the assist column as freshman. Total Assists:

159 Dee
145 Deron
115 DMAC (finished 3rd all time in the BIG)
105 Kiwane Garris
104 Ayo
89+ Andre Curbelo

I would project Curbelo to easily get into the top 4, and likely to pass DMAC's totals, especially if they make a run in either the conf tournament or the NCAAs. Keep in mind he's doing this contributing as a sixth man --amazing. His per 8.4 APG per 40 blows away every single one of those players!
So you're telling me Dee and Deron are #1 and #2 in assists as freshman and they were both freshman the same year? That's what you're telling me? Those effing guys. Never cease to amaze 😁
 
#424      
Got to watch Trent nail his half-courter this afternoon and just witnessed Patrick Williams swish one from half-court a moment ago.
 
#425      
I know this is a perception bias and has nothing to do with BU, but I can’t help worrying he’s another Bruce Weber

Great guy, good coach, paid his dues, has a great year with the right collection of talent but can’t keep recruiting going to sustain success and it all goes away
Weber walked into a gold mine. He had a team ready for a couple of deep tournament runs. BU walked into a dumpster fire. He had to build the roster up from scratch, developed his own recruits and since that process started, his teams have systematically broken every embarrassing streak that we've suffered through over the past decade. This was a tournament team last year, it's a tournament team this year and he's going to have guys that he recruited and developed getting their names called in the draft.

No need to be an Eor in this situation.
 
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