Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#1      
Admin
Welcome to the Illini Basketball & College Basketball 2022-2022 thread

Schedule
Illinois at Marquette (Gavitt Games, Nov. 15th)
Illinois vs Cincinnati (Nov. 22nd), IL vs Arkansas/Kansas State (Nov. 23rd) - Hall of Fame Classic, Kansas City
Illinois vs Notre Dame (ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Nov. 29th)
Illinois vs Arizona (Dec. 11th)
Illinois vs Missouri (Braggin' Rights in St. Louis, date TBD)

Big Ten 20-game breakdown:
Home Only – Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin
Away Only – Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska
Home & Away – Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers


Roster
Trent Frazier
Andre Curbelo
Alfonso Plummer
Luke Goode
Brandin Podziemski
Da'Monte Williams
Jacob Grandison
Austin Hutcherson
Ramses Melendez
Omar Payne
Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk
Coleman Hawkins
Brandon Lieb
Kofi Cockburn
 
#2      
Sister Act Reaction GIF
Flowers In The Dirt Yes GIF by Paul McCartney
 
#5      
Just curious, what makes this team so particularly deep over last year’s when we basically sub out Miller and Giorgi for Plummer and Payne? I agree that we do have a deep team, and I’m not saying that our bench isnt good by any means, just curious why we’re getting so much excitement for a bench that hasn’t really upgraded that much over last year’s.
 
#6      
The desert
Just curious, what makes this team so particularly deep over last year’s when we basically sub out Miller and Giorgi for Plummer and Payne? I agree that we do have a deep team, and I’m not saying that our bench isnt good by any means, just curious why we’re getting so much excitement for a bench that hasn’t really upgraded that much over last year’s.
 
#7      
My thoughts on an early season depth chart. How it finally looks I think will depend on key questions around Hutcherson being healthy and being that versatile scorer and wing that we've been promised, Coleman Hawkin's development from Fr to So, and Omar Payne's ability to fit into the 4 spot within Brad's offense.

G: Trent Frazier/Alfonso Plummer/Luke Goode
G: Andre Curbelo/Alfonso Plummer/Brandin Poeziemski
G: Jacob Grandison/Austin Hutcherson/Da'Monte Williams/Ramses Melendez/
F: Da'Monte Williams/Coleman Hawkins/Omar Payne/BBV
C: Kofi Cockburn/Omar Payne/Brandon Lieb

I know I have Plummer and 'Monte listed twice. It's just because I think both guys will have the savvy and experience to play either spot and it'll be a rotation between Plummer, Frazier, and Curbelo. It's exciting to have so many of these guys fighting for time that I didn't even try to put an estimate around playing time because it's just too hard...at least for me.
 
#8      
Just curious, what makes this team so particularly deep over last year’s when we basically sub out Miller and Giorgi for Plummer and Payne? I agree that we do have a deep team, and I’m not saying that our bench isnt good by any means, just curious why we’re getting so much excitement for a bench that hasn’t really upgraded that much over last year’s.
While Ayo will be missed I feel we have added hieght, length, athleticism, perimeter shooting, and much improved FT shooting when compared to last year's roster. We have 4 new 6'7" wings that are shooters plus AP. Given the past 3 or 4 years and how some new players have performed thats exciting having long wings that can shoot. That is something we have lacked. Also the addition of Payne's athleticism should improve us on defense and the boards with him backing up at the 5 and playing the 4 as BU mentioned.
 
#9      
Just curious, what makes this team so particularly deep over last year’s when we basically sub out Miller and Giorgi for Plummer and Payne? I agree that we do have a deep team, and I’m not saying that our bench isnt good by any means, just curious why we’re getting so much excitement for a bench that hasn’t really upgraded that much over last year’s.
If you would make a chart of Brad Underwoods progress since he has taken over the graph would only trend up. I guess that’s why I’m excited, but I only have one answer to your question. Plummer > Miller. Giorgi and Payne could be equal OR Payne could be better, he’s proven in sec he’s a force to be wreckin with, maybe not with points but the man is tough I think that is great quality. You need a bully, as we saw with the mich st game last year.
 
#10      
South Carolina
Do y’all think it’s time to replace that Busch braggin rights game?
REPLACE?

* Border rivalry; neutral court
* Electric college basketball environment
* NCAA tourney type of vibe
* 50/50 split between Illini and Tiger fans
* Chance of the game returning to a perennial Top 20 AP match-up

I'd lock it up for the next 25 years if Whitman hasn't already done it. (And with BU running the program, we have a good chance of winning 75% of the future games!)
 
#11      
Just curious, what makes this team so particularly deep over last year’s when we basically sub out Miller and Giorgi for Plummer and Payne? I agree that we do have a deep team, and I’m not saying that our bench isnt good by any means, just curious why we’re getting so much excitement for a bench that hasn’t really upgraded that much over last year’s.
a) Hutch
b) Hutch
c) Hutch
d) 3 top 100 freshmen
e) all of the above

Ayo will be missed, but I like the balanced attack around a potent two-man game we'll have this year.
 
#13      
Just curious, what makes this team so particularly deep over last year’s when we basically sub out Miller and Giorgi for Plummer and Payne? I agree that we do have a deep team, and I’m not saying that our bench isnt good by any means, just curious why we’re getting so much excitement for a bench that hasn’t really upgraded that much over last year’s.

Huh?????

Seriously???

Yes, losing Ayo, Miller, and GB is tough….
But why is Illini Nation so excited????

AC makes a huge leap freshman to sophomore season. Potentially the best PG in the country. Potential AA.
King Kofi another huge step forward with focus on continued development as a lottery pick. Perhaps NPOY.
Another season with a lot of talented returning players. Regression won’t occur since we know “who and what” they are.
2 A”great fit” pieces transferred in to help in both the front court and backcourt.
CH ready to make the Fr to So jump.
Hutch finally ready and healthy.
3 long, athletic Fr wings that can can all shoot, score and learn.
We may not have added the player that has ice in his veins like Ayo did….but the development of others and added depth makes up for that. With all the talent and scoring on this team, the hot hand(s) of the moment will deliver when/where Ayo did.
We won’t miss AM. We will miss some of GBs intensity and vibe, but that will be more than covered by others.
This is a team that is immensely deep and will grow and develop into a Natty contender.
With BU, and the staff (including Fletch) that Brad has added, this will make Illinois BBall a force for years to come.
The program is stronger with a higher ceiling now than it has been for a long, long time.
 
#14      
Carbondale, IL
Also with Trent and Monte using their COVID year, we've got one more scholarship player than normal (+2 if we fill that last scholly but it's not looking like it).

Wonder the chances of either the Notre Dame or Arizona game being moved to United Center? :unsure:
 
#15      
If you would make a chart of Brad Underwoods progress since he has taken over the graph would only trend up. I guess that’s why I’m excited, but I only have one answer to your question. Plummer > Miller. Giorgi and Payne could be equal OR Payne could be better, he’s proven in sec he’s a force to be wreckin with, maybe not with points but the man is tough I think that is great quality. You need a bully, as we saw with the mich st game last year.
bon apple tea?
 
#18      
Western Suburbs
Also with Trent and Monte using their COVID year, we've got one more scholarship player than normal (+2 if we fill that last scholly but it's not looking like it).

Wonder the chances of either the Notre Dame or Arizona game being moved to United Center? :unsure:
I would like to see the ND game moved to the UC on a Saturday or Sunday but better yet schedule a game on December 3rd against UCLA, Zags, Texas, Kansas, or Kentucky.
 
#19      
Huh?????

Seriously???

Yes, losing Ayo, Miller, and GB is tough….
But why is Illini Nation so excited????

AC makes a huge leap freshman to sophomore season. Potentially the best PG in the country. Potential AA.
King Kofi another huge step forward with focus on continued development as a lottery pick. Perhaps NPOY.
Another season with a lot of talented returning players. Regression won’t occur since we know “who and what” they are.
2 A”great fit” pieces transferred in to help in both the front court and backcourt.
CH ready to make the Fr to So jump.
Hutch finally ready and healthy.
3 long, athletic Fr wings that can can all shoot, score and learn.
We may not have added the player that has ice in his veins like Ayo did….but the development of others and added depth makes up for that. With all the talent and scoring on this team, the hot hand(s) of the moment will deliver when/where Ayo did.
We won’t miss AM. We will miss some of GBs intensity and vibe, but that will be more than covered by others.
This is a team that is immensely deep and will grow and develop into a Natty contender.
With BU, and the staff (including Fletch) that Brad has added, this will make Illinois BBall a force for years to come.
The program is stronger with a higher ceiling now than it has been for a long, long time.
I was talking about our bench, not the team as a whole, of course I’m excited for this team, excited as any, and I do agree that we are deep, was just trying to understand what the insane bench hype is all about when we basically have the same bench. And saying we won’t miss Miller is foolish, as much as I’m not too much of a fan of him now, he’s still a high ceiling, and very talented player, who had good relationships with the team. We can absolutely replace him tho, and we did with Plummer.
 
#20      
South Carolina
Been looking at preseason conference rankings. The Big 10 looks to be extremely top-heavy this year. According to Torvik --- Six teams in the Top 25, and only 8 total (just two more) in the Top 50:

Top 25:
1. Illini
2. Michigan
3. Purdue
4. OSU
5. Maryland
6. MSU

26-50:
Indiana and Northwestern are a distant 7 and 8. These six then bring up the rear:

51 & Beyond:
9. Wisconsin
10. Iowa
11. Rutgers
12. Nebraska (with their 5-star recruit)
13. Penn St.
14. Minnesota ---- way, way, way down on the list

Andy Katz has pointed out that we have one of the tougher in-conference schedules this season. We get only 8 games against those bottom six.
 
#21      
I was talking about our bench, not the team as a whole, of course I’m excited for this team, excited as any, and I do agree that we are deep, was just trying to understand what the insane bench hype is all about when we basically have the same bench. And saying we won’t miss Miller is foolish, as much as I’m not too much of a fan of him now, he’s still a high ceiling, and very talented player, who had good relationships with the team. We can absolutely replace him tho, and we did with Plummer.
Over the past few years, if we landed a top 100 player, they immediately played a significant role. We have 3 top 100ish guys coming in this year, and we aren't even sure any of them will get to play outside of garbage time. No one in our projected rotation is a freshman, and no one (finger crossed) has a significant injury. We also have one more scholarship player than the rules typically allow. Guys are going to have to fight harder than ever to get playing time.

Even if the bench is relatively the "same", it is more experienced and will presumably perform better.
 
#23      
Cary, IL
Over the past few years, if we landed a top 100 player, they immediately played a significant role. We have 3 top 100ish guys coming in this year, and we aren't even sure any of them will get to play outside of garbage time. No one in our projected rotation is a freshman, and no one (finger crossed) has a significant injury. We also have one more scholarship player than the rules typically allow. Guys are going to have to fight harder than ever to get playing time.

Even if the bench is relatively the "same", it is more experienced and will presumably perform better.
Over the past few years, our "top 100 player" has also been a top 50 (Kofi) and top 30 (Ayo, Miller). This year's freshman are not, but I am still excited to see what they can do. I don't know how Brad is going to get minutes for these guys, but I can't wait to see what this team can do.
 
#24      
Been looking at preseason conference rankings. The Big 10 looks to be extremely top-heavy this year. According to Torvik --- Six teams in the Top 25, and only 8 total (just two more) in the Top 50:

Top 25:
1. Illini
2. Michigan
3. Purdue
4. OSU
5. Maryland
6. MSU

26-50:
Indiana and Northwestern are a distant 7 and 8. These six then bring up the rear:

51 & Beyond:
9. Wisconsin
10. Iowa
11. Rutgers
12. Nebraska (with their 5-star recruit)
13. Penn St.
14. Minnesota ---- way, way, way down on the list

Andy Katz has pointed out that we have one of the tougher in-conference schedules this season. We get only 8 games against those bottom six.
9-13 are going to be a meat grinder. All very even, all fighting for 1 or 2 spots in the dance. They all play very well at home and will challenge any of the top teams every day.
 
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