Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#76      
Anyone have any thoughts on our 1st 6 game schedule, it's on the 1st page of this thread, it's a gauntlet. We were 5-3 after 1st 8 games last year. We have to have the peddle down early this year...it's like a Michigan State schedule. Input appreciated.
 
#79      
Anyone have any thoughts on our 1st 6 game schedule, it's on the 1st page of this thread, it's a gauntlet. We were 5-3 after 1st 8 games last year. We have to have the peddle down early this year...it's like a Michigan State schedule. Input appreciated.
I don’t know a ton about Marquette but if we can start the season with a strong road win against a P5 opponent, it could say a ton about what this team can do
 
#80      
South Carolina
Anyone have any thoughts on our 1st 6 game schedule, it's on the 1st page of this thread, it's a gauntlet. We were 5-3 after 1st 8 games last year. We have to have the peddle down early this year...it's like a Michigan State schedule. Input appreciated.
I don't think that's necessarily the first six games of the season. Those are simply the games currently scheduled. I believe we'll next add 5 "less competitive" games to fill out the (31 game?) schedule.

If we end up ranked in the Top 10 to start the season, I'd probably take a 9-2 record against our non-conference foes. 15-5 would be a pretty good conference record. 24-7 overall should be EXPECTED, and would get us a #2 seed.
 
#81      
I don’t know a ton about Marquette but if we can start the season with a strong road win against a P5 opponent, it could say a ton about what this team can do
It's crazy every team should be in the tournament, Marquette would definitely help the confidence.....but we're Illinois...they better be worrying about us.
 
#82      
There have been some comments questioning whether Kofi will be able pass out from double or triple teams this year. I am not that concerned - first because we probably don't really need him to, but also because I think we can expect some real improvement in that area. Kofi was pretty raw offensively in year one. He only shot 53% from the field, and all his shots were dunks or layups. And if you will recall, at the beginning of year two he had difficulties still with bringing the ball down and getting stripped, as well as completing the shot while two players were hanging on him (and not getting called for the foul). I think last year's inseason development for Kofi was directed at getting him to immediately attack the rim and finishing through contact (along with catching Curbelo's passes). I have my doubts that he was ever asked to look to kick the ball out, but instead was told to just focus on getting to the hoop. By year end, Kofi was a monster and had solved most of his basic offensive issues. This year, I think that the coaching staff will be able to focus on other things . Given his past improvement, I don't think it unreasonable to expect Kofi to improve these other aspects of his game.
Like Ayo, who seemed willing to occasionally step back and let the other guys get theirs, Kofi doesn't have to prove that he is the biggest baddest dude on the block (everyone already knows that). He just needs to prove he can involve the other guys, and maybe make a few 15 footers off the pick and pop. You can expect that BU will help him do that.
 
#83      
Well....for some reason, a few of my fellow Illini fans are not understanding what I mean when I say this Illini roster is the most talented ever Having seen every Illini team play for the past 65 years, I feel comfortable with that statement...but a reader must understand that it is irrelevant to how good this team performs on the court. There are 14 scholarship players and at least two pretty solid walk-ons on the roster and maybe more walk-ons. When comparing the top 7 or 8 players on this roster, the players that will and have played big minutes that will mostly determine a team's success, there are several Illini teams that are more impressive. But when comparing the bottom 8 players on this roster to any other, this group is the best. It means little, but it does mean that there are a lot of guys that will get a chance to prove they can perform consistently and contribute to this team's success.
 
#86      
Winged Warrior
Yet, from top to bottom, it is the most elite Illini roster ever....yet not as top heavy in talent as the Flyin' Illini or '05 FF team. Maybe they can be though...and that is why SFC will be filled and rockin' for every home game.

Ooooooooh...ahhhh....yeah...ummmmm.....lemme' help you out a little here......




Now go get 'em boys!! No mercy!!

il-wwkk-06.gif
 
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#87      
Well....for some reason, a few of my fellow Illini fans are not understanding what I mean when I say this Illini roster is the most talented ever Having seen every Illini team play for the past 65 years, I feel comfortable with that statement...but a reader must understand that it is irrelevant to how good this team performs on the court. There are 14 scholarship players and at least two pretty solid walk-ons on the roster and maybe more walk-ons. When comparing the top 7 or 8 players on this roster, the players that will and have played big minutes that will mostly determine a team's success, there are several Illini teams that are more impressive. But when comparing the bottom 8 players on this roster to any other, this group is the best. It means little, but it does mean that there are a lot of guys that will get a chance to prove they can perform consistently and contribute to this team's success.
Thanks for your loyalty Hoopsfan.
With all your years experience of watching Illinois BBall, in your opinion, where does our 2021 incoming freshman class rate with all other classes? Who were better? Gill, Bardo, Larry Smith? Was that the same year Nick Anderson had to sit out his freshman year and Kenny Battle transferred in?
What are your favorite Illini teams?
How well do you remember the teams from the early 60's?
 
#89      
Kofi at center and Belo at PG are if not the best are the most unique in our history. Kofi definitely the best but we have had some super PG’s but none in the style of Belo. For that reason don’t think it is directly comparable to past teams but have a chance to be another page in our memory book. Hopefully when the record is in, players who didn’t get much time will still be proud to say they were on that team.
 
#90      
I have a feeling Damonte and Grandison won't both start. I think BU will start one of them plus more of an offensive-minded/shooter/scorer as the other.
I've thought about this as well lately, but I'm unsure who will be the one who does not start. Not sure if it will be one of the in-coming freshman, unless one of them lights the world on fire in the preseason workouts. But I have been leaning on Hutcherson starting at the 3 spot if he shows BU enough in practices to be that next starter. If Hutcherson is able to get one of the 5 starting roles, then I feel that would eek out DaMonte for the starting 3 spot and give Grandison the starting spot at the 4. I still am not ready to pencil in Hawkins at the starting 4 spot, but it wouldn't surprise me if he won that spot by the end of the season.

JMO
 
#92      
I have a feeling Damonte and Grandison won't both start. I think BU will start one of them plus more of an offensive-minded/shooter/scorer as the other.
I hope Grandy becomes a tad more offensive-minded this year either way. Makes sense that he would defer last year given his role and how he earned his starting spot, but he's been about as efficient as you can get in a very low volume. In the 50/40/90 club. Makes sense to increase his shots even if the efficiency drops off a tad.
 
#95      
Chicago Burbs
1: Curbelo/Frazier/Plummer
2: Frazier/Plummer/Hutcherson/Goode
3: Hutcherson/Williams/Grandison/Melendez
4: Grandison/Hawkins/Podz/Payne
5: Kofi/Payne/BBV

^^^ My guess at the rotation (@DB11Headband , I’m trusting you on the Hutcherson prediction)
This one looks good. A few small things (switch Podz and Goode, bump RJ up a level as he’s the only frosh who might break into the rotation slightly at some point) but otherwise I’m on board with this one.
 
#97      
IMO, I'm not an insider, but this kid is going to be our Freshman of the year. He is long, quick, can shoot, and a great motor. I think he will feel at home with our lineup and turn in to a defensive stopper. I think he has the size and body for the next level too.
I see your argument. I need to see more of him to fully assess, but I think he needs to gain weight before he can have a real impact. My guess is Luke Goode. Out of all the freshmen, he seems the most physically ready for early tick
 
#98      
I see your argument. I need to see more of him to fully assess, but I think he needs to gain weight before he can have a real impact. My guess is Luke Goode. Out of all the freshmen, he seems the most physically ready for early tick
Agree. RJ definitely has the highest ceiling but I think is probably a year away, similar to Coleman last year. Goode seems most physically ready to contribute.
 
#99      
1: Curbelo/Frazier/Plummer
2: Frazier/Plummer/Hutcherson/Goode
3: Hutcherson/Williams/Grandison/Melendez
4: Grandison/Hawkins/Podz/Payne
5: Kofi/Payne/BBV

^^^ My guess at the rotation (@DB11Headband , I’m trusting you on the Hutcherson prediction)
I agree on lines 1 & 2 .
3: Hutch, Williams, a Freshman or two that should step up
4: Grandison, Payne, Williams, Hawkins
5: Kofi. Payne, BBV

I think Payne plays a more athletic role at the 4/5 similar to GB and BU recently mentioned it. Hawkins was behind Jacob, DW, and GB.last year when he averaged 6 minutes and 1.4 points. I dont see him passing the three we have there this year either. Especailly since DW likely will be splitting time between the 3 and 4 due to the depth at the 3 spot. Hawkins could see a little more time but DW coming back will hurt his PT especailly with Kofi on the back line of our defense. Plus Coleman still has to prove himself much more than what he had last year, which he may do.
Jacob could play some 3 but he is more needed at the 4. I feel at least one of the freshmen will play minutes at the 3 spot. It seems at least one has every year under BU. I hope Coleman steps up however I'm not as expecting that as much as one of the incoming guys freeing up DW to be the third option at the 4 spot ahead of Coleman. Plus I'm nit sure a healthy BBV may not compete for that role too.
 
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