Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#101      
I remember this conversation from last year. Underwood, like most college HC's, will go with experience initially, but will make changes based on a players contributions. It won't surprise me to see a starting 5 of Curbelo, Frazier, Williams, Grandison, and Kofi at the beginning of the year. However, I can see it changing and Williams coming off the bench in the BIG season. Also, if Hawkins isn't playing significant minutes by the BIG season, then he was a recruiting miss and I doubt he will stay. However, I believe that he will step up and contribute this year and I won't be surprised if he's getting starter minutes by the BIG season. If Hutch is fully healthy, I can see a second 5 of Plummer, Hutch, Williams, Payne and Coleman/Grandison. I'll take that group to keep the game close while the starters rest, but I doubt that Underwood would do a line change of all 5 players at once.
 
#102      
Unless the injury bug hits, I just can’t see any freshman averaging more minutes per game than Hawk did last year (6.3 mpg) or playing in more games (25). Given that BU tends to play guys he trusts, the main contributors from last year plus likely Hutch since there is history there are in position to play fairly consistently. Payne will see his minutes likely because of need if nothing else. And Plummer is a proven P-5 player who should have a much easier time adapting to B1G than freshmen. So where are the minutes for freshmen outside of games against lesser noncon opponents? Saw someone post that bottom part of conference is down this year, so maybe some minutes to be found in some of those games if Illini get up big.
 
#103      
Unless the injury bug hits, I just can’t see any freshman averaging more minutes per game than Hawk did last year (6.3 mpg) or playing in more games (25). Given that BU tends to play guys he trusts, the main contributors from last year plus likely Hutch since there is history there are in position to play fairly consistently. Payne will see his minutes likely because of need if nothing else. And Plummer is a proven P-5 player who should have a much easier time adapting to B1G than freshmen. So where are the minutes for freshmen outside of games against lesser noncon opponents? Saw someone post that bottom part of conference is down this year, so maybe some minutes to be found in some of those games if Illini get up big.
I would agree. No need to play the frosh unless one or two become very consistent at hitting shots, taking care of the ball, and playing surprisingly good defense. That would be a pleasant but huge surprise if it comes to fruition. But these kids have no pressure on them. Work hard and enjoy the ride....but be ready and play well when the door to the floor opens. All the pressure is on returning players and upper class transfers to jell quickly.
 
#104      
I remember this conversation from last year. Underwood, like most college HC's, will go with experience initially, but will make changes based on a players contributions. It won't surprise me to see a starting 5 of Curbelo, Frazier, Williams, Grandison, and Kofi at the beginning of the year. However, I can see it changing and Williams coming off the bench in the BIG season. Also, if Hawkins isn't playing significant minutes by the BIG season, then he was a recruiting miss and I doubt he will stay. However, I believe that he will step up and contribute this year and I won't be surprised if he's getting starter minutes by the BIG season. If Hutch is fully healthy, I can see a second 5 of Plummer, Hutch, Williams, Payne and Coleman/Grandison. I'll take that group to keep the game close while the starters rest, but I doubt that Underwood would do a line change of all 5 players at once.
Coleman will have to take a massive leap and vastly improve on his 6 min per game for the season and likely less in the B10 games, 1.4 pts, .8 reb, and 34% FG to see starter minutes in the B10. If you wouldn't be shocked the who do you see him jumping at the 4 the depth chart? Especailly now that BU said you can expect to see Payne play the 4 too when Kofi is on the floor.
I really do hope he improves drastically and challenges the guys that are ahead of him. I just don't see him surpassing them this year. The depth at the 3 with Hutch, 3 top rated freshmen (BU has had one or two surprise every year), and DW this also should allow DW to be our third option at the 4 behind Jacob and Payne like he did last year when was ahead of Coleman in that role. You think he will leap those 3 guys at the four and get starters minutes? I just don't see that much opportunity for such huge of a leap so quickly especailly with the addition of Payne and DW coming back.
 
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#105      
Unless the injury bug hits, I just can’t see any freshman averaging more minutes per game than Hawk did last year (6.3 mpg) or playing in more games (25). Given that BU tends to play guys he trusts, the main contributors from last year plus likely Hutch since there is history there are in position to play fairly consistently. Payne will see his minutes likely because of need if nothing else. And Plummer is a proven P-5 player who should have a much easier time adapting to B1G than freshmen. So where are the minutes for freshmen outside of games against lesser noncon opponents? Saw someone post that bottom part of conference is down this year, so maybe some minutes to be found in some of those games if Illini get up big.
Then expect to say goodbye to two of them
 
#106      
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.
I think you're really underestimating Coleman here. Dude was the 9th man in our rotation last year as a freshman. Now he's worse? Or just the same? I'll be very, very surprised if he isn't at >18 min/game. His size, length, and shooting are pretty indispensable -- if he's improved like one would expect, he's basically a taller, bigger Grandy.

I also don't see Payne playing any more than a few spot minutes at the 4, and honestly even that would surprise me. Don't see how you put two non-shooting bigs next to each other and expect there to be any room for Kofi to maneuver in the post or Curbelo/Frazier to penetrate. That pairing would be a force on defense but knowing BU's philosophy on offense, I don't see him going with that look much.
 
#107      
Then expect to say goodbye to two of them
Maybe... With 5th year seniors, there will be a lot of freshmen who won't get the kind of PT they expected out of the gate all over the country. We know for sure that Trent, DMW, & Plummer will be gone next season no matter what. If AC progresses in the way it seems the coaches believe he will, he may be gone as well. Grandison and Hutch are also questions due to age. They may graduate and want to move on. That is a LOT of minutes available on the perimeter next season. Staying with the Illini may still be their best shot at seeing significant playing time in 2022-23 They will have a leg up on the incoming freshmen as far as learning the scheme and be farther along in their physical development. There is a strong chance at least two of them will be starters from day one next year.
 
#108      
Then expect to say goodbye to two of them
A freshman or two has done well each year since BU arrived and I feel it is not only possible but likely one or more shall again. I would expect one of them to get more time than Coleman given what we have seen BU get from freshmen and BUs comments on Paynes ability to play the 4 or 5. I think we have a good idea of what Coleman can do. He is a solid role guy off the bench. This could also free up DW to be a glue guy backing up at both the 4 and 3 spots. Its not that I don't think Coleman could improve but its more likely one of the other three highly rated new comers perform just like others have under BU. Go Illini!
 
#109      
Then expect to say goodbye to two of them
Unfortunately that is a real possibility. I’m sure BU realizes that and will do what he can to get them minutes, but he likely also realizes this team has a real chance at national championship or at least real far in tourney. He’s not going to jeopardize that just to keep a frosh from transferring down the line.

In competitive games, I could easily see the breakdown of minutes something like this:

AC 35
TF. 32
Kofi. 28
Hutch. 25
Grandy. 20
DMW. 18
Plummer. 25
Payne. 15

That’s 198 of 200 minutes and doesn’t include Hawk. Blowouts and games against lesser opponents opens up minutes, and foul trouble may move minutes down to end of bench. But where do you see any real significant being found for the freshmen outside of the opportunities I’ve mentioned?
 
#110      
Unfortunately that is a real possibility. I’m sure BU realizes that and will do what he can to get them minutes, but he likely also realizes this team has a real chance at national championship or at least real far in tourney. He’s not going to jeopardize that just to keep a frosh from transferring down the line.

In competitive games, I could easily see the breakdown of minutes something like this:

AC 35
TF. 32
Kofi. 28
Hutch. 25
Grandy. 20
DMW. 18
Plummer. 25
Payne. 15

That’s 198 of 200 minutes and doesn’t include Hawk. Blowouts and games against lesser opponents opens up minutes, and foul trouble may move minutes down to end of bench. But where do you see any real significant being found for the freshmen outside of the opportunities I’ve mentioned?
Really hoping our frosh get more minutes, shooters get minutes and they all can hit from deep. This class in a couple years will remind us a lot of how Iowa plays, lots of knockdown shooters with size that rebound well.
 
#112      
Pittsburgh, PA
Unfortunately that is a real possibility. I’m sure BU realizes that and will do what he can to get them minutes, but he likely also realizes this team has a real chance at national championship or at least real far in tourney. He’s not going to jeopardize that just to keep a frosh from transferring down the line.

In competitive games, I could easily see the breakdown of minutes something like this:

AC 35
TF. 32
Kofi. 28
Hutch. 25
Grandy. 20
DMW. 18
Plummer. 25
Payne. 15

That’s 198 of 200 minutes and doesn’t include Hawk. Blowouts and games against lesser opponents opens up minutes, and foul trouble may move minutes down to end of bench. But where do you see any real significant being found for the freshmen outside of the opportunities I’ve mentioned?
disagree. managing building block players’ egos and expectations to keep them within the program and ensure sustained success is one of BU’s basic job requirements. this year is an exceptional circumstance given the unexpected return of our COVID seniors, but that is why BU and Co. make the big bucks
 
#113      
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.
Wouldn't be surprised to see Damonte playing small ball 4 again as well
 
#114      
Well as we also saw last year, starting every game and playing lots of minutes doesn’t mean they won’t transfer anyways
Yep, and Hawk didn’t play in every game and didn’t play big minutes and he stuck around. So no real way to tell. Hope none of them leave, but if the only factor is how many minutes this year than 1 or more will leave. But if they take into consideration amount of minutes that will be available next year and buy into the Illini family and experience then who knows.
 
#115      
Yep, and Hawk didn’t play in every game and didn’t play big minutes and he stuck around. So no real way to tell. Hope none of them leave, but if the only factor is how many minutes this year than 1 or more will leave. But if they take into consideration amount of minutes that will be available next year and buy into the Illini family and experience then who knows.
Agreed. Just win games. People transfer whether they played a lot or not at all.

These freshmen know they are on a senior laden team and there's a lot of playing time going forward. They don't need fans to remind them. Players usually aren't transferring at the end of a season just because they didn't play that year. If they see a role for themselves in the future, they'll usually stay. If they can't tell what their role is or they don't like that role... they'll leave. Winning cures everything. If you win, even if guys leave, you can snag a transfer.
 
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#116      
disagree. managing building block players’ egos and expectations to keep them within the program and ensure sustained success is one of BU’s basic job requirements. this year is an exceptional circumstance given the unexpected return of our COVID seniors, but that is why BU and Co. make the big bucks
You’re correct, and BU will draw them into the family/team and preach that next year much more opportunity will be open. What I meant is that if receiving 12-15 mpg is what it will take to keep each one then we’ll be seeing some leave because BU will put winning first. Like you said, the key is not making that a requirement this year (or any year for that matter) for a player to stay.
 
#117      
Then expect to say goodbye to two of them
Hopefully just one, but yeah, this is an unfortunate reality. You'd hope that they'd see that at least 3 of our backcourt guys will be gone next year, and probably more, not to mention Kofi. Then again, we all thought Miller would see the same opening and be enticed to stay -- that worked out well 😕
 
#118      
Winged Warrior
I don't know if you meant it to be this way, but I couldn't not read this in Bill Lumbergh's voice...
Office Space No GIF

I 100% typed it in that voice!
 
#119      
I think you're really underestimating Coleman here. Dude was the 9th man in our rotation last year as a freshman. Now he's worse? Or just the same? I'll be very, very surprised if he isn't at >18 min/game. His size, length, and shooting are pretty indispensable -- if he's improved like one would expect, he's basically a taller, bigger Grandy.

I also don't see Payne playing any more than a few spot minutes at the 4, and honestly even that would surprise me. Don't see how you put two non-shooting bigs next to each other and expect there to be any room for Kofi to maneuver in the post or Curbelo/Frazier to penetrate. That pairing would be a force on defense but knowing BU's philosophy on offense, I don't see him going with that look much.
I look at the rotation by position and need at each spot. I see Coleman playing nearly all of his time at the 4. Its not a slap in his face given BUs track record with touted freshmen and GB's freshman year to think one or 2 of them will be a solid contributor at the 3. I feel Hutch will play starters minutes at the 3 with DW and at least one freshmen being a solid back up or eventual starter much like AC,TF,Ayo, Griffin, AM GB, Kofi, and other new comers. BU has had very good freshmen contribute every year early on. If that happens and I feel it will then most of the time at the 4 will go to Jacob as our starter and DW just like last year. The remaining 10 or so minutes we shall see. I am just going by what BU said on Saturday saying expect to see Kofi and Payne on the floor together. BU said Payne skill set is much more advanced than he thought it was. I dont view Coleman as playing the 3 so he isn't battling the freshman for PT yet since they dont know the 4 spot yet but may as the season rolls along. Coleman is battling Jacob, DW, Payne, and BBV. We just swapped Payne for GB is all when I look at last season compared to this years depth chart at the 4 spot. You must have him behind Jacob but close if you see 18 minutes and ahead of DW and Payne i feel he is behind Jacob & DW just like last year given our additions will have a battle with a more athletic Payne given BUs comments for the remaining 8 to 10 minutes and then who knows what a finally healthy BBV may contribute.
 
#120      
I predict there will be injuries, foul trouble, match ups that call for different personnel and minutes, surprises, disappointments, development, lack of expected development, hot hands, tc, etc, etc….In other words….who really knows at this point?!
Therefore my prediction is that BU and the staff will asses things on a daily basis, game by game, etc, and the minutes given various players will depend on the outcome of all the variables listed above.
I bet I’m right on this one.
 
#121      
The key to playing time for the freshmen is for the "starting 8" to stop playing down to the competitiion out of the gate in games we're well favored. Play hard, build a lead, and let the freshmen get some tick!!! That hasn't been the DNA of BU teams to date. Not saying he isn't my choice for coach, but this unfortunately is our kryptonite. Well that and giving average players their career nights.
 
#122      
The desert
The key to playing time for the freshmen is for the "starting 8" to stop playing down to the competitiion out of the gate in games we're well favored. Play hard, build a lead, and let the freshmen get some tick!!! That hasn't been the DNA of BU teams to date. Not saying he isn't my choice for coach, but this unfortunately is our kryptonite. Well that and giving average players their career nights.
We did fine with that last year aside from the Mizzou game. Otherwise we handled our business.
 
#123      
Unless the injury bug hits, I just can’t see any freshman averaging more minutes per game than Hawk did last year (6.3 mpg) or playing in more games (25). Given that BU tends to play guys he trusts, the main contributors from last year plus likely Hutch since there is history there are in position to play fairly consistently. Payne will see his minutes likely because of need if nothing else. And Plummer is a proven P-5 player who should have a much easier time adapting to B1G than freshmen. So where are the minutes for freshmen outside of games against lesser noncon opponents? Saw someone post that bottom part of conference is down this year, so maybe some minutes to be found in some of those games if Illini get up big.

I think I agree. The only way any freshmen see minutes this year is if they're playing strong defense. A silly foul or turnover or missed blockout will result in an immediate benching for the freshmen similar to the treatment Tevian Jones received. I just hope the freshmen understand it's nothing against them and that they'll get their moment if they keep working at it.

In a close game I expect the following usage rates:
1. Trent Frazier 33 MIN - Starting 2 / Backup 1
2. Kofi Cockburn 30 MIN - Starting 5
3. Andre Curbelo 25 MIN - Starting 1
4. Da'Monte Williams 25 MIN - Starting 3
5. Alfonso Plummer 23 MIN - Backup 2
6. Jacob Grandison 18 MIN - Starting 4
7. Austin Hutcherson 17 MIN - Backup 3, spot minutes at 1/2
8. Coleman Hawkins 16 MIN - Backup 4, 5 if foul trouble
9. Omar Payne 10 MIN - Backup 5
Full disclosure these may not add up to 200
 
#124      
As deep as this team is we could have up to 9 players avg. starter minutes. I don't think it's as important as who starts the game but rather whose going to be on the floor at the end.
 
#125      
I think I agree. The only way any freshmen see minutes this year is if they're playing strong defense. A silly foul or turnover or missed blockout will result in an immediate benching for the freshmen similar to the treatment Tevian Jones received. I just hope the freshmen understand it's nothing against them and that they'll get their moment if they keep working at it.

In a close game I expect the following usage rates:
1. Trent Frazier 33 MIN - Starting 2 / Backup 1
2. Kofi Cockburn 30 MIN - Starting 5
3. Andre Curbelo 25 MIN - Starting 1
4. Da'Monte Williams 25 MIN - Starting 3
5. Alfonso Plummer 23 MIN - Backup 2
6. Jacob Grandison 18 MIN - Starting 4
7. Austin Hutcherson 17 MIN - Backup 3, spot minutes at 1/2
8. Coleman Hawkins 16 MIN - Backup 4, 5 if foul trouble
9. Omar Payne 10 MIN - Backup 5
Full disclosure these may not add up to 200
197... pretty close
 
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