Illini Basketball 2023-2024

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#351      
I’m throwing this up here because frankly I forgot to post it a day ago when we were discussing Weber’s X’s and O’s…and the 2005 run.

Some of you that are somewhere, kinda high on the “Bruce was a good X’s and O’s coach” will probably enjoy this;

If you haven’t already seen it…I think you’ll dig it. Illinois vs UNC starts approximately around the 10 sec. mark.

Too soon.
 
#355      

So Joe thinks we are a 5 seed.
I think a 5/6 seed is fair at this point. Stumbled into the tournament as a 9 seed last year but looked extremely good early in the year and this year's team is way deeper and better imo even if there isn't a proven PG.

The only major loss imo is Mayer but I think Domask will replace his production by being a better shooter and offensive fit while giving more consistent defensive effort. Domask isn't as long or athletic as Mayer so you won't see the highlight blocks that Mayer could make when he's engaged but don't think Domask is a downgrade.

Epps and Melendez left but neither one was really good last year. Also, added Harmon and Guerrier as proven guys that can score and play d.
 
#357      
Yes, because he was very good. Thanks for proving my point. That along with what others thought he could become projected him to be the 3rd overall pick. Once in the NBA he transformed his body and became one of the top PGs of his era.
Listen. Deron is arguably the greatest Illinois player of all time. And that's based on his college work, not what he was projected to be. Frank probably isn't in that top tier conversation imo. Frank's an all-time great but I wouldn't put him in the best ever convo. Deron is DEFINITELY in that conversation.
 
#358      
Listen. Deron is arguably the greatest Illinois player of all time. And that's based on his college work, not what he was projected to be. Frank probably isn't in that top tier conversation imo. Frank's an all-time great but I wouldn't put him in the best ever convo. Deron is DEFINITELY in that conversation.
Deron was great, but as a freshman he was brutal from the free throw line. Many remember Deron as the GOAT because of how he played in the NCAA. He made himself a lot of money in that tournament with his clutch shots. Would he have been as highly regarded if we lost in the Elite Eight against Arizona?

I think it is impossible to state who the best was, the list would be long but I think you would have to include Nick Anderson, Nick Weatherspoon and Derek Harper and even Eddie Johnson. It is hard if you only look at college stats, but Eddie Johnson, Nick Anderson and Derek Harper had better pro stats (or at least comparable) then Deron.
 
#359      

Bigtex

DFW
I think a 5/6 seed is fair at this point. Stumbled into the tournament as a 9 seed last year but looked extremely good early in the year and this year's team is way deeper and better imo even if there isn't a proven PG.

The only major loss imo is Mayer but I think Domask will replace his production by being a better shooter and offensive fit while giving more consistent defensive effort. Domask isn't as long or athletic as Mayer so you won't see the highlight blocks that Mayer could make when he's engaged but don't think Domask is a downgrade.

Epps and Melendez left but neither one was really good last year. Also, added Harmon and Guerrier as proven guys that can score and play d.
Is the consensus that the loss of Mayer, Clark, Epps, and RJ will cause the offense and defense execution to be better.

There were times last year when none of the subtractions were on the floor and the team didn't perform any better and if they would have, I would have expected that group to see more minutes and improved efficiency....

And from above the only major loss was Mayer. So does that say Mayer was the problem on the team/ in the locker room?

Hoping to not live through another 22/23 type season.
 
#360      

Dr Copejam

The Rock
Listen. Deron is arguably the greatest Illinois player of all time. And that's based on his college work, not what he was projected to be. Frank probably isn't in that top tier conversation imo. Frank's an all-time great but I wouldn't put him in the best ever convo. Deron is DEFINITELY in that conversation.
You don’t put Frank in the best ever convo?


Confused Gary Coleman GIF
 
#361      
Listen. Deron is arguably the greatest Illinois player of all time. And that's based on his college work, not what he was projected to be. Frank probably isn't in that top tier conversation imo. Frank's an all-time great but I wouldn't put him in the best ever convo. Deron is DEFINITELY in that conversation.
I think Frank's legacy would obviously have been much different if we win that game in '01 against Arizona (and if he had played better) - if he was on a Final Four team after winning Big Ten POTY, he would be in that conversation. I hear what you are saying - I still think Frank makes an "all Illini team" not first team, so I agree with your point. We tend to think of the best players on the best teams and his team fell short that year, unfortunately.
 
#362      
I think Frank's legacy would obviously have been much different if we win that game in '01 against Arizona (and if he had played better) - if he was on a Final Four team after winning Big Ten POTY, he would be in that conversation. I hear what you are saying - I still think Frank makes an "all Illini team" not first team, so I agree with your point. We tend to think of the best players on the best teams and his team fell short that year, unfortunately.
I think people are kind of splitting hairs here, so I'm not sure its worth rebutting, but regarding the bold... obviously you discount players with bloated stats from crappy teams (empty stats, if you will) but best players on best teams should not always be the deciding factor.
 
#363      

skyIdub

Winged Warrior
Lol, intentionally waiting to read the thread after one month in the off season is pretty entertaining.

Some of you kids and your DWill hot takes are funny. LOVE DWill, arguably the best pure PG in Illini history.
Best player ever?

If we’re picking rec/playground teams and all time ILLINI are the pool, if you don’t pick Nick Anderson with your first pick you are plum crazy.
In fact, do you like only the hottest takes? Do you love only the spiciest debates?
I’ll take the entire 88-89 team with healthy KG, and beat whatever remaining Illini AllStar team you come up with in a 5 or 7 game series every time.
And that’s prolly Ayo, Deron, Frankie, Dee/Harper , and Kofi.
(I’ll maybe skip the 6th man/bench argument that most certainly follows and just get my popcorn to enjoy)

The 88-89 team was the best college bb team I’ve ever seen, not just the best Illini team ever. I’d put them and my $$$ against any CBB team before or since in a 7 game series.
They were absolutely insane when healthy and on.
They were the best in the country with injuries and off nights.
 
#364      

InDaAZ

Eugene, Oregon
Lol, intentionally waiting to read the thread after one month in the off season is pretty entertaining.

Some of you kids and your DWill hot takes are funny. LOVE DWill, arguably the best pure PG in Illini history.
Best player ever?

If we’re picking rec/playground teams and all time ILLINI are the pool, if you don’t pick Nick Anderson with your first pick you are plum crazy.
In fact, do you like only the hottest takes? Do you love only the spiciest debates?
I’ll take the entire 88-89 team with healthy KG, and beat whatever remaining Illini AllStar team you come up with in a 5 or 7 game series every time.
And that’s prolly Ayo, Deron, Frankie, Dee/Harper , and Kofi.
(I’ll maybe skip the 6th man/bench argument that most certainly follows and just get my popcorn to enjoy)

The 88-89 team was the best college bb team I’ve ever seen, not just the best Illini team ever. I’d put them and my $$$ against any CBB team before or since in a 7 game series.
They were absolutely insane when healthy and on.
They were the best in the country with injuries and off nights.
Reality Love GIF by Married At First Sight
 
#366      
Hey, does anyone here know what TSJ has tattooed on his back and shoulders? I was thinking it was Avogadro's Number but I didn't see an exponent.
 
#367      
Lol, intentionally waiting to read the thread after one month in the off season is pretty entertaining.

Some of you kids and your DWill hot takes are funny. LOVE DWill, arguably the best pure PG in Illini history.
Best player ever?

If we’re picking rec/playground teams and all time ILLINI are the pool, if you don’t pick Nick Anderson with your first pick you are plum crazy.
In fact, do you like only the hottest takes? Do you love only the spiciest debates?
I’ll take the entire 88-89 team with healthy KG, and beat whatever remaining Illini AllStar team you come up with in a 5 or 7 game series every time.
And that’s prolly Ayo, Deron, Frankie, Dee/Harper , and Kofi.
(I’ll maybe skip the 6th man/bench argument that most certainly follows and just get my popcorn to enjoy)

The 88-89 team was the best college bb team I’ve ever seen, not just the best Illini team ever. I’d put them and my $$$ against any CBB team before or since in a 7 game series.
They were absolutely insane when healthy and on.
They were the best in the country with injuries and off nights.
Agreed as to the 1989 team and even with an injured Kendall Gill, that team would still have won the NCAA Championship if only Nick Anderson had not inexplicably failed to box out Sean Higgins, who took the rebound of a missed 3 point attempt with two seconds left and scored from short range, giving Michigan an 83-81 semifinal victory in what was really the NCAA Championship game that year. Just a couple of weeks earlier, a healthy Illinois squad had thrashed Michigan on the maize and blue home court Crisler Arena in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final 16 point victory margin for the ILLINI. Best ILLINI team ever and most fun to watch team never to win a Natty.
 
#368      
Agreed as to the 1989 team and even with an injured Kendall Gill, that team would still have won the NCAA Championship if only Nick Anderson had not inexplicably failed to box out Sean Higgins, who took the rebound of a missed 3 point attempt with two seconds left and scored from short range, giving Michigan an 83-81 semifinal victory in what was really the NCAA Championship game that year. Just a couple of weeks earlier, a healthy Illinois squad had thrashed Michigan on the maize and blue home court Crisler Arena in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final 16 point victory margin for the ILLINI. Best ILLINI team ever and most fun to watch team never to win a Natty.
The Nick missed box out certainly got a lot of attention after the game, but that's not the reason we lost. We just didn't play as well as we usually did that game - they beat us on the offensive boards and Rumeal Robinson single handedly beat our press over and over. That team thrived on turnovers and creating a full court hectic game and we never were able to because of Robinson. That combined with Glen Rice was on an all-time tournament heater and Sean Higgins played the game of his life off the bench and we lose a heartbreaker to a team we blew out twice in the regular season. Battle had the heart of a lion and kept us in the game - Bardo and Nick just didn't play well that game, Nick had a couple of air balls and Bardo didn't make a shot, Liberty only got 5 ticks of clock and was a non-factor and it's a shame - We would have blown Seton Hall out of the water in the finals no doubt.

The Flyin' Illini were the most fun team to watch that I've ever seen in college and are my favorite team of all time, but Nick's box out isn't why they lost.
 
#370      
Listen. Deron is arguably the greatest Illinois player of all time. And that's based on his college work, not what he was projected to be. Frank probably isn't in that top tier conversation imo. Frank's an all-time great but I wouldn't put him in the best ever convo. Deron is DEFINITELY in that conversation.
It's a tough debate. What is interesting to me is that during Deron's tenure, he wasn't even considered the best guard on the team. Dee Brown was the Sporting News NPOY, SI cover boy, and a consensus first team All-American in Deron's final year. (Deron was second team AA)

Can we say he was the best Illini PG of all time, when he wasn't regarded by most at the time as even the best guard on the team? How much of the perception of Deron as an All-time Illini great is propped up by his well decorated NBA career?

* Deron Williams was always my favorite player on those great Illini teams. He played with great pace. (like John Wooden's "Be quick, but don't hurry" mantra) He was absolutely unflappable. It seems as though he got more appreciation when his college career was over.
 
#371      
The Nick missed box out certainly got a lot of attention after the game, but that's not the reason we lost. We just didn't play as well as we usually did that game - they beat us on the offensive boards and Rumeal Robinson single handedly beat our press over and over. That team thrived on turnovers and creating a full court hectic game and we never were able to because of Robinson. That combined with Glen Rice was on an all-time tournament heater and Sean Higgins played the game of his life off the bench and we lose a heartbreaker to a team we blew out twice in the regular season. Battle had the heart of a lion and kept us in the game - Bardo and Nick just didn't play well that game, Nick had a couple of air balls and Bardo didn't make a shot, Liberty only got 5 ticks of clock and was a non-factor and it's a shame - We would have blown Seton Hall out of the water in the finals no doubt.

The Flyin' Illini were the most fun team to watch that I've ever seen in college and are my favorite team of all time, but Nick's box out isn't why they lost.
I appreciate your detailed and persuasive response and couldn't agree more about Kenny Battle having the game of his life, but stand by my position on Nick's missed box out on a forced Terry Mills 3 point shot that barely grazed the rim. Can't claim a better source for my position than Coach Lou himself in his post game remarks: "We didn't play the game we've been playing of late," said Coach Lou Henson, whose Illini beat the Wolverines in both regular season meetings this year. "Our defense wasn't real good. Offensively, I don't think we played that well, but Michigan had a lot to do with that. But if we get a rebound, we win the ballgame."
 
#372      

IlliniwekKDR

Colorado Springs, CO
I think a 5/6 seed is fair at this point. Stumbled into the tournament as a 9 seed last year but looked extremely good early in the year and this year's team is way deeper and better imo even if there isn't a proven PG.

The only major loss imo is Mayer but I think Domask will replace his production by being a better shooter and offensive fit while giving more consistent defensive effort. Domask isn't as long or athletic as Mayer so you won't see the highlight blocks that Mayer could make when he's engaged but don't think Domask is a downgrade.

Epps and Melendez left but neither one was really good last year. Also, added Harmon and Guerrier as proven guys that can score and play d.
Hopefully we don't get beat to the basket as much this year to negate the need for those blocks
 
#375      
ESPN did a “biggest college basketball what-ifs of the last 25 years” article. No analysis. Just a list of “what if…” questions.

The Illinois what-if is “what if Jon Scheyer had signed with Illinois?” Which could probably be generalized as “What if Bruce Weber had been able to follow up 2005 with any recruiting wins at all?”

Not much of an article, but here it is:

 
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