Illinois 122, NC A&T 60 Postgame

#76      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Just watched the game on DVR, read the in-game thread and this thread. Fun game and what appears to be a really exciting team. With that being said, let’s win a few more games against teams not ranked below 250 before we anoint this team better than 2005 or 1989 and favorites to win the NCAA title.
Soon enough. The rubber meets the road next Wednesday in Indy.
 
#77      
Was there anyone? I don't feel like anyone blatantly said "he won't start."

I guess your post says "who wasn't sure" and I don't think any of us were quite sure, as Underwood had lots of options of who he could start. Don't feel like anyone questioned "Ace's" talent, though.
l stated that he was not likely to start the first few games unless and until he proved he could/would defend and outperform more experienced players in game competition. Injuries to Hutch and BBV left few options in that regard other than playing Giorgi and Kofi together which has not proven to be a positive. But, that said, had I known at the time that he would wear #44, I would have automatically and forthrightly stated that he would start without any hesitation as that is a hallowed and blessed jersey number to me. He obviously has the talent and motivation to be a huge factor offensively and a much needed elite shooter....at least for the first game. His performance tonight certainly gives hope that he can be a huge key to eliminating the scoring doldrums and poor arc shooting that have plagued Illini teams for many of the past years. Sure hope he holds to a similar standard as it will be much needed if this team is to reach it its dreams. We will have to see how he responds when an elite, quick, 6'6" defender focuses on getting him shut down. Will need others to step up...and there are several candidates ready.

My immediate perspective is that no Illini team I have seen since the mid-50s has had the depth of athletic size and skills completely through the roster..... though at this point the Flyin' Illini still get my nod as the best ever to play in that building. That we have two walk-ons that could be playing on scholarship elsewhere and two really strong kids sitting on IR that are potentially big contributors is astounding. After an early blip, Grandison had a strong game and seems to be a perfect fit for this team....willing to do what ever he can...which is quite a lot. We will have to wait to see his limitations when playing Duke and Baylor. Was still a bit disappointed in Giorgi throwing up shots in a rush rather that shooting with purpose, but he seemed to settle and slow down over time. Will need consistent play from him, as well as confident play. Ayo and Miller are likely the strongest guard tandem in college basketball after one game. Let's hope that becomes consistent when playing elite talent. DFW picked up where he left off...love that guy. If Trent finds his range and becomes a consistent double digit scorer, the sky is the limit. Lots to like, but this will be the weakest competition of the year and after Friday there are no more cupcakes. However, this is a good team and BU and their schedule will not allow any complacency. Get ready for a memorable season. if we can avoid Covid shutdown.
 
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#78      
Lieb reminds me of Mike Tisdale or Nick Smith at this size right now. We can steal some minutes if necessary. But if he gains some weight he'll be a very good player for us in my opinion.
Reminds me of the guys Wisky lands and redshirts. 3 years later they are in the rotation.
 
#80      
Well my starting line up prediction was true. I want that starting line up every game, the chemistry is unreal. Three of those players (Ayo, Damonte, Miller)played together since high school.....yes please. Also, not even worried about the 4, we looked long enough with that line up and I love Damonte, does everything.
 
#84      
Fact = We haven't had this level of talent since our final 4 run.

I feel like you could maybe make a case for 05/06 after the magic season... maybe. That was the last time we were ranked this high. That team crapped the bed in the tournament against Washington, though (okay, they were a 5 and we were a 4, so not that bad, but still...).
 
#85      
I feel like you could maybe make a case for 05/06 after the magic season... maybe. That was the last time we were ranked this high. That team crapped the bed in the tournament against Washington, though (okay, they were a 5 and we were a 4, so not that bad, but still...).
Totally agree.... that was a very good Illini team with Dee and James back to go along with McBride, Randle, and Pruitt. We were ranked 9 in the country prior to an unfortunate quarterfinal loss to MSU in the BTT after beating them twice that year. We could have been a three and avoided Brandon Roy.
 
#86      
Hard to tell much from playing such a bad team but a few observations....I love DMWs line. 6 pts , 5 rebs, 7 assts, 2 steals, 0 tos. I know Trent is a plus defender with experience, but he is at risk for losing minutes if he can’t find his shot. Grandson and Hutch could take some along with Curbelo if we want a pure point creator in the game.
 
#87      
Well my starting line up prediction was true. I want that starting line up every game, the chemistry is unreal. Three of those players (Ayo, Damonte, Miller)played together since high school.....yes please. Also, not even worried about the 4, we looked long enough with that line up and I love Damonte, does everything.
Absolutely agree. You don’t need a four in today’s game as much and you don’t need the size when you have a monster five. DMW fills the stat sheet, is a stopper defensively, and is now a threat From three which opens things up for Ayo driving and Kofi on the block.
 
#88      
sam elliott the big lebwoski GIF
 
#89      
I think he reminds me of a more athletic Larry Bird, really. JMO
Alright folks, I loved, and I mean LOVED, what I saw from Ace out there. So solid, shooting was smooth, big frame. He does look like he has the tools to play wherever, but there has been two references to Larry Bird??! Bird is one of the greatest players in the history of basketball. There are many other athletic shooters that are a more apt comparison than Larry Freaking Bird. Who by the way averaged 32.8pts/13.3rb/4.4as/2.8steals his freshman year. Get outta where those comparisons. Kofi and Ayo remind me of Wilt and MJ while we are at it...
 
#90      
I wasn't able to watch the game. Can anybody who was given a little overview of how the new guys played? Sounds like Lieb surprised. How did Coleman and Grandison look? And I know he's not new but Damonte on offense? No need to update on Miller haha -- man, that duo is going to be fun to watch. And turn a lot of eyeballs in Chicago south.
 
#91      
Charleston/Collinsville
I wasn't able to watch the game. Can anybody who was given a little overview of how the new guys played? Sounds like Lieb surprised. How did Coleman and Grandison look? And I know he's not new but Damonte on offense? No need to update on Miller haha -- man, that duo is going to be fun to watch. And turn a lot of eyeballs in Chicago south.
Hawk didn't have any eye-catching moments in a positive or negative light, so that's about all you can hope for from him. Grandison had a rough start, but was able to recover and have a solid performance.
 
#93      
I loved all that has been written and am so excited. One thing that hasn't been mentioned, and that is Curbelo's passing! These guys better keep their eyes open. Love it!
 
#94      
I wasn't able to watch the game. Can anybody who was given a little overview of how the new guys played? Sounds like Lieb surprised. How did Coleman and Grandison look? And I know he's not new but Damonte on offense? No need to update on Miller haha -- man, that duo is going to be fun to watch. And turn a lot of eyeballs in Chicago south.

Just read the last 3 pages. lol It'll be fun for you.
 
#95      
Texas
Alright folks, I loved, and I mean LOVED, what I saw from Ace out there. So solid, shooting was smooth, big frame. He does look like he has the tools to play wherever, but there has been two references to Larry Bird??! Bird is one of the greatest players in the history of basketball. There are many other athletic shooters that are a more apt comparison than Larry Freaking Bird. Who by the way averaged 32.8pts/13.3rb/4.4as/2.8steals his freshman year. Get outta where those comparisons. Kofi and Ayo remind me of Wilt and MJ while we are at it...
Season 4 What GIF by Curb Your Enthusiasm
 
#96      
Alright folks, I loved, and I mean LOVED, what I saw from Ace out there. So solid, shooting was smooth, big frame. He does look like he has the tools to play wherever, but there has been two references to Larry Bird??! Bird is one of the greatest players in the history of basketball. There are many other athletic shooters that are a more apt comparison than Larry Freaking Bird. Who by the way averaged 32.8pts/13.3rb/4.4as/2.8steals his freshman year. Get outta where those comparisons. Kofi and Ayo remind me of Wilt and MJ while we are at it...

You're catching on.
 
#100      
I loved all that has been written and am so excited. One thing that hasn't been mentioned, and that is Curbelo's passing! These guys better keep their eyes open. Love it!
Gave him 4 turnovers in stat sheet but a couple of passes were excellent but unexpected by receiver. Don’t know who got the TO. Doesn’t seem as ready physically as Ace but he will be a handful to guard.