Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (Week of April 12th, 2021)

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#1,826      
The 1st ILLINI game I went to we had Levi Cobb!
I remember it well, Lou's first recruits were Levi and Neil. Two Chicago kids that set the first tones for
Lou's incredible time at Illinois. It was well beyond my first game, but when Lou recruited those two my wife
still remembers me dancing around at a party talking Illini basketball.
 
#1,827      
I think he means we beat the Bluebloods in identifying him and getting his commitment, and that he is appearing to be Blueblood worthy.
I'm going to be "that guy" for just a second. Until he signs, we haven't beaten anybody. If he shoots up the ladder like some are thinking (don't know enough about him to project that) and Kentucky, Kansas, etc...do start nosing around, it's going to get uncomfortable.
 
#1,828      
I tend to agree. I find Frazier/Plummer redundant players. You really only need 1 guy like that, we got 2. So I think my attitude on the situation has alot to do with if Kofi comes back. If Kofi comes back, then yes it'd be great to have Frazier/Plummer/Damonte all back, veterans, and just go at it again for 1 year. BUT, if Kofi doesn't come back, then I'd rather start the rebuild next season and get our young guys minutes, than spend time playing these 1 year guys like TF/Plummer/Damonte.

I'd rather prepare for the future, than do whatever we can in the present just to make the NCAA tourney. Like, as a fan, if you asked me whether I'd want to play Goode/Podz or Frazier next year, I'd pick Goode/Podz if I knew Kofi wasn't coming back. I figure Kofi is the difference between if we are a true top 10 level team, or if we are a bubble team. So if were a bubble team, I'd rather play the young guys.
So Illini have been to one NCAA tourney in 8 years, but if Kofi doesn’t come back the team should only worry about the future? The board was lamenting the fact that we had a top 5 team but kept being turned down by top recruits, so to combat that we won’t put full effort to making tourney. And why? To give freshmen playing time so they won’t transfer — because we know that a freshman who starts and gets playing time would never think of transferring.

Illini are trying to build a culture and become relevant to today’s recruits. Seems to me that going on a multiple year run to the tourney would be a good way to do that. And if I’m a player like Curbelo, Hawkins or another upper classman and think the coach/ program is willing to “prepare for the future” rather than trying to win now and in the future, am I wanting to stick around on a team that has wasted one of my years of eligibility?

Underwood has shown a willingness to play freshmen if they are good enough. And transfers are likely going to happen each year going forward. Best way to keep current players as well as replace those that do transfer is to develop players, play those that have earned it and give the team the best chance to win every game and each season. Just like playing not to lose a game can backfire, so will trying to manage your lineups and playing time not to lose transfers.
 
#1,830      
I remember it well, Lou's first recruits were Levi and Neil. Two Chicago kids that set the first tones for
Lou's incredible time at Illinois. It was well beyond my first game, but when Lou recruited those two my wife
still remembers me dancing around at a party talking Illini basketball.
Bresnahan? That's a name from the past.
 
#1,831      
Now we can begin to look at the lineup since Kofi declared and TF is returning. Looks like right now it will be Payne, Hamlin.and Lieb holding down the lane. Is anyone in the portal that play the 5 that is left to poach?
 
#1,832      
Bresnahan? That's a name from the past.
Lou's first recruiting class is definitely the past. The Bresnahan brothers were all solid high school players at Fenwick,
but Neil was probably the best of the brothers. Those of you who don't remember Neil, he was a 6'6" rebounding machine
who was a solid defensive player. He was the perfect compliment to the shining star named Levi.
 
#1,833      
This is why I would rather Monte leave. Definitely a solid glue guy but I want Hawk to get more time and see what the FR’s can do.
If Hawk deserves to be on the court, he'll get there. I'd prefer to have the best players play to win next year. The intense transfer situation means that if we aren't showing success, we're likely getting poached (vs picking up a nice player or two).
 
#1,836      
I would think BBV is ahead of Hamlin and Lieb on the depth chart. He was by the end of the season and still has plenty of upside.
Agree. His playing ahead of those 3 is particularly notable when you consider how much time he missed. It’s not as simple as your foot is healed now you go play without missing a beat. Conditioning and particularly the speed of the game are really hard to catch up on if you’ve been out since summer workouts.

The fact he wasn’t cleared until January and then caught up and passed Lieb and in particular Hamlin by mid February says a lot about what the staff thinks about him.

Knock on wood, he stays healthy and is able to participate in summer workouts and fall practices and the game slows down for him. Not saying he’s all BIG caliber, but he looks to be a physical 4 who can stretch the 4 which is a piece we were missing last year. I’m optimistic, if healthy, he will contribute next year.
 
#1,838      
Now we can begin to look at the lineup since Kofi declared and TF is returning. Looks like right now it will be Payne, Hamlin.and Lieb holding down the lane. Is anyone in the portal that play the 5 that is left to poach?
We are kind of stuck between a rock and a harder place.
Cant recruit any transfers just in the very minute case kofi comes back.
He just cant improve much more so he might as well go pro...but you HAVE to leave his spot open just in case he does come back
 
#1,839      
Interestingly, I felt all season long that our coaching staff did indeed convert Kofi to a "Defense and Dunk" player as a sophomore....and it was very effective for us. However, I've always been wondering if that was the right move for him and us in the long haul. I attended the first his first game ever at SFC in the early winter of 2019. His first bucket was a 15 footer from the corner of the free throw line. It was a gorgeous looking jump shot.

I know he has that "next step" in him on the offensive side.
Actually I like the form on nearly all of his shots including FTs.
He hasn't been playing BB that long and it looks like he had some good teachers who didn't have to fight old bad habits.
 
#1,841      
So will BU be looking for another transfer to fill this slot or look for an incoming frosh? I think a 5th year senior would make more sense with the understanding it will be a back-up role to Payne.
 
#1,842      
So will BU be looking for another transfer to fill this slot or look for an incoming frosh? I think a 5th year senior would make more sense with the understanding it will be a back-up role to Payne.
If staff feels that Kofi will be back, I think they'll bring in a transfer 4. If not, they'll try to land an impact 5. Highly doubt they'll say they're looking for a backup 5. Optimally, the players will decide (with a little help from BU). The interesting scenario is what they'll do if they feel Kofi is ~50-50. And, yeah, I'm assuming Hamlin's gone.
 
#1,846      
Tinley Park
Ed Sullivan show
Int. Amp. on Halsted in Chicago. They only could give Chicago ONE day....so they had shows at 3 & 8. I had the 3. That tour in 1966 was the Beatles last tour to America....but at the time...nobody knew!
 
#1,847      
Int. Amp. on Halsted in Chicago. They only could give Chicago ONE day....so they had shows at 3 & 8. I had the 3. That tour in 1966 was the Beatles last tour to America....but at the time...nobody knew!
Saw UFO (sans Michael Schenker) there October '78. Good show, place was a dump. Rock bottom, lol.

Anyone know if we have Jalen Washington's attention?
 
#1,850      
So Illini have been to one NCAA tourney in 8 years, but if Kofi doesn’t come back the team should only worry about the future? The board was lamenting the fact that we had a top 5 team but kept being turned down by top recruits, so to combat that we won’t put full effort to making tourney. And why? To give freshmen playing time so they won’t transfer — because we know that a freshman who starts and gets playing time would never think of transferring.

Illini are trying to build a culture and become relevant to today’s recruits. Seems to me that going on a multiple year run to the tourney would be a good way to do that. And if I’m a player like Curbelo, Hawkins or another upper classman and think the coach/ program is willing to “prepare for the future” rather than trying to win now and in the future, am I wanting to stick around on a team that has wasted one of my years of eligibility?

Underwood has shown a willingness to play freshmen if they are good enough. And transfers are likely going to happen each year going forward. Best way to keep current players as well as replace those that do transfer is to develop players, play those that have earned it and give the team the best chance to win every game and each season. Just like playing not to lose a game can backfire, so will trying to manage your lineups and playing time not to lose transfers.
I don’t usually read longer posts b/c I have the attention span of a gnat, but holy crap, you succinctly nailed it. This 100 times. Thank you.
 
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