Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#426      
Alright, finally seeing the lineup for what it will most likely be this year, doubt we fill the final open slot. that is way too many players by the way and already the freshman are gonna have a very hard time cracking the lineup. My starting 5 guess is this:

Bello
Frazier
Damonte
Grandi
Kofi

I can't believe Hutch starts over Damonte out of the gate, he is coming from the NESCAC and hasn't played for two years. Love the talk and hype but gotta think he needs a little time. If the team wants to go big slide Grandi to the 3 and insert Payne, he has played power forward. Love the bench options, having players like Coleman, Hawkins and Payne off the bench along with one of the DMW and Hutch is a great 9 man rotation start, and that is discounting contributions from the freshman and Verdonk(who I quietly root for).

By the way, and I'll duck for cover, but a top 15 prediction with the loss of Ayo (greatest player in school history) and Ace seeming low is us getting a bit out in front of ourselves.
 
#427      
Rotation:

C. Kofi, Payne
F. Grandison, Hawkins
W. Hutcherson, Williams
G. Frazier, Plummer
G. Curbelo


It will be interesting to see if any of the freshmen can crack the rotation during the season.
Agree with this rotation and hope another can crack it as it is solid and would indicate a better player than those listed. Possible surprises would be Hutch and/or Hawk.
Grandison held Franz Wagner to 1/9 shooting last year and don’t think he is a liability at the 4. If Hawk is pushing him, that leaves Williams to relieve and/or supplement Hutch at the 3. Don’t see Payne playing the 4 but won’t lose defense with him replacing Kofi. If Lieb can break into that rotation I will be ecstatic. BBV and the frosh have a tough job ahead of them but wish they can prove they are better then someone in the rotation above. May be more about chemistry than individual talent.
 
#429      
With the roster fully set, here's what I think will be the main starting lineup as the season goes on

Belo
Trent
Hutch
Grandison
Kofi

I think Hutch will slide in to the starting spot as we get closer to conference play. Do I think this roster is better than last year's? Not yet. Do I think it is worse? No, I think it's about even. Losing Ayo is huge, but we should have opportunities at more, and better, 3pt shooting. The x-factors here are Hutch and Hawkins. Can Hutch be as advertised? Can Hawkins fill the only weakness this roster has by being a stretch 4? If those two questions are answered in the affirmative, we have a legit contender on our hands. We just might even if one or both of those are negative.
 
#430      
The disrespect begins. I love it. I’d rather be the hunter and not the hunted.
As elated as we are about Kofi, there's still one absolutely enormous hole to fill. Replacing Ayo will have to be done on the aggregate. His knack for taking games over late, hitting key free throws, etc....will be difficult and as we sit here today, it's still a question mark. It's the difference between a preseason rank of 15 vs 2. I don't think he's wrong in questioning that.
 
#431      
Easily fixed. He has improved immensely every offseason. Went from liability on O to please find me in the corner to bury this 3.
There was a lot of chatter last season as he was hitting shots basically saying he was always capable offensively. He wasn’t a highly ranked high school recruit for being a great glue guy. He has talent and the injury and subsequent recovery probably going him out if his rhythm (and trying to make the leap to college at the same time). Last year he was able to find that rhythm and it showed. He’s way underrated. Much more than a glue guy.
 
#432      
Rotation:

C. Kofi, Payne
F. Grandison, Hawkins
W. Hutcherson, Williams
G. Frazier, Plummer
G. Curbelo


It will be interesting to see if any of the freshmen can crack the rotation during the season.
combes with the sensible, simple prediction. Most likely, too, IMO. I guarantee that is the blueprint from the coaches as the season begins, then they deviate as they see fit.
 
#433      
20-21 Ticket question (maybe not the right spot, please delete if not allowed)

I bought the mobile pass on a flyer last year and of course never got to use it. I was thinking about it for this season, but I guess I still don't really understand it all. I get that the seats move and you're notified a day or two before the game, but does anyone know if you can transfer if you can't attend?
 
#434      
I think Hutcherson is still a bit a wild card. He hasn't really played in a game in 2 years. I would be a bit shocked if out the gate they throw him in a starter role with huge minutes.

I think BU starts more conservative.
Kofi
Grandison
Damonte
Trent
Curbelo

We are unusually deep, so it should be interesting to see who begins to stand out from the bench guys.

I think you take a wait and see approach on Hutcherson, and if he is actually healthy and plays like we envision, then we are an undoubted powerhouse. You add a 6'7 wing who can do it all, there are no holes.
 
#435      
Agree with this. IMO people are getting way ahead of themselves with Hutch. The kid hasn't even played for two years. I'll just be happy if he's healthy and can be in the 8-9 man rotation. Anything beyond that would be gravy.
I think Hutcherson is still a bit a wild card. He hasn't really played in a game in 2 years. I would be a bit shocked if out the gate they throw him in a starter role with huge minutes.

I think BU starts more conservative.
Kofi
Grandison
Damonte
Trent
Curbelo

We are unusually deep, so it should be interesting to see who begins to stand out from the bench guys.

I think you take a wait and see approach on Hutcherson, and if he is actually healthy and plays like we envision, then we are an undoubted powerhouse. You add a 6'7 wing who can do it all, there are no holes.
 
#439      
As elated as we are about Kofi, there's still one absolutely enormous hole to fill. Replacing Ayo will have to be done on the aggregate. His knack for taking games over late, hitting key free throws, etc....will be difficult and as we sit here today, it's still a question mark. It's the difference between a preseason rank of 15 vs 2. I don't think he's wrong in questioning that.
I'd say that there were too many times Ayo put the game on his shoulders but the staff couldn't get the team involved again when Ayo started to wear down.
 
#440      
Now appearing in Tampa
As elated as we are about Kofi, there's still one absolutely enormous hole to fill. Replacing Ayo will have to be done on the aggregate. His knack for taking games over late, hitting key free throws, etc....will be difficult and as we sit here today, it's still a question mark. It's the difference between a preseason rank of 15 vs 2. I don't think he's wrong in questioning that.
I share your concern about the hole resulting from losing Ayo, BUT, I think we can point to
the three BIG games we won without him last season as hopeful indicators and a roadmap for the coming season.
 
#441      
Forgottonia
Defensively at least, Payne at the 4 and Kofi at the 5 should shut down ANY teams inside game. And we know Hawkins will be a problem for most teams on offense. It will be super interesting to me to see how Underwood taylors the rotation to fit matchups.
 
#443      
Forgottonia
I’m not sure the exact number, but we have one in Plummer. Basically any one who would have normally been out of eligibility but elected to keep playing AND transferred.
From looking at the portal, I’d say there are roughly 350 seniors in the portal. I assume they are all grad transfers.
 
#445      
I'd say that there were too many times Ayo put the game on his shoulders but the staff couldn't get the team involved again when Ayo started to wear down.
Who is going to be that guy this year? Who wants the ball with the game on the line and can finish? Belo?
 
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