Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#53      
The big men are gonna be the question of the whole year assuming we don't add anyone else of significance.

I'm not the biggest Payne fan. From what little I have seen, not only because I didn't watch a ton of Florida ball, but because he just didn't play very much, the offensive game leaves alot to be desired. I think he can be great defensively, which may be all you need, but I would be shocked if he comes in and you can just throw it down to him to grab points off the block. Him and Curbelo need to establish their chemistry on the pick and roll right away. If all he does is catch lobs and make put backs, he could run into 10-12 points and 8 or 9 rebounds a game. Need to see how his IQ is.

Leib is just...look, I like his story, he has got to be thrilled to be here on this team and he seems like a great kid. But this is Big 10 ball. He is 200 pounds after 2 cheeseburgers and a coke. I know they got him on a plan but I would be floored if he can contribute this year, I don't think you can look through orange glasses with him too much. I FOR SURE hope he proves me wrong and comes in at 7'1" 230 and can get ya 5-10 minutes a game if you need it, but we knew Leib was no where near ready when he came in and he probably still isn't...keep working big fella.

BBV and Hawkins are what this comes down to.

I can see Hawkins making a big leap. He was as thin as Leib but much more skilled, you saw the passing, you saw the IQ and I was impressed with his ability to at least try to mix up in the paint. He can shoot a little bit and I think he's committed to getting better. A stretch 4 at 6'10" 220 with a good feel for the game could be just what we need. I'm hoping for a big year.

I think BU likes BBV and you saw him try to get him in little by little toward the end of the season. I just need him to stay healthy and get reps. If he can stay healthy and provide some nice minutes, beautiful.

Losing Kofi is gonna be tough. Payne, BBV, Hawkins and Leib are what we got, and I hope they rise to the challenge.
 
#54      
The big men are gonna be the question of the whole year assuming we don't add anyone else of significance.

I'm not the biggest Payne fan. From what little I have seen, not only because I didn't watch a ton of Florida ball, but because he just didn't play very much, the offensive game leaves alot to be desired. I think he can be great defensively, which may be all you need, but I would be shocked if he comes in and you can just throw it down to him to grab points off the block. Him and Curbelo need to establish their chemistry on the pick and roll right away. If all he does is catch lobs and make put backs, he could run into 10-12 points and 8 or 9 rebounds a game. Need to see how his IQ is.

Leib is just...look, I like his story, he has got to be thrilled to be here on this team and he seems like a great kid. But this is Big 10 ball. He is 200 pounds after 2 cheeseburgers and a coke. I know they got him on a plan but I would be floored if he can contribute this year, I don't think you can look through orange glasses with him too much. I FOR SURE hope he proves me wrong and comes in at 7'1" 230 and can get ya 5-10 minutes a game if you need it, but we knew Leib was no where near ready when he came in and he probably still isn't...keep working big fella.

BBV and Hawkins are what this comes down to.

I can see Hawkins making a big leap. He was as thin as Leib but much more skilled, you saw the passing, you saw the IQ and I was impressed with his ability to at least try to mix up in the paint. He can shoot a little bit and I think he's committed to getting better. A stretch 4 at 6'10" 220 with a good feel for the game could be just what we need. I'm hoping for a big year.

I think BU likes BBV and you saw him try to get him in little by little toward the end of the season. I just need him to stay healthy and get reps. If he can stay healthy and provide some nice minutes, beautiful.

Losing Kofi is gonna be tough. Payne, BBV, Hawkins and Leib are what we got, and I hope they rise to the challenge.
Agree the Big Men will be a question mark all year. But I don’t think you will need much offense from the 5 other than put backs and rim running which I think Payne can provide. I love Kofi and he was a generational talent as a college big, but I do feel like our offense bogged down a bit when we were trying to throw it to him down low. It made sense because he was so efficient, but you knew he wasn’t passing out either.

We should be a completely different team next year with more length and shooting on the wings. I doubt we will be better but we should have better ball movement and I’m excited to see what Belo can do surrounded by shooters. And we’ve still got 2 schollies left to shore up the front line.

Think we may more closely resemble a modern nba team next year with ball movement, spacing and shooting. And if Brad can pull of the adjustments should make us a really attractive destination for kids aspiring to play in the nba. Last year was great but I’m excited for next year too!
 
#55      
Agree the Big Men will be a question mark all year. But I don’t think you will need much offense from the 5 other than put backs and rim running which I think Payne can provide. I love Kofi and he was a generational talent as a college big, but I do feel like our offense bogged down a bit when we were trying to throw it to him down low. It made sense because he was so efficient, but you knew he wasn’t passing out either.

We should be a completely different team next year with more length and shooting on the wings. I doubt we will be better but we should have better ball movement and I’m excited to see what Belo can do surrounded by shooters. And we’ve still got 2 schollies left to shore up the front line.

Think we may more closely resemble a modern nba team next year with ball movement, spacing and shooting. And if Brad can pull of the adjustments should make us a really attractive destination for kids aspiring to play in the nba. Last year was great but I’m excited for next year too!
Really think any offense from the 5 is a bonus. If Omar can protect the rim we will be fine. Just think it will be a stretch to get 30 mins. from him. Giorgi would have been an important piece. We changed the defense to utilize Kofi, now we must change it in his absence.
 
#56      
Forgottonia
Really think any offense from the 5 is a bonus. If Omar can protect the rim we will be fine. Just think it will be a stretch to get 30 mins. from him. Giorgi would have been an important piece. We changed the defense to utilize Kofi, now we must change it in his absence.
I’m in the minority here. I expect 10 pts from Payne with AC getting him the ball in great spots to finish. With 4 still being a big ? I don’t think we can win against the better competition without it.
 
#58      
I’m in the minority here. I expect 10 pts from Payne with AC getting him the ball in great spots to finish. With 4 still being a big ? I don’t think we can win against the better competition without it.

I think he can get 10 ppg, but the problem will be replacing Kofi defensively --there simply isn't anyone who can do that. Assuming Kofi goes, Payne will be playing some center.
 
#59      
I think he can get 10 ppg, but the problem will be replacing Kofi defensively --there simply isn't anyone who can do that. Assuming Kofi goes, Payne will be playing some center.
Are we sure Payne won't be better than Kofi defensively overall? He won't be able to bang as much with the big centers, but I'll bet he can handle himself a little better on the perimeter, and statistically he's a better shot blocker than Kofi.
 
#60      
Really think any offense from the 5 is a bonus. If Omar can protect the rim we will be fine. Just think it will be a stretch to get 30 mins. from him. Giorgi would have been an important piece. We changed the defense to utilize Kofi, now we must change it in his absence.
Any offense from the 5 is a bonus? Not if team wants to make NCAA tourney again this year. Have to replace something like 51 points of which about 23 points came from the 5 spot. I like where we are at with 1 through 3, and can probably manage 4 with what we have (though would like to see another 4 brought in), but not if getting a doughnut offensively from 5 spot. I agree with some of the posters above though that Payne is probably good for 6-10 pts depending on foul trouble. But definitely need another center brought in or at least a bigger 4 who can defend 5.
 
#61      
Are we sure Payne won't be better than Kofi defensively overall? He won't be able to bang as much with the big centers, but I'll bet he can handle himself a little better on the perimeter, and statistically he's a better shot blocker than Kofi.
Both Kofi and Giorgi were great at opening driving lanes for Ayo and Belo. Suspect that is more about coaching than ability. Think there will be some defensive changes. Hawk also a good shot blocker but tougher to rebound when you are going for the block. Rebounding may be the biggest loss.
 
#62      
Are we sure Payne won't be better than Kofi defensively overall? He won't be able to bang as much with the big centers, but I'll bet he can handle himself a little better on the perimeter, and statistically he's a better shot blocker than Kofi.
Problem is Payne averaged the same amount of fouls as Kofi in about 10 fewer mpg. So while in some areas he might be better than Kofi defensively, will he be able to stay on the court. Kofi did a real good job this year of staying out of foul trouble.
 
#64      
Any offense from the 5 is a bonus? Not if team wants to make NCAA tourney again this year. Have to replace something like 51 points of which about 23 points came from the 5 spot. I like where we are at with 1 through 3, and can probably manage 4 with what we have (though would like to see another 4 brought in), but not if getting a doughnut offensively from 5 spot. I agree with some of the posters above though that Payne is probably good for 6-10 pts depending on foul trouble. But definitely need another center brought in or at least a bigger 4 who can defend 5.
I am going to do the Billy Beane philosophy on replacing players. Can we replace Kofi? No, but we can with multiple players. Remember, we are not going to be a dump to the post team next year. We are going to be a driving, jump shooting team with multiple players in the mix. We are adding more scoring from Belo, Trent and Hutch. Those three alone will be 35 points a game if not 40. I expect Hawk to give us 10 a game. Grandy gives us 8 and Payne 10 we are 63-68 points a game there. Add Plummer who can get us another 10 and if any of the FR gives us 10 combined, we are sitting at over 80. We will not be one dimensional like we kinda were this last year. Our D could take a small step back but we will score on anyone. We do need another 5 that could role to the occasional 4 like GB was. We will fill that after the draft withdrawals.
 
#65      
I would be surprised if we don't add a BIG. I do believe Hawkins will make a leap, but I'm concerned with BBV. He looks the part but his legs just haven't been there the last two years. From what I've from BU he will continue to recruit to get the best talent and wouldn't doubt landing a Delarosa type player in the 11th hour if necessary. I see BBV as possibly the 4th BIG right now and Lieb as 5th. We do play alot of small ball with Williams and Jacob H at the 4 as well.
 
#67      
Champaign
Problem is Payne averaged the same amount of fouls as Kofi in about 10 fewer mpg. So while in some areas he might be better than Kofi defensively, will he be able to stay on the court. Kofi did a real good job this year of staying out of foul trouble.

I agree. While Kofi didn't block a ton of shots what he was spectacular at was IMPACTING shots without fouling. Most of the time he would just go straight up and make the other guy go over or through him (good luck with that). He definitely caused a lot of missed shots just by being big and in good position.
 
#68      
I am going to do the Billy Beane philosophy on replacing players. Can we replace Kofi? No, but we can with multiple players. Remember, we are not going to be a dump to the post team next year. We are going to be a driving, jump shooting team with multiple players in the mix. We are adding more scoring from Belo, Trent and Hutch. Those three alone will be 35 points a game if not 40. I expect Hawk to give us 10 a game. Grandy gives us 8 and Payne 10 we are 63-68 points a game there. Add Plummer who can get us another 10 and if any of the FR gives us 10 combined, we are sitting at over 80. We will not be one dimensional like we kinda were this last year. Our D could take a small step back but we will score on anyone. We do need another 5 that could role to the occasional 4 like GB was. We will fill that after the draft withdrawals.
Don't forget Frazier.
 
#69      
Won’t he be playing all center unless we sign someone else?

That's my assumption, but I don't know what they told him, or what the final roster will look like.

Payne compared to Kofi defensively, I don't see it being close based on what little I've watched of Payne. Kofi showed incredible power in the paint, used his feet well, and didn't make silly mental mistakes fouling. I thought he was our best defensive center in a long time, personally. I looked up Kofi's advanced stats vs the conference DPOY (Myles Johnson) and Kofi is close to Myles. It's the eye test that I'm basing my opinion on, though.

Not trying to knock Payne, just think he's got big shoes to fill, and that we'll miss our first-team BIG center. I have a very high opinion of Kofi, even relative to this board.
 
#70      
Problem is Payne averaged the same amount of fouls as Kofi in about 10 fewer mpg. So while in some areas he might be better than Kofi defensively, will he be able to stay on the court. Kofi did a real good job this year of staying out of foul trouble.
Payne will play a different role for us than he did in Florida which should result in fewer fouls per minute. In Florida he basically came into the game to give the starters a blow and told to hold the fort. He didn't have to worry about fouling out and was free to play physical. He will need to be more careful as a starter with limited backup behind him on our squad.
 
#72      
Clang!
That's the sound of Kofi shooting a free throw.

And people here forget that when Giorgi got the ball in the paint, he would work back and forth with his back to the basket until he could get off a hook shot.
Meaning, neither one of those two playing center was much for passing the ball back out.
 
#74      
Don't forget Frazier.
I said Trent LOL
I thought maybe he was talking about Chester, Walt or Smoking Joe.
waltfrazier.gif
 
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#75      
Are we sure Payne won't be better than Kofi defensively overall? He won't be able to bang as much with the big centers, but I'll bet he can handle himself a little better on the perimeter, and statistically he's a better shot blocker than Kofi.
He was also ranked just ahead of Kofi in high school rankings as well coming out!
 
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