Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#126      
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.
I reckon the curb stompings are about to dramatically increase. A killer instinct rarely happens quickly and, you're right, we've played down to the level of competition far too frequently. Mebbe it's the Kool-Aid, but am very hopeful our guys are locked in from the jump and on a mission.
 
#128      
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 have the same intuition. I think Underwood will give them a chance to be on the floor together, but unless one or both can hit short jumpers, it won't be effective against BIG level teams. On top of that, I see Payne as mostly coming in for Kofi, so now you're risking fouls on a potentially critical need late in the game. Rotations will be about who finishes, not who starts. And I think you're going to want your absolute best 5 for the last 5 minutes, which means they'll structure rotations to support that (i.e. Kofi should stay around 27 mpg again this season, and Payne will have to play the 5 more if there's foul trouble). Payne will get some minutes at the 4, but he won't solidify that unless he shows well there. I personally am thinking Hawkins makes incremental improvement this year, getting more minutes, but not expecting starter level. Hard to say how the 4 is divided up.

This is such a deep team, that I see a lot of experiments and evolution as the season goes on. There's a lot potential for different line-ups with this much talent available.
 
#129      
I reckon the curb stompings are about to dramatically increase. A killer instinct rarely happens quickly and, you're right, we've played down to the level of competition far too frequently. Mebbe it's the Kool-Aid, but am very hopeful our guys are locked in from the jump and on a mission.
We were 8th preseason last year, probably will have a similar position this year, but have 3 starters (4 if you count DMW for part of the year) and the 6th man of the year returning, so our experience level is much higher. I expect us to be closer to how we played at the end of last season, than how we played at the start.
 
#130      
Bethesda, Maryland
Catching up on the threads since the weekend Kofi buzz (I had well more than four cups each day). Am pleased that:

(1) The AC/transfer portal threads are now irrelevant;
(2) We are awaiting November with fevered anticipation and a solid roster.

I feel like I'm 18 again and it's July 1984. The prior March was heartbreak but the season was stellar and Illini hoops seasons once again stretch out before me in an unbroken pattern of anticipated competitiveness, excitement, and excellence.

In my alternate universe Bruce Pearl never leaves Stanford, washes out as an AC, ends up managing an Arby's in Stockton or Modesto for subsequent decades, and is on his fifth marriage in 2021. And his children hate him.
 
#131      
Catching up on the threads since the weekend Kofi buzz (I had well more than four cups each day). Am pleased that:

(1) The AC/transfer portal threads are now irrelevant;
(2) We are awaiting November with fevered anticipation and a solid roster.

I feel like I'm 18 again and it's July 1984. The prior March was heartbreak but the season was stellar and Illini hoops seasons once again stretch out before me in an unbroken pattern of anticipated competitiveness, excitement, and excellence.

In my alternate universe Bruce Pearl never leaves Stanford, washes out as an AC, ends up managing an Arby's in Stockton or Modesto for subsequent decades, and is on his fifth marriage in 2021. And his children hate him.
I'm guessing his children still hate him in our current reality
 
#133      
I have the same intuition. I think Underwood will give them a chance to be on the floor together, but unless one or both can hit short jumpers, it won't be effective against BIG level teams. On top of that, I see Payne as mostly coming in for Kofi, so now you're risking fouls on a potentially critical need late in the game. Rotations will be about who finishes, not who starts. And I think you're going to want your absolute best 5 for the last 5 minutes, which means they'll structure rotations to support that (i.e. Kofi should stay around 27 mpg again this season, and Payne will have to play the 5 more if there's foul trouble). Payne will get some minutes at the 4, but he won't solidify that unless he shows well there. I personally am thinking Hawkins makes incremental improvement this year, getting more minutes, but not expecting starter level. Hard to say how the 4 is divided up.

This is such a deep team, that I see a lot of experiments and evolution as the season goes on. There's a lot potential for different line-ups with this much talent available.
How much different are the players that play the 4 than last year? We swapped GB that played the 4/5 for a longer, more athletic Payne.
The external factors are Kofi and is back for help D. Plus more depth at the 3 adding a healthy Hutch with 3 top rated freshman. Jacob played and shot very very well the second half of the year when we made our push and is a lock to start at the 4. DMW could have more time to play the 4 seems to be in line next since we added Hutch athleticism at the 3. That takes care of most of the minutes but the rest split up between Payne and Coleman being a rotation very much like last year. Kofi on the floor on back line D and surrounded by 3 or 4 guys that can shoot over 40% from three historically has got to be a likely option dont ya think?
 
#134      
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 hear ya, but if one of the 3 freshman can play D & hit shots they'll play 15+ minutes. Heck AC & AM earned tons of minutes.
 
#135      
Once the tune ups are over....I'll bet one of my nicer beach houses Curbelo is at 35 min pg.
Yeah, I think that is where I had him in competitive games too. I could see BU maybe trying to keep him closer to 30 mpg to keep him from wearing down or foul trouble making that decision for him, but with no Ayo should see AC picking up most of those minutes.
 
#137      
It’s a wonderful thing to have reasons to be honestly excited about an upcoming season and not just praying that Illini makes the Dance and other such low-hanging-fruit-type lowered expectations.

It’s a great thing to know your team has a real chance to make the Final Four and win the Whole Thing.

It’s a joy to know that you have a staff of coaches and recruiters that know what they are doing and that they are building not only a great team on the floor now but also one for the future.

It’s a pleasure to see great young talent learn where Illinois is on a map and knowing that it is a destination-type place to go to get recognized and have fun playing great ball.

It’s a restoration of balance to the Universe when the Illini are restored to their proper place in the upper reaches of the College Ball World. To know that the greatest roundball fans in the Universe are getting a team to match the level of passion and commitment that the fans have always had in good years and bad.

To the Illini Family: Thank you for all you are doing for Illini ball. We recognize all your hard work and we look forward to watching all those recruiting trips and phone calls and family visits and team meetings and practices and press-conferences pay off with lots of balls going through Illini hoops and lots of tears and angry, frustrated faces on those who dare to contest with The Beloved.
 
#138      
Yeah, I think that is where I had him in competitive games too. I could see BU maybe trying to keep him closer to 30 mpg to keep him from wearing down or foul trouble making that decision for him, but with no Ayo should see AC picking up most of those minutes.
This will be the only thing limiting him to under 35 minutes. He needs to play defense with his feet and not his hands. That and silly turnovers were his main issues last season. (other than reluctance to shoot) I expect vast improvement in both this season, as those are simply maturity and discipline issues.

Hopefully the outside shot comes around eventually.
 
#139      
I hear ya, but if one of the 3 freshman can play D & hit shots they'll play 15+ minutes. Heck AC & AM earned tons of minutes.
As did Ayo, GB, Kofi, Allen Griffin, and other first year players. We didnt expect it in prior years with other illini like Feliz. I expect even bigger things from Hutch. . It is likely not unlikely that this group is described this year as "ELITE" and adds to that list of awesome first year Illini.
 
#140      
I know this reply does not belong in this thread, but I have sent a message to the Admin and have not received a response. How do you gain the ability to start a new thread? What are the qualifications? At the bottom of my screen it says "You have insufficient privileges to post threads here." I don't see anything in the 'About' or 'Terms' that discuss how a person gains those privileges.

Any help would be appreciated. Sorry again for being off topic in this thread.
 
#142      
Winged Warrior
Not the one with the pool!?!?
That reminds me, I need to cut the grass in the pool....

48fb205055db06594fae62fb865c4beb.jpg
 
#143      
I know this reply does not belong in this thread, but I have sent a message to the Admin and have not received a response. How do you gain the ability to start a new thread? What are the qualifications? At the bottom of my screen it says "You have insufficient privileges to post threads here." I don't see anything in the 'About' or 'Terms' that discuss how a person gains those privileges.

Any help would be appreciated. Sorry again for being off topic in this thread.
One needs to accrue a certain number of posts, I believe. Not sure how many, but definitely more than 100.
 
#145      
35 is a lot of minutes. I am sure he will hit that in some games but I would hope he is closer to 30 on average even during the conference season.
Your correct 35 is a lot but he will get a ton. I dont know about 35 though. Especailly since there should some time to sit in blow outs. Whats odd is AC's back ups very experienced. Could be a big opportunity for a new guys to gain some experience at the point.
 
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#146      
35 is a lot of minutes. I am sure he will hit that in some games but I would hope he is closer to 30 on average even during the conference season.
Ayo averaged just over 35 last season. It's a lot, but its not crazy. I have a feeling he will be as integral to our success or lack there of, as Ayo was last season. We will be a much better team when he is on the floor.
 
#147      
Just to throw something different out there…

Late game defensive lineup

Trent
Hutch
Grand
Payne
Kofi

You get an on ball dog with Trent, length and athleticism 2-4, and have the giant in the back. Get the rebound, call timeout and put curbelo back in.

The hardest lineup for me to create in my head is late game offense. Plummer, Trent and curbelo are options together but do we wanna go that small? I’d think only 2 of the 3. Do leave your leader off (Trent) or one of your best shooters(Plummer?) That’s then a Hutch at the 4 lineup if we play all 3? Do we put in Kofi if we’re down 3 and they can foul him?

That’s why BU makes 3MM+ per year. It’s good because we will potentially have 1-2 very good players on the bench, which means the 5 on the court are serious, but it’s tough cause you gotta choose the right 5 for that situation, and that might hurt some feelings.
 
#149      
Just to throw something different out there…

Late game defensive lineup

Trent
Hutch
Grand
Payne
Kofi

You get an on ball dog with Trent, length and athleticism 2-4, and have the giant in the back. Get the rebound, call timeout and put curbelo back in.

The hardest lineup for me to create in my head is late game offense. Plummer, Trent and curbelo are options together but do we wanna go that small? I’d think only 2 of the 3. Do leave your leader off (Trent) or one of your best shooters(Plummer?) That’s then a Hutch at the 4 lineup if we play all 3? Do we put in Kofi if we’re down 3 and they can foul him?

That’s why BU makes 3MM+ per year. It’s good because we will potentially have 1-2 very good players on the bench, which means the 5 on the court are serious, but it’s tough cause you gotta choose the right 5 for that situation, and that might hurt some feelings.
I am excited about our end of game possible great Free Throw shooting .

TF'83%
AP 82%
Hutch 88%
JG 91%
And Kofi..dont pass it to him then, just get boards if they do miss!
 
#150      
Just to throw something different out there…

Late game defensive lineup

Trent
Hutch
Grand
Payne
Kofi

You get an on ball dog with Trent, length and athleticism 2-4, and have the giant in the back. Get the rebound, call timeout and put curbelo back in.

The hardest lineup for me to create in my head is late game offense. Plummer, Trent and curbelo are options together but do we wanna go that small? I’d think only 2 of the 3. Do leave your leader off (Trent) or one of your best shooters(Plummer?) That’s then a Hutch at the 4 lineup if we play all 3? Do we put in Kofi if we’re down 3 and they can foul him?

That’s why BU makes 3MM+ per year. It’s good because we will potentially have 1-2 very good players on the bench, which means the 5 on the court are serious, but it’s tough cause you gotta choose the right 5 for that situation, and that might hurt some feelings.
I don't think its an issue to have Frazier, Belo, and Plummer on the court together for offense. You are looking for an open 3 not posting them up. You likely want to spread the defense out so running off ball screens to get Plummer and Frazier open from deep is to the plan. Belo and in your example Hutch would be dribble drive threats. You may actually see CHawk in there in the late game instead of Kofi. If Kofi gets his free throws under control he would be in because he is a load to defend. Offense is all about creating mismatches.
 
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