Illini Basketball 2021-2022

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#151      
He hasn't underperformed at all. As a FR, we had very little firepower, so we needed him to score. Since then the talent around him has gotten much better. And he, being a smart team player, has learned to defer more.
Underperformed wasn't the correct word I suppose. I'm certainly not trying to blame Trent. But he hasn't followed the typical arc of a guy who had such a phenomenal freshman year.

I'd also say that "deferring" isn't necessarily what we want we better players are added. We just want to get that much better. The career paths of both Trent and Giorgi tell me that BU needs to do a better job of melding old and new talent to maximize both.
 
#152      
Winged Warrior
I saw the game Trent scored 22pts on 18 attempts so I wouldn't say he went off and he has always had a few games with big scoring outbursts every year.

I dont see him turning into Ayo because Trent's numbers don't move much regardless of his usage . Ayo had a usage above 29 last season and with Belo, Kofi, and the other additions no way Trent slides into that role this year . Trents numbers simply don't move much even with the higher usage from his first and second seasons and so no matter how much he has the ball it only amounts to a 3 pt difference in points produced . For him to be Ayo he would have to get 20 attempts per game to get that sorta production and the only way that happens on the current team is if a lot of other thing go wrong and that would be the surprise.

Ok. What I meant by being "Ayo" was more Trent being the guy with the ball at the end of close games. Not so much a head to head statistical comparison, "turning into Ayo"....or a huge jump in Trent's numbers. Just the guy on the team with the offensive prowess to trust hitting one shot. I should have worded it differently than "Trent becomes Ayo".

Maybe it doesn't manifest this way....It was really just having internet message board fun with another posters question.
 
#153      
The biggest surprise for me would be Omar playing significant minutes at the four and averaging double figures in scoring. Nothing in his previous experience would indicate that. To be clear I am not predicting that, just would be surprised if it happened.
It would be a surprise based on previous college history for sure. Not necessarily a surprise based on ranking from high school and getting to a school that can actually develop him and unlock his potential. I’m hopeful we’ve succeeded on part 2 cause that would give us some nasty lineup possibilities.

I saw the game Trent scored 22pts on 18 attempts so I wouldn't say he went off and he has always had a few games with big scoring outbursts every year.
I just looked back at the box score to this game. We really made hay as a team in 2 places.

1) we were 6-13 (46%) from 3. To be almost 50% as a team in a game is just outstanding.

2) We did phenomenal work on the glass. We had 6 guys that grabbed between 4-7 rebounds. The way we were pressuring and extending out to shooters, it can be harder to seal a box out because if you don’t react quickly enough they can go by you in one step to attack the offensive glass. That fact that we, for the most part, stayed locked in on that for the whole game, is extremely impressive to me.

Link to the box score if anybody wants it.
 
#154      
I just do not see two teams better than us in the Big Ten. We will have a lot of depth if a team wants to run and gun against us. This team I believe will be amazing to watch. This is a different team than last year. Go Illini!!!
 
#155      
Long time lurker who rarely posts but my friend Hunter got me off dead center. Been thinking about this for a couple of years.

The first general rule of BB is that teams take on the personality of their coach. There is an addendum, so do fan bases.

I was out of Illinois several years when Indiana hired Bob Knight. He did not make one wrong comment but within 6 months he was intensely hated by everybody. From day one Knight oozed confidence from every pore, a confidence that bordered on arrogance. You don't have to wish me well, I've got this and by the way you might want to change your offense because my defense is going to shut you down. Knight never said that but you could read it in his eyes.

On the day BU gave his first presser, he just struck me as being different. There was something that said " I've got this". There was a little BK on display but a kinder version. Recently a Michigan fan said that next to your arch rival, everybody's 2nd most hated team is Illinois. That is on Underwood and us and I love it,

After the Iowa game a year and a half ago, I sat watching watching the student section as Underwood passed and he stopped to autograph a sign some student made that disparaged Fran. Later that evening some Iowa fan twittered about Illinois classless fan base and their equally classless head coach for stopping to autograph the sign. Orange and Blue is apparently not in style right now.
 
#156      
It would be a surprise based on previous college history for sure. Not necessarily a surprise based on ranking from high school and getting to a school that can actually develop him and unlock his potential. I’m hopeful we’ve succeeded on part 2 cause that would give us some nasty lineup possibilities.


I just looked back at the box score to this game. We really made hay as a team in 2 places.

1) we were 6-13 (46%) from 3. To be almost 50% as a team in a game is just outstanding.

2) We did phenomenal work on the glass. We had 6 guys that grabbed between 4-7 rebounds. The way we were pressuring and extending out to shooters, it can be harder to seal a box out because if you don’t react quickly enough they can go by you in one step to attack the offensive glass. That fact that we, for the most part, stayed locked in on that for the whole game, is extremely impressive to me.

Link to the box score if anybody wants it.
Rebounding, especially on defense, was such an underrated key to our success last year. On average, we outrebounded opponents 40-30. And what was surprising to me was that we weren't that good on the offensive glass. 128th in the country. But we were elite (!) on the defensive side, 7th in the country. We just denied opponents second chance opportunities. Even though Ayo was a decently big part of that (6.3 rpg) I'm still pretty optimistic we will be very good at this again this year.

 
#157      
Who will be the biggest surprise this year? I'm so excited to be back in person every game! My bold prediction is that we will be better this year than last!
A. Hawkins
B. Payne
C. Plummer
D. Goode
E. Melendez
F. Podziemski
G. Hutcherson
I think on any given night it could change. Thats whats great this year. We have more shooters, length, FT shooters, and athleticism.

I expect a big impact from Payne and Hutch most of all with points off the bench from Plummer.

I hope the biggest surprise is Belo can hit nearly 40% from three. That could have major impactI

Oh and Kofi shows improvement at the line.

I love the idea of having 3 guys out there that can shoot FTs at or above 90% like JG, Hutch, and Plummer. TF isn't far from attaining that type of FT shooting either. If Kofi wasn't fouled so often we could be the best FT shooting team in the country. I haven't heard this mentioned much but we should improve a lot from the line.
 
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#158      
Long time lurker who rarely posts but my friend Hunter got me off dead center. Been thinking about this for a couple of years.

The first general rule of BB is that teams take on the personality of their coach. There is an addendum, so do fan bases.

I was out of Illinois several years when Indiana hired Bob Knight. He did not make one wrong comment but within 6 months he was intensely hated by everybody. From day one Knight oozed confidence from every pore, a confidence that bordered on arrogance. You don't have to wish me well, I've got this and by the way you might want to change your offense because my defense is going to shut you down. Knight never said that but you could read it in his eyes.

On the day BU gave his first presser, he just struck me as being different. There was something that said " I've got this". There was a little BK on display but a kinder version. Recently a Michigan fan said that next to your arch rival, everybody's 2nd most hated team is Illinois. That is on Underwood and us and I love it,

After the Iowa game a year and a half ago, I sat watching watching the student section as Underwood passed and he stopped to autograph a sign some student made that disparaged Fran. Later that evening some Iowa fan twittered about Illinois classless fan base and their equally classless head coach for stopping to autograph the sign. Orange and Blue is apparently not in style right now.
Couldn’t agree more about teams taking on the personality of their coach. To me, the one play that encapsulates that in a nutshell was during last year’s BIG tourney semis where Toussaint exposed the ball, and Belo just ripped it away and went for a dunk, leaving Toussaint standing there with his arms in the air looking for a call.

As good as they were last year, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion they’re going to be even better this year and based on Kofi and Belo’s remarks yesterday, the team feels that way too. Can’t wait for the season to start.
 
#159      
You see things at games that TV never covers. 2 years ago there is a questionable call that BU didn't like. At all.

He explodes toward the ref and OA grabs him in a bear hug from behind to keep him in the coaching box. He is literally wrestling him back. The players are only 10 feet away. They see and hear this.
 
#160      
Couldn’t agree more about teams taking on the personality of their coach. To me, the one play that encapsulates that in a nutshell was during last year’s BIG tourney semis where Toussaint exposed the ball, and Belo just ripped it away and went for a dunk, leaving Toussaint standing there with his arms in the air looking for a call.

As good as they were last year, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion they’re going to be even better this year and based on Kofi and Belo’s remarks yesterday, the team feels that way too. Can’t wait for the season to start.
There certainly seems to be a good deal of confidence surrounding this team....including myself....but what I will be looking for is how this team handles the game (that most certainly will come along...insert Loyola game here) where we don't shoot well, or the opponent plays it's best game of the year against us, or the officiating is questionable (like that never happens) and key players are in foul trouble, or heaven forbid injuries.....how quickly will we adjust, how will we respond....can we play through those games against top notch opponents and still win......if we can do that....my confidence will be over the top! :hailtotheorange:
 
#161      
Rebounding, especially on defense, was such an underrated key to our success last year. On average, we outrebounded opponents 40-30. And what was surprising to me was that we weren't that good on the offensive glass. 128th in the country. But we were elite (!) on the defensive side, 7th in the country. We just denied opponents second chance opportunities. Even though Ayo was a decently big part of that (6.3 rpg) I'm still pretty optimistic we will be very good at this again this year.

I'm going to say that we rebounded that game well with Kofi missing pretty much a half. Also, while we lose Ayo's rebounding, we may use more length this year as a team overall with possibly more Hawkins, Payne seems like a better rebounder than Giorgi, Curbelo seems to be a feisty small guard type rebounder, Hutch if he plays and if any of our freshman play are all wings. The only not so good rebounder on our team right now is Frazier.
 
#162      
Has he never played at Maryland?
Nope. And given last year was his first and it was the Covid year, even if he had it wouldn’t really be “playing at Maryland.” But Hunter’s Illini fan comments weren’t about the fans in the stands but those on social media. Given that even before this, he, Liddell and Trayce JD were probably the most mentioned opponent players on this board positive or negative — and in the case of Hunter predominantly negative — it would not surprise me if enough of the Illini fans interacting with Hunter on social media would lead Hunter to label Illini fans as annoying.

Again, I have no problem with what he said. He didn’t say anything bad about the current team — “I’m cool with Kofi. I don’t really know Curbelo too much but he seems cool.” All this just gives the Krush some ammo, and I’m fine with that too. As to those that think “the Illini are living rent free in Hunter’s head,” I get the impression he probably relishes things like this. So when he under performs against the Illini, I think it will be about Kofi being much better and not what a bunch of chuckleheads say to him on social media
 
#163      
Rebounding, especially on defense, was such an underrated key to our success last year. On average, we outrebounded opponents 40-30. And what was surprising to me was that we weren't that good on the offensive glass. 128th in the country. But we were elite (!) on the defensive side, 7th in the country. We just denied opponents second chance opportunities. Even though Ayo was a decently big part of that (6.3 rpg) I'm still pretty optimistic we will be very good at this again this year.

I think there are a couple of reasons for our defensive rebounding. First although many would like to see blocked shots Kofi would remain in rebounding position. The second part was a fear of sending people to the offensive boards with Ayo and crew always threatening a fast break. Don’t think either of those things will change this year although losing Ayo decreases the fast break opportunities because it still was a fast break when Ayo only had two (or three) defenders to beat.
 
#164      
Nope. And given last year was his first and it was the Covid year, even if he had it wouldn’t really be “playing at Maryland.” But Hunter’s Illini fan comments weren’t about the fans in the stands but those on social media. Given that even before this, he, Liddell and Trayce JD were probably the most mentioned opponent players on this board positive or negative — and in the case of Hunter predominantly negative — it would not surprise me if enough of the Illini fans interacting with Hunter on social media would lead Hunter to label Illini fans as annoying.

Again, I have no problem with what he said. He didn’t say anything bad about the current team — “I’m cool with Kofi. I don’t really know Curbelo too much but he seems cool.” All this just gives the Krush some ammo, and I’m fine with that too. As to those that think “the Illini are living rent free in Hunter’s head,” I get the impression he probably relishes things like this. So when he under performs against the Illini, I think it will be about Kofi being much better and not what a bunch of chuckleheads say to him on social media
Illini basketball is fun again.
 
#165      
I think there are a couple of reasons for our defensive rebounding. First although many would like to see blocked shots Kofi would remain in rebounding position. The second part was a fear of sending people to the offensive boards with Ayo and crew always threatening a fast break. Don’t think either of those things will change this year although losing Ayo decreases the fast break opportunities because it still was a fast break when Ayo only had two (or three) defenders to beat.
I agree that those probably factored in, but I also think there's a more simple explanation. In addition to obviously Kofi, we had a number of players who were above average rebounders for their position (Ayo, Grandison, Monte, Belo). Other than Ayo, they're all back, and the other two guys we lost (AM and Giorgi) were probably just average rebounders for their position (just guesstimating).

As for offensive rebounding not being as impressive, I think our efficiency on offense factors in. If you're bricking the ball a ton you're obviously going to have more chances at boards on that end.
 
#166      
Winged Warrior
Sister Mary Jean bad taste in your mouth...and picked 3rd in the B1G?

Kofi and Curbelo...or the whole team for that matter....with chips on their shoulders?

dumb-and-dumber-sounds-good.gif
 
#167      
Long time lurker who rarely posts but my friend Hunter got me off dead center. Been thinking about this for a couple of years.

The first general rule of BB is that teams take on the personality of their coach. There is an addendum, so do fan bases.

I was out of Illinois several years when Indiana hired Bob Knight. He did not make one wrong comment but within 6 months he was intensely hated by everybody. From day one Knight oozed confidence from every pore, a confidence that bordered on arrogance. You don't have to wish me well, I've got this and by the way you might want to change your offense because my defense is going to shut you down. Knight never said that but you could read it in his eyes.

On the day BU gave his first presser, he just struck me as being different. There was something that said " I've got this". There was a little BK on display but a kinder version. Recently a Michigan fan said that next to your arch rival, everybody's 2nd most hated team is Illinois. That is on Underwood and us and I love it,

After the Iowa game a year and a half ago, I sat watching watching the student section as Underwood passed and he stopped to autograph a sign some student made that disparaged Fran. Later that evening some Iowa fan twittered about Illinois classless fan base and their equally classless head coach for stopping to autograph the sign. Orange and Blue is apparently not in style right now.
This,

Isn't it great to be relevant again?

BU recruits and coaches with an edge that had been lacking from Illini basketball. He recruits a type of person/player that fits his system and are mostly junk yard dog types. These kids are talented, invested, and are having fun. Can't wait to see where this season takes us!! ILL!!
 
#168      
Sister Mary Jean bad taste in your mouth...and picked 3rd in the B1G?

Kofi and Curbelo...or the whole team for that matter....with chips on their shoulders?

dumb-and-dumber-sounds-good.gif
Agreed! I don’t think you need too much Kool-aid to say we will be the best team in the big ten and it’s not that close

Purdue and Michigan will both be good - no doubt but they don’t have the top to bottom talent with experience that we will have- we are a coaches dream- experienced players that know their role with depth to spare
 
#169      
Agreed! I don’t think you need too much Kool-aid to say we will be the best team in the big ten and it’s not that close

Purdue and Michigan will both be good - no doubt but they don’t have the top to bottom talent with experience that we will have- we are a coaches dream- experienced players that know their role with depth to spare
I’m not sure roles have been defined for this year. Isn’t it a work- in- process at this point? Belo’s and Kofi’s defined but not even Trent’s or DaMonte’s this early.
 
#170      
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
I’m not sure roles have been defined for this year. Isn’t it a work- in- process at this point? Belo’s and Kofi’s defined but not even Trent’s or DaMonte’s this early.
I'd be worried if BU and staff didn't have an idea of how they'd use the current roster. That's subject to change of course, but knowing who you want to play where impacts how you practice.
 
#171      
I’m not sure roles have been defined for this year. Isn’t it a work- in- process at this point? Belo’s and Kofi’s defined but not even Trent’s or DaMonte’s this early.
Trent's role seems fairly defined - he'll play off the ball and be relied on for somewhat increased offensive production, he'll move to point when Andre is out, and of course, he'll play great defense. DaMonte - not quite as defined, though we know he'll be counted on to defend at a high level.

As far as Michigan and Purdue not having the top to bottom talent as us, the previous poster is crazy. I know a lot of Michigan's talent is not experienced, but you're talking multiple top 20 rated players. We've got three guys who were (barely) top 50. We're a bit more experienced. They're more talented (at least based on recruiting rrankings).

The top of the Big Ten will be brutally tough.
 
#172      
I’m not sure roles have been defined for this year. Isn’t it a work- in- process at this point? Belo’s and Kofi’s defined but not even Trent’s or DaMonte’s this early.
I'd be worried if BU and staff didn't have an idea of how they'd use the current roster. That's subject to change of course, but knowing who you want to play where impacts how you practice.
Sounds like you both are saying the same thing, just differently.....we do have 3 freshman, 2 transfers and current player who hasn't hit the floor for us being fit into our roster with 3 new asst. coaches. I am sure BU has an idea how he would like to use the roster.... situational and our 3 and 4 positions need defined better....we have so much flexibility this year it's tough to know this early.
 
#173      
Trent's role seems fairly defined - he'll play off the ball and be relied on for somewhat increased offensive production, he'll move to point when Andre is out, and of course, he'll play great defense. DaMonte - not quite as defined, though we know he'll be counted on to defend at a high level.

As far as Michigan and Purdue not having the top to bottom talent as us, the previous poster is crazy. I know a lot of Michigan's talent is not experienced, but you're talking multiple top 20 rated players. We've got three guys who were (barely) top 50. We're a bit more experienced. They're more talented (at least based on recruiting rrankings).

The top of the Big Ten will be brutally tough.
My point was talent with experience it’s a rare year you get the best big man in the country coming back- with 2 super seniors and a lot of other experienced players. we’ll be one of the oldest top teams in the country for sure.

Michigan has the #1 recruiting class in the country coming in this year so of course they have highly ranked players that are talented- but how many will be better at playing basketball than Curbelo or Kofi this year?

I like our chances against Michigan
 
#174      
Sounds like you both are saying the same thing, just differently.....we do have 3 freshman, 2 transfers and current player who hasn't hit the floor for us being fit into our roster with 3 new asst. coaches. I am sure BU has an idea how he would like to use the roster.... situational and our 3 and 4 positions need defined better....we have so much flexibility this year it's tough to know this early.
I believe that the use of the roster will depend on the opponents strengths and or weaknesses....our roster will be very balanced in that we have the flexibility to play a variety of ways (we can play fast or we could slow things down some if Kofi and Payne are both in the lineup at the same time)....depending on who we are playing (and who may be in foul trouble) will dictate on how the roster will be utilized
 
#175      
I believe that the use of the roster will depend on the opponents strengths and or weaknesses....our roster will be very balanced in that we have the flexibility to play a variety of ways (we can play fast or we could slow things down some if Kofi and Payne are both in the lineup at the same time)....depending on who we are playing (and who may be in foul trouble) will dictate on how the roster will be utilized

Yep, we have myriad good options. Love our depth, love our experience and that we can present many different looks.
 
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