Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#326      
I am absolutely certain we will see this lineup on the floor.....and maybe 7-10 other combinations playing important minutes. As to which five will be the most efficient, that will depend on game situations and personnel match-ups. Put me in the camp who will not waste a minute stating who will be the starters as that is not at all important to me. How the guys who play perform when they play is all that matters.
Last sentence is only thing that matters to the coaching staff, absolutely.
 
#327      
See Hawk getting more minutes even if DMW gets less. BU needs to keep an eye on the future of the program and Hawk is it for the next 2-3 years. Especially if he put in so much work in the off season.
We have a lot more than Hawk or any one unproven player being the future of our program. I expect as much or more from our very athletic new players as I do from Hawk we have seen Hawk play 6 minutes a game last year not 26 a game like AC as a freshman
He certainly can improve but we need to be realistic here. To label him the "future^ of our program over the 2 or 3 years given what we have seen so far and the more athletic true shooters is a bit much. I hope Hawk improves but he wasn't the best player on his high school team and I dont get why some think is one of our best players now or certainly not future of our program! He can improve and help our team win games and be a solid teammate. I hope he grows into an All American like Ayo, Kofi and hopefully AC but that is way premature and really has no foundation. We will continue to add better players with winning and BUs leadership. Coach Underwood has the keys to our teams future not any one player.
 
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#328      
We have a lot more than Hawk or any one unproven player being the future of our program. I expect as much or more from our very athletic new players as I do from Hawk we have seen Hawk play 6 minutes a game last year not 26 a game like AC as a freshman
He certainly can improve but we need to be realistic here. To label him the "future^ of our program over the 2 or 3 years given what we have seen so far and the more athletic true shooters is a bit much. I hope Hawk improves but he wasn't the best player on his high school team and I dont get why some think is one of our best players now or certainly not future of our program! He can improve and help our team win games and be a solid teammate. I hope he grows into an All American like Ayo, Kofi and hopefully AC but that is way premature and really has no foundation. We will continue to add better players with winning and BUs leadership. Coach Underwood has the keys to our teams future not any one player.
I think people need to realize you don't need every player to step into this "superstar" status. You need quality role players that can impacrt the game. If Hawk can impact the game to the level Grandison did last year, that's a huge win.
 
#329      
See Hawk getting more minutes even if DMW gets less. BU needs to keep an eye on the future of the program and Hawk is it for the next 2-3 years. Especially if he put in so much work in the off season.
BU (like any competent coach) is going to play the players who give us the best chance of winning whatever game is being played that day/night. Not who might need playing time for future development.

Regarding Hawkins, I think he can be a good player. But to call him the future of the program is ridiculous.
 
#330      
We have a lot more than Hawk or any one unproven player being the future of our program. I expect as much or more from our very athletic new players as I do from Hawk we have seen Hawk play 6 minutes a game last year not 26 a game like AC as a freshman
He certainly can improve but we need to be realistic here. To label him the "future^ of our program over the 2 or 3 years given what we have seen so far and the more athletic true shooters is a bit much. I hope Hawk improves but he wasn't the best player on his high school team and I dont get why some think is one of our best players now or certainly not future of our program! He can improve and help our team win games and be a solid teammate. I hope he grows into an All American like Ayo, Kofi and hopefully AC but that is way premature and really has no foundation. We will continue to add better players with winning and BUs leadership. Coach Underwood has the keys to our teams future not any one player.

I see Hawkins on a trajectory similar to Warren Carter, but the payoff year coming one year earlier (his junior year).

Last year: see real college basketball and get stronger
This year: get more minutes, learn what to expect and get situational experience
Next year: similar to Warren Carter’s senior year
Senior year: Set real high individual goals and see where it ends up

I also wouldn’t put too much stock into him not being the best player on his high school team. Most high schoolers don’t play on teams like prolific prep. In probably 99% of America’s high schools, a 6’10, 3-star, division 1 recruit is gonna be the best player.
 
#331      
I see Hawkins on a trajectory similar to Warren Carter, but the payoff year coming one year earlier (his junior year).

Last year: see real college basketball and get stronger
This year: get more minutes, learn what to expect and get situational experience
Next year: similar to Warren Carter’s senior year
Senior year: Set real high individual goals and see where it ends up

I also wouldn’t put too much stock into him not being the best player on his high school team. Most high schoolers don’t play on teams like prolific prep. In probably 99% of America’s high schools, a 6’10, 3-star, division 1 recruit is gonna be the best player.
This is a reasonable expectation. I agree with. He can make a reasonable progression and contribute to the teams success. I was commenting on him being "the future to our teams success for the next 2 or 3 years". Most here feel BU has them as a top 10 or better team again this year. On the type of team we have now where would someone like Carter fit in with this talented team? Likely not much different than Hawk does. Kofi, AC, TF, AP, Jacob, likely Hutch, DMW would be ahead of him. Carter would likely be ahead of DMW backing up the 4 were i dont think Hawk is quite there yet. We may have a gem in Payne too. Carter was a solid player and Hawk can be too. This is a very good and talented team and good players will see limited tick due to our depth and talent.
 
#333      
I think people need to realize you don't need every player to step into this "superstar" status. You need quality role players that can impacrt the game. If Hawk can impact the game to the level Grandison did last year, that's a huge win.
Yep, I see great potential for this year's squad being able to grind opponents down with our depth, with the added bonus of not having to play our starters big minutes (that doesn't apply to Curbelo of course) keeping them fresh for the next game.
 
#334      
Cary, IL
Yep, I see great potential for this year's squad being able to grind opponents down with our depth, with the added bonus of not having to play our starters big minutes (that doesn't apply to Curbelo of course) keeping them fresh for the next game.
My only concern on this point, is that truth be told, I see a lot of depth EVERY year, and yet it becomes a 7-9 player rotation for important minutes. I would love for the above mentioned 9+ BBV and the freshman to all get real minutes, but I know that won't happen (assuming health, please let there be health!).
 
#335      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
 
#336      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
I think just based on the fact that, notwithstanding the disappointing tourney exit, last year's team was clearly a top-5 team nationally, I'd have to go with last year's team. It's pretty rare we have a team that good, so to say this year's team will be better is setting the bar a little too high IMO. I have high hopes for this group, and think the potential to be better is there, but I'd put the odds at less than 50%. And yes, we saw how good this team can be without Ayo. But that was a small sample size, and I have to think that in the course of a full season, with opponents having a chance to scout our team without Ayo, this team is unlikely to play like they did against Michigan on a consistent basis. If they can consistently hit like 75% of that performance we will be very good though.
 
#337      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
This depends on what criteria we are using to define "better." ncaa tournament finish, big ten finish, well rounded (not count in on just one player at crunch time), total wins, or what. I think we will have more people we feel comfortable taking the last shot, and that we will shoot more 3's for a better percentage. how that translates to "better" we will have to wait and see.
 
#338      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
I actually think this years because because we will be more balanced with talent at each position with able subs ready. Plus excited about how we looked when Ayo was hurt, also added Hutch and Fr. Excited to see what Payne brings to the table as legit backup 5.
 
#339      
I think just based on the fact that, notwithstanding the disappointing tourney exit, last year's team was clearly a top-5 team nationally, I'd have to go with last year's team. It's pretty rare we have a team that good, so to say this year's team will be better is setting the bar a little too high IMO. I have high hopes for this group, and think the potential to be better is there, but I'd put the odds at less than 50%. And yes, we saw how good this team can be without Ayo. But that was a small sample size, and I have to think that in the course of a full season, with opponents having a chance to scout our team without Ayo, this team is unlikely to play like they did against Michigan on a consistent basis. If they can consistently hit like 75% of that performance we will be very good though.
Yeah I agree. I think you could make a good argument that on paper this year's team has more talent than last year's but there are a whole lot more factors that play into team success like chemistry, injuries, clutchness, etc. so to me it's more likely we finish the season ranked outside the top 5
 
#340      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
I think this team goes farther in the NCAA Tourney. Talent wise, Ayo was special, this is true. However, having so much experience back makes up for that. The potential is there for this to be the better team.
 
#341      
Forgottonia
Yeah I agree. I think you could make a good argument that on paper this year's team has more talent than last year's but there are a whole lot more factors that play into team success like chemistry, injuries, clutchness, etc. so to me it's more likely we finish the season ranked outside the top 5
Did we lose anyone that could affect that? ;) I agree. We could have more talent top to bottom. Key is who can step up and make those daggers at the end. And if we make the sweet 16 this year, does that make it a better team? I'm sure this will be debated all year long.
 
#342      
A previous post used the fact that CH wasn't even the best player on his high school team to show he isn't all that great. Most of our players wouldn't have been the best on that team, playing along side of Jalen Green and Nimari Burnett.
 
#344      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
Me thinks the end results will be better for this year's team. The 20-21 team was awesome. They will have the better overall record and a B10 championship in their column. This years 21-22 team with the mostly new coaching staff and some new faces will take a while to gel. When they do, look out....

We will have a very legit shot at a Big 10 trophy. They will be in the mix and that's an accomplishment in and of itself. I would be disappointed if we don't get at least to the NCAA final 8. With the core of this team having played in the Loyola game, they hopefully will play with an added urgency because of it. This team looks to have better balance, shooting from the field, and free throw percentage. That always helps come tourney time.

Can't wait for the season to start. Hoping injuries and Covid issues don't raise their ugly heads..... Go Illini!!
 
#345      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
This years team has a higher ceiling but a little more difficult to assign roles and therefore chemistry. Still think the difference makers will be Hutch and Hawk. We pretty well know what we will get from last years heavy minute guys and they are solid but predictable. If we get a significant contribution from a frosh that will also be a plus but am not counting on that.
 
#346      
This years team has a higher ceiling but a little more difficult to assign roles and therefore chemistry. Still think the difference makers will be Hutch and Hawk. We pretty well know what we will get from last years heavy minute guys and they are solid but predictable. If we get a significant contribution from a frosh that will also be a plus but am not counting on that.
I think you could include Payne on that list too. I think he has lower expectations, but the potential to have a really big impact, either as a strong backup when Kofi needs a breather or stepping into the 4 at times beside him. Don’t know if he will start, but could see him as a strong contributor off the bench. Could also see him not doing much outside of a rim protector - but could be a hugely underrated pickup
 
#347      
Yeah I agree. I think you could make a good argument that on paper this year's team has more talent than last year's but there are a whole lot more factors that play into team success like chemistry, injuries, clutchness, etc. so to me it's more likely we finish the season ranked outside the top 5
I think top to bottom this team will have more talent, but I'm not sure the best 5 we can put on the court at any given time will be better than our best 5 last season. Whether or not that is the case will depend on how much some of these guys (AC in particular) have improved. This team will be much better positioned to survive an injury or two.
 
#348      
I think you could include Payne on that list too. I think he has lower expectations, but the potential to have a really big impact, either as a strong backup when Kofi needs a breather or stepping into the 4 at times beside him. Don’t know if he will start, but could see him as a strong contributor off the bench. Could also see him not doing much outside of a rim protector - but could be a hugely underrated pickup
Payne is most definitely an X factor. You're absolutely right, he could have a big impact.
 
#349      
A question for this group. Do you think this year's team or last year's will be the better team?
After the drama of this spring/summer, can I just say how delightful it is that we can have a rational debate about whether this year's squad will be better than last year's.

Half Baked Wow GIF
 
#350      
Washington, DC
My somewhat hot take is I think Plummer is gonna be the 6th man of the year in the B1G. He's got the experience, three-point shooting percentage, and free-throw percentage to put up some big numbers off the bench. Unlike last year, he's not gonna be asked to do too much and teams won't be able to focus on him. He's in the perfect situation to come in and hit shots.
 
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