Illini Basketball 2022-2023

#176      
Mid season check of my "insane" point predictions:

PlayerPredictedActualDifference if > 1pt
Mayer1110.5
Cole109.6
Dainja1010.3
Clark67
Rodgers32.1
TSJ1218.1+6
Epps69.3+3
RJM156.6-9
Harris-4.2+4
Goode4--4
Total7777.7
This is really impressive especially with Luke’s injury and Skyy leaving in the mix…

Thing to note; based off this prediction RJ is the lone guy having a disappointing year to you. I had this thought last night and feel even more firm in it…

Look for RJ to be more comfortable and break out once Luke comes back. Thinking back to last year, we have CoHawk,Goode and Melendez as our returners that we’re in our rotation. Those 3 guys saw a lot of tick together in the end stretch of last year. Chemistry means a lot, and for the first time all season we can have a lineup out with 60% returning guys for the first time all season with those 3 on the floor..just sayin..

I-L-L
 
#177      
I’m not saying it’s the be all, end all, but there are only 5 B10 teams in the top 45 Net rankings. I don’t think teams over 40 often make it in though i have nothing to back that up.
Unless my math is off, I would expect at least 19 teams with +45 NETs to make the tournament.
 
#182      
This is really impressive especially with Luke’s injury and Skyy leaving in the mix…

Thing to note; based off this prediction RJ is the lone guy having a disappointing year to you. I had this thought last night and feel even more firm in it…
Disappointments - in order:
- Too much dribbling on a stagnant offense (BU). Sticking with the terrible defense too long (BU).
- Skyy was not the play maker I had hoped for. I predicted only few points for them because I expected them to be making a lot of assists to backdoor cuts; I got reamed for this prediction when I made it. By Mid Dec, I was in favor of benching Skyy. I hope he finds a better fit elsewhere and does well.
- RJ not making the sophomore jump I was hoping for. I was expecting them to be a 1st or 2nd choice on offense. I'm not sure what happened. This could be unrealistic expectations.
- Coleman not stepping up as a leader (or maturing in general) or taking the wide open 3pt shots in the flow of the offense. We get end up taking worse shots as a result. That automatic ball fake has to go.
- Mayer hasn't stepped up as a visible on court leader. Even if leading isn't your preferred action, it is part of the job. It affects team chemistry. See TSJ.
- Goode injury - I think he is a stabilizing force in the rotation. I look to his return, so Coleman can get a few more minutes rest. He has been gassed in some games and missed plays as a result.
- The team has not adopted Barry style free throws. It can be the UofI calling card. It is a recruiting filter. Are you for the team, or your ego?

Kudos - in order:
- Harris has the defense down a year earlier than I expected. His energy is contagious. Well done Harris. He is my current favorite player.
- They don't quit.
- TSJ has stepped up as a leader. He tries to keep the offense flowing vs. playing hero ball (until the shot clock is very low).

Even though I only listed negatives for BU, I'm happy with him as the coach. He seems to listen to others, and adjust. He brings in a great supporting cast.
 
#183      

PizzaHutParkingLot

McPherson, KS
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TJ is 'elite' at picking up Brad-isms 😂
 
#186      
anyone know what's going on with Skyy Clark?

Has he enrolled in school anywhere? Or is he prepping for the pros?
If he hasn't enrolled he can't play this semester or maybe even next fall?
 
#187      
In case you haven't noticed Illinois (5-4) is now tied for 4th in the B1G and one game out of second - with Northwestern (4-3) and Michigan State (5-4). Right now I believe Northwestern has the tie breakers to get the two byes in the BTT.

The next few days a few more things are going to shake out. Michigan (5-3) plays Purdue (8-1) at home tomorrow night. Then Purdue hosts Michigan State 3 days later. I find it hard to root for Michigan teams against Purdue, but we could find ourselves 1 game out of first in a few days if we can also take care of business. The B1G really becomes wide open if the Michigan teams can take it to Purdue (Purdue has won 4 out of 5 one possession games they have had in the B1G, so they might be due to come out on the other end of that equation). Edey versus Dickweed will be an interesting matchup. Rutgers (6-3) has to travel to Iowa in 3 days also. In their next 5 games they have Iowa, Illinois and Indiana all on the road, and Mich State at home. I think we have an excellent chance to catch or pass Rutgers in the next couple of weeks.

As unlikely as it seems, a conference championship is not a lost cause at this point.
 
#188      
The next few days a few more things are going to shake out. Michigan (5-3) plays Purdue (8-1) at home tomorrow night. Then Purdue hosts Michigan State 3 days later. I find it hard to root for Michigan teams against Purdue, but we could find ourselves 1 game out of first in a few days if we can also take care of business. The B1G really becomes wide open if the Michigan teams can take it to Purdue (Purdue has won 4 out of 5 one possession games they have had in the B1G, so they might be due to come out on the other end of that equation). Edey versus Dickweed will be an interesting matchup. Rutgers (6-3) has to travel to Iowa in 3 days also. In their next 5 games they have Iowa, Illinois and Indiana all on the road, and Mich State at home. I think we have an excellent chance to catch or pass Rutgers in the next couple of weeks.

As unlikely as it seems, a conference championship is not a lost cause at this point.
I laughed way too hard at this. Thanks for the chuckle! Good analysis too.
 
#190      
I really hope Ty can really develop a shot. He has a ton of upside. Like Bardo said today he does so many other things very well However his shot needs a ton of work for him to have to be closely guarded. He is going to need to do so to see extensive minutes in the years to come.
 
#191      
Somebody talk me out of dropping a nutty amount of money for the game at Purdue.
I'm driving to Champaign for the Michigan game anyway, and it is just so damn tempting, minus the scarcity and pricing of the secondary market tickets right now.
 
#192      
I really hope Ty can really develop a shot. He has a ton of upside. Like Bardo said today he does so many other things very well However his shot needs a ton of work for him to have to be closely guarded. He is going to need to do so to see extensive minutes in the years to come.
Is Hansberry a larger version of Ty with a shot?
 
#197      

DeonThomas

South Carolina
I've started to notice brief glimpses of chemistry/teamwork with these 8 guys (9 incl. Lieb). It appears roles are now becoming much clearer. Naturally, defense is required by everyone, and as a team, they are delivering.

Starters:
PG - Epps has truly emerged. He can both penetrate into the lane and hit the 3. I'll give him an 8/10 on his handles. Defense is improving.
SG - TSJ. We all know his story. The #1 key to our running game.
SF - Mayer's growth has been astounding. His combination of length, ballhandling and 3-point accuracy is superb!
SF - CoHawk. 6'10 and Mayer-like. While not a prolific scorer, he does a lot of the little things that Mayer/Shannon do not.
C - Dain. Ken Norman-like. Keen ability to score from inside 10 ft. Uncanny shot blocker with his wingspan.

Bench:
G - Sencire has incredible energy. Defense = outstanding. Quickness with the ball allows him to get into the paint on "O". Unselfish.
F - RJ. Role player. Solid defensively. Has springs in his feet. Expecting a big jump in his shooting % next season. (Cannot go left.)
G/F-Ty Harris can play anywhere! Tough as nails. Gaining confidence. A+ defender. A- ballhandler.
C - Lieb will continue to play sparingly. A trooper. I now see him contributing much more over the next two full seasons than I did even two months ago.

Redshirt:
I'm starting to think that (barring injury too any of the guys above) everyone will benefit most from Luke taking an injury redshirt year. (A) Team chemisty is essentially already in place. (B) TSJ and Mayer are gone with 100% certainty next year. (C) Luke could potentially have three more full seasons ahead of him. (D) Not sure it's worth it to play just 1 full month of basketball..............assuming he's back mid-Feb.
 
#199      

Ryllini

Lombard
Question for anyone with some insight into Dain. What are his plans for his collegiate career? He is an old freshman, but without any perimter game as of now the league isnt going to come running for a freshman in his 20's. I salivate at the prospects of him being a 24/25 year old senior in Champaign with seasoned Hansberry and budding beast in Morez alongside him.
 
#200      
Question for anyone with some insight into Dain. What are his plans for his collegiate career? He is an old freshman, but without any perimter game as of now the league isnt going to come running for a freshman in his 20's. I salivate at the prospects of him being a 24/25 year old senior in Champaign with seasoned Hansberry and budding beast in Morez alongside him.
He *could* legitimately become an all American if he stays 4 years.