Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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

Schedule
https://fightingillini.com/sports/mens-basketball/schedule

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
 
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#4      
Just eyeballing this, our roster looks stacked

Seems like most years, the optimists take over in the run-up to the season. That said, I think there's every reason to think these guys can win the BIG. There's maybe maybe 1 spot where we're unproven and not too confident, but we have a number of plus players, 2 legit "elite" players in Curbelo and Cockburn, and a ton of experience. They say experienced teams shine early, and young talented teams shine late. I think we'll have more experience than most, but honestly, with the extra year in place, maybe that's true for a lot of teams.

Thinking aloud, some questions for this season:
How big a jump does AC make? Can he take outside shots or is he going to lean heavily on his insane creativity penetrating?
Who's got the ball late game? I think the answer is 'by committee' since we have at least a few guys capable of getting a basket late.
Does Payne get his fresh start and can he elevate that 5/4 position? Giorgi was an amazing glue guy, and pretty solid backing up Kofi.
Who wins the most time at the 3 and 4? Is the 3 guard line-up most efficient, or does someone like Goode wind up giving us a new look with both size and outside threat? Is Hutch ready to assert himself in games anywhere near the glowing practice reports?
How good is the rest of the BIG? The tourney was unkind to BIG teams, but the conference seems deep overall. Interesting year in that the BIG only had 1 guy drafted in the lottery, but 7 overall.
 
#5      
Seems like most years, the optimists take over in the run-up to the season. That said, I think there's every reason to think these guys can win the BIG.
I agree with you- I know it’s early yet for all the experts to do previews but it’s hard to get a read on where we stand in the big ten with Kofi back - most national press still have us behind Purdue Mich and OSU in the big ten with us around 15 nationally and those guys top 10- which is a little hard to understand. One of the most exciting things for me is Curbelo made Kofi so much better when he was on the court and he’ll be on the court a lot this year

In terms of how we stack up- we lost our best player and leader but we’ve seen how the team played without Ayo last year - it was very well.

Purdue has everyone back and will clearly be better. OSU gets Liddell back but Washington is a huge loss for them- I’d be shocked if we didn’t finish higher in the big ten then them

Michigan is a wild card- they lose the most, their best player in Livers, their point guard Smith who was a huge factor in their surprise year and Wagner who was their most talented player and three point shooter- they also gain the most with the talent coming in, freshman and transfers are always hard to predict- they will be good for sure, but at a minimum I think they will take a while to be one of the top teams of the country
 
#6      
We have 6 non con games listed. How many do we usually play? 10-11? I’m just wondering how many more schedule announcements to expect. It’s great to be excited for consecutive seasons again.
 
#7      
Bethesda, Maryland
We have 6 non con games listed. How many do we usually play? 10-11? I’m just wondering how many more schedule announcements to expect. It’s great to be excited for consecutive seasons again.
Exactly. I'm all like this about the Illini hoops future:

Young Cowboy.gif
 
#8      
Springfiled, IL.
Looks like we play Chicago ST this year
 

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#14      
Western Suburbs
This would be a perfect year to reignite the United Center game, and I think it’s a huge missed opportunity if we don’t do it…
I suggested a UC game to my DIA contacts but they said that the schedule is already set for this year.
 
#16      
Pittsburgh, PA
Sam Brand, director of Team Melo (EYBL) that features Cam Whitmore and a former USA Basketball court coach, stepped down from his position as head coach at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (high school) today. Have to imagine there are some connections between him and CF. Would make sense as someone to fill GA's role if its still open.

USA Basketball profile
Linkedin
 
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#17      
Brutal. The time is right with increased confidence in the team and schedule a Bulls night game to follow to see Ayo…

Go Illini

Exactly. I really hope the DIA folks didn’t get spooked away from the UC game because we had terrible teams draw comparably terrible crowds. There is a wealth of historical evidence that a decent Illini team will regularly draw at least SFC’s capacity (15,500) at the United Center, regardless of opponent. A good Illini team has regularly drawn 17,000+, and a good Illini team vs. a decent opponent has drawn over 20,000 on multiple occasions. It’s a nice gesture to our Chicagoland fans, a statement that we are Chicago’s team, it helps for NCAAT preparation/resume building to play multiple neutral site games and it’s a cool little recruiting pitch to instate recruits.
 
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#21      
Exactly. I really hope the DIA folks didn’t get spooked away from the UC game because we had terrible teams draw comparably terrible crowds. There is a wealth of historical evidence that a decent Illini team will regularly draw at least SFC’s capacity (15,500) at the United Center, regardless of opponent. A good Illini team has regularly drawn 17,000+, and a good Illini team vs. a decent opponent has drawn over 20,000 on multiple occasions. It’s a nice gesture to our Chicagoland fans, a statement that we are Chicago’s team, it helps for NCAAT preparation/resume building to play multiple neutral site games and it’s a cool little recruiting pitch to instate recruits.
Tough to draw a lot to play Bradley or UIC no matter the venue.
 
#23      
Exactly. I really hope the DIA folks didn’t get spooked away from the UC game because we had terrible teams draw comparably terrible crowds. There is a wealth of historical evidence that a decent Illini team will regularly draw at least SFC’s capacity (15,500) at the United Center, regardless of opponent. A good Illini team has regularly drawn 17,000+, and a good Illini team vs. a decent opponent has drawn over 20,000 on multiple occasions. It’s a nice gesture to our Chicagoland fans, a statement that we are Chicago’s team, it helps for NCAAT preparation/resume building to play multiple neutral site games and it’s a cool little recruiting pitch to instate recruits.
What about the Champaignland fans? If you had dropped $90k/year for a suite (or even $17k for a premium seat), how would you feel about noncon home games with Tennessee Martin and Lindenwood while Whitman moves a rare quality noncon home game to Chicago? Local hotels and restaurants (those that survived the pandemic) also miss out on a nice payday.
 
#24      
Champaign
What about the Champaignland fans? If you had dropped $90k/year for a suite (or even $17k for a premium seat), how would you feel about noncon home games with Tennessee Martin and Lindenwood while Whitman moves a rare quality noncon home game to Chicago? Local hotels and restaurants (those that survived the pandemic) also miss out on a nice payday.

With the way that they are making the schedule now it doesn't seem like quality nonconference home games are going to be that rare.
 
#25      
What about the Champaignland fans? If you had dropped $90k/year for a suite (or even $17k for a premium seat), how would you feel about noncon home games with Tennessee Martin and Lindenwood while Whitman moves a rare quality noncon home game to Chicago? Local hotels and restaurants (those that survived the pandemic) also miss out on a nice payday.

One game a year in our state’s biggest city and where we have our largest grouping of alumni is hardly the slight you’re suggesting. I’d certainly support including it in a season ticket package.
 
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