Illinois 73, Ohio State 68 Postgame

#376      
The key is having at least one of Belo and Ayo in the game at all times. They both get Kofi easy buckets and they are the two guys who can make things happen offensively. If they both start together, you increase the chance of both getting in early foul trouble. When Belo comes off the bench, you can wait to see if Ayo picks up an early foul and then manage rotations accordingly. If neither is in foul trouble, you can maximize both of their minutes, including a lot of time on the floor together with Kofi.
I agree Belo and Ayo are the ignition to our offensive engine- I just don’t think worrying about foul trouble is a reason not to start them together. Against Michigan we were down 2-0 before Belo gets in the game at the 16 min mark and gets us going- against OSU we were down 6-11 before Belo gets in and gets us going

At some point we may just want to play our best lineup from the get go- but BU obviously knows his players far better than any of us and the psyches involved- so he’s doing what he’s doing for a reason, But it’s very apparent in Ayo’s absence and yesterday with Ayo- we need Belo on the floor
 
#382      
It's probably no secret that I'm a total nerd for stats and lists, but this truly jumped out at me:

We now have a winning streak on the road vs. NINE Big Ten schools. The only losing streaks are at Iowa (L2), at Maryland (L3), at MSU (L4) and at Rutgers (L2). Of those four, we only played three of them this year (i.e., no game in Iowa City).

That is ... remarkable.
Not 2005-like, but yet quite good given where the program has been.
 
#384      
If Ayo leads Illinois to their first national championship, I will gladly anoint him as the greatest Illini ever :D
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#388      
Deron is my favorite player of all time. But the sheer number of games that Ayo has made the winning play/basket puts him over the top in terms of clutchness.
Not to mention, Ayo changed our program just like he said he would. He always wanted to be an Illini and has done every single thing he said he would do for Illinois basketball. When he chose us and when he said he was coming back for his junior year, I thought all the things he said were “nice” and “appropriate,” but holy crap is he ever walking the walk.
 
#390      
You and I could be the oldest here 1961. Do yes Weatherspoon, Mark Smith, Brice Douglas, Deon all come to mind, but man if Dominio could take us to a title. He goes down as the greatest in my mind. Game is not as good now as it was in the 80’s, but still it is a balanced situation for time for reasons spoken of many times here.

He is good I know that
If his jersey says “Dominio” for the first game of the BTT, we all know who to blame, @LouHenson.
 
#391      
Richmond, VA
I hope we work with Kofi a little bit on his wall up defense before the NCAA tourney. Lately he's hip bumping and over pushing into his man's cylinder just a bit too much. I fear that will get called a foul way more than he's used to once we get out of conference play.
 
#392      
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
I agree Belo and Ayo are the ignition to our offensive engine- I just don’t think worrying about foul trouble is a reason not to start them together. Against Michigan we were down 2-0 before Belo gets in the game at the 16 min mark and gets us going- against OSU we were down 6-11 before Belo gets in and gets us going

At some point we may just want to play our best lineup from the get go- but BU obviously knows his players far better than any of us and the psyches involved- so he’s doing what he’s doing for a reason, But it’s very apparent in Ayo’s absence and yesterday with Ayo- we need Belo on the floor
Pitchers need to throw more than changeups.
 
#393      
I agree Belo and Ayo are the ignition to our offensive engine- I just don’t think worrying about foul trouble is a reason not to start them together. Against Michigan we were down 2-0 before Belo gets in the game at the 16 min mark and gets us going- against OSU we were down 6-11 before Belo gets in and gets us going

At some point we may just want to play our best lineup from the get go- but BU obviously knows his players far better than any of us and the psyches involved- so he’s doing what he’s doing for a reason, But it’s very apparent in Ayo’s absence and yesterday with Ayo- we need Belo on the floor

You are ignoring the fact that we actually started the game up 6-0.
 
#394      
What a lonely feeling EJ Liddell must have today. They just lost their last 4 games. If he even thought for 10 seconds last night that he made a mistake going to OSU, that would make me feel good. He didn't have the guts that Ayo did. Let this be a lesson to the top players in Illinois that Illini basketball is here to stay, and to make the commitment to your home state. I see a passion on the Illini sideline I have not seen before, and that I have craved for our football team for years. Let's do this! Happy March!
 
#395      
Not every foul is going to be called, especially inside and even more so against those defending Kofi. If that’s what it will take for you to feel it was a fairly well officiated game then you’ll always be disappointed — and if it came to be that would be one boring a$$ game cuz there are fouls that aren’t called against Illini players too. Keep control of the game, call the “obvious” fouls and enough fouls to keep players safe, and do all that without wrecking the flow of the game too much — that’s what I consider a pretty well officiated game. I think this game met that criteria.

I will also say that one call Kofi is going to rarely get is those that happened early in second half when he kind of “shot put” two attempts (believe might have been back to back possessions). Was he fouled? I’m sure he was. But when it looks like he doesn’t have a plan and is indecisive, he rarely gets those calls. Is it fair? No, but I see that happen to other post players too. When Kofi is a bit smoother and making a move that gives him an advantage, he is more likely to get those calls. But Kofi nor any player is going to get every call — and would make for a boring game if they did. I remember that IU game with 50+ fouls called being pretty tough to watch.
The fouls I object to are ones were Kofi is on defense standing stationary with his arms straight up. An offensive player is driving toward the hoop, initiates contact; foul on Kofi. I can clearly recall a time that happened, his 3rd or 4th foul; I expect it happened more than once. It's not just with Kofi; I've seen it more frequently with contemporary officiating. I don't get the rationale. I recall a time when the player initiating the contact got the foul
 
#396      
There were two calls that went OSU's way on balls tipped out of bounds. Both of those plays resulted in 3 point buckets for OSU. Both plays looked like they should have been our possession. I was fine with how the foul calling was going but those 2 plays were brutal.
I agree, bad calls, could have tipped the outcome.
 
#397      
The fouls I object to are ones were Kofi is on defense standing stationary with his arms straight up. An offensive player is driving toward the hoop, initiates contact; foul on Kofi. I can clearly recall a time that happened, his 3rd or 4th foul; I expect it happened more than once. It's not just with Kofi; I've seen it more frequently with contemporary officiating. I don't get the rationale. I recall a time when the player initiating the contact got the foul
actually thought that happened twice yesterday. Once for certain.
 
#398      
The fouls I object to are ones were Kofi is on defense standing stationary with his arms straight up. An offensive player is driving toward the hoop, initiates contact; foul on Kofi. I can clearly recall a time that happened, his 3rd or 4th foul; I expect it happened more than once. It's not just with Kofi; I've seen it more frequently with contemporary officiating. I don't get the rationale. I recall a time when the player initiating the contact got the foul
Believe it was his third foul and completely wrong. When offensive player invades defensive vertical space it should be offensive foul. Certainly not called when offensive player butt rams (Kofi and Giorgi both guilty) defensive player until in position. Evidently rules do not consider this a violation as it is done by most bigs. Butt ramming ok, shoulder ramming automatic foul. Normally arms straight up not called foul unless it is our player.
 
#399      
Billings, MT
Forgive me if this has already been stated but I've noticed a progression:

1989 - Final Four loss
2005- Championship Game loss
2021- ??
Seems like fate..the year we finally win it all!
 
#400      
What a lonely feeling EJ Liddell must have today. They just lost their last 4 games. If he even thought for 10 seconds last night that he made a mistake going to OSU, that would make me feel good. He didn't have the guts that Ayo did. Let this be a lesson to the top players in Illinois that Illini basketball is here to stay, and to make the commitment to your home state. I see a passion on the Illini sideline I have not seen before, and that I have craved for our football team for years. Let's do this! Happy March!
Well, I'm not going to pretend that I know what he's feeling. But he's the leading scorer on a top 20 team in the country as a sophomore. I don't know why he didn't pick us, but I have no reason to believe it's because he lacks "guts".

The days of in-state loyalty as a major driving factor in recruiting are pretty much over. No one should expect it and dozens of players have shunned Illinois and been very happy, even when they look at us in our brightest of days.

And yes, any time a kid picks someone else over us, I'll take some glee when they fall short in head to head competition. But as long as they treated the recruitment with class (Liddell appears to have done that) I'll generally wish them well in their college careers.