Illini Basketball 2022-2023

#202      
That whole article is a head-scratcher. I thought this was particularly strange: :Though the Tigers are returning three of their top five scorers for 2021-22, the talent needed to make a run in the NCAA Tournament and be competitive in the SEC requires a bit more than just good basketball players."

I know it's Satan's team, but he's shown he can coach, and has incoming 4 and 5 star players to join the three mentioned.

My guess is the 2022-23 Illini will be in contention for the BIG championship, with a high floor, but maybe not as high a ceiling as Ayo's last team. We'll have some really fun players to watch.

I was kind of thinking the opposite. This team has a lower floor and higher ceiling.

That Ayo team was very consistent offensively and defensively, but I think they struggled to take it to another level because of a lack of versatility. They were always good, but always beatable if a team could figure them out.

It is hard to expect this team be just as consistent all year, with all the new faces. But with all the talent and versatility I think this is a team that will have games where nobody can beat them because they are that good.
 
#205      

Ransom Stoddard

Ordained Dudeist Priest
Bloomington, IL
Also, did the school change their name to St. Jhons? I'm asking because they literally spelled it that way every time on that sheet (like 5 times).
It looks like they did a mini-tour of the DR, playing the DR national team on 8/12 and the GUG All-stars on 8/14. It would appear that the stat sheet was provided by the host team, who may not have the editorial resources we're used to. ;)

 
#208      
Pinzon is on St. Johns too?? Curbelo's high school teammate if I'm not mistaken. Lots of familiar names, should be a fun team to keep an eye on this season.
The Johnnies being good enough to make for fun Big East games at MSG would be great.

But here's a prompt: If you could wave a magic wand and Curbelo is back on the Illini for this year, would you do it?
 
#211      
Absolutely not. I like to players that we have just fine.
It's a difficult question I think.

"Would you add [a good point guard] to the roster?" is in theory the easiest no-brainer question in the universe, massively raising the team's floor that no one on this board wants to acknowledge.

But Curbelo is a tricky player and a tricky situation and defining his role would be a big challenge, and IF (big if) Clark is healthy and some version of the player we think he can be, it would be very easy to see adding Curbelo making us worse off.
 
#212      

blackdog

Champaign
It's a difficult question I think.

"Would you add [a good point guard] to the roster?" is in theory the easiest no-brainer question in the universe, massively raising the team's floor that no one on this board wants to acknowledge.

But Curbelo is a tricky player and a tricky situation and defining his role would be a big challenge, and IF (big if) Clark is healthy and some version of the player we think he can be, it would be very easy to see adding Curbelo making us worse off.

I think what makes this team most exciting is the potential for good ball movement and shooting from every position. Adding a ball dominant point guard that can't shoot to the mix just takes away from what the teams strengths are supposed to be. Sure he might be great and make some awesome plays but I don't know if the style change would be worth it.
 
#215      
The Johnnies being good enough to make for fun Big East games at MSG would be great.

But here's a prompt: If you could wave a magic wand and Curbelo is back on the Illini for this year, would you do it?
Which Curbelo? 2021 or 2022?

AC is a fun guy to watch, but was way too out of control last season. I don't like the way his development is trending. Hopefully, he gets it figured out. He's a very unique talent.

I'll vote no, but if he had never left I'd probably feel differently.
 
#216      
Andre was a wonderful part of our #1 seed BTT champion. He played with joy and loved Illinois. Before the 2022 season paid $50 and he did a hilarious custom CAMEO (also did one with DaMonte).

If the concussion does not happen I like to believe he would have eventually improved his game to be more of a team player and led the 2022 team to further in the NCAA tourney. So sad to see him go.

Assuming he agreed to limit the hero ball and mindless dribbling thru the lane I would take him back. He has tremendous ceiling.

I think we will be fine without him, and I wish him success at St .John, but am sad he will not be part our success in 2023. JMO he should have come back. Luckily we are still loaded for 2023.

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#217      
Which Curbelo? 2021 or 2022?

AC is a fun guy to watch, but was way too out of control last season. I don't like the way his development is trending. Hopefully, he gets it figured out. He's a very unique talent.

I'll vote no, but if he had never left I'd probably feel differently.
He reminds me of Rodman when he played with the Bulls. Because Jordan was there he was (almost) under control and they won three championships. During Curbelo's "good" year, he had Ayo to lead the way and harness him. Subsequent to that, he was playing without a rudder, a la Rodman.
Many on the edge players need a strong, stable influence to influence them.

I don't see anyone with that level of control on this year's team, so I would vote NO to his presence. He'd be a distraction.
 
#218      

The Galloping Ghost

Washington, DC
The Johnnies being good enough to make for fun Big East games at MSG would be great.

But here's a prompt: If you could wave a magic wand and Curbelo is back on the Illini for this year, would you do it?
I LOVE Belo. I have ridden for him as much as anyone on here. I was genuinely disappointed when he left. With that said, I would not want him on this team. He made his choice. I think it was a wise one for both him and the program. Despite the talent, sometimes a change of scenery is just incredibly necessary for everyone involved.

I genuinely love the versatility of this team. We have a lot of guys that can initiate the offense. We have a lot of guys that can shoot. We have a tremendous amount of length. And I do think Skyy and Epps are going to come extremely good for us.

I wish Belo nothing but the best. I am absolutely going to make an effort to watch St. John's this season. I hope we face them in the tournament and I hope Skyy completely dominates Belo in every facet of the game if it happens.
 
#219      
The Johnnies being good enough to make for fun Big East games at MSG would be great.

But here's a prompt: If you could wave a magic wand and Curbelo is back on the Illini for this year, would you do it?
When he looks at the backboard, how many rims does he see? If the answer is one, then I'd take him back in a second.
 
#222      

pruman91

Paducah, Ky
Unfortunately, this hypothetical also requires us to know what exactly happened during the halftime of the Houston game. All we have is that he managed to ensure that he wasn't going to be able to step foot on the court during the second half of a must-win game. That's a problem and something I don't want to see again.
That thought has crossed my mind numerous times also.......
 
#224      
I was kind of thinking the opposite. This team has a lower floor and higher ceiling.

That Ayo team was very consistent offensively and defensively, but I think they struggled to take it to another level because of a lack of versatility. They were always good, but always beatable if a team could figure them out.

It is hard to expect this team be just as consistent all year, with all the new faces. But with all the talent and versatility I think this is a team that will have games where nobody can beat them because they are that good.

Who knows?

It's often been said that veteran teams play well early, but young teams peak late. My thinking was that TSJ, Mayer, Hawkins, give us a veteran group, but I could see the opposite argument since they haven't played in Underwood's system. I also think RJ will punch above his weight, so to speak, since he was starting to look like a veteran by the end of last year. Skyy is another that I expect to play as more experienced than you'd expect as a true freshman.

Another factor in how consistent they look may be the schedule, since there are a number of top teams in the non-conference. Even if they're pretty good early, they could get several losses.