Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (Week of April 5th, 2021)

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#979      
Ummmm is Grandison chopped liver?
Not at all. He’s a good player but hardly a star you can sell to a transfer/recruit. We’re looking at losing 4 starters and 6 of 8 rotation players, 2 all Americans among them. Prospective players are rightly seeing this as a rebuild.
 
#980      
Well, after reading the last two pages it’s clear there is no fanbase in need of a consoling hug more than us.

We will be fine, and anyone that says otherwise is conflating the disappointment and friend zonings of the Weber and Groce years (somewhat understandably, because we’ve been bad a long time) with what this Staff has, and is actually, doing.
 
#981      
Baltimore, MD
Not at all. He’s a good player but hardly a star you can sell to a transfer/recruit. We’re looking at losing 4 starters and 6 of 8 rotation players, 2 all Americans among them. Prospective players are rightly seeing this as a rebuild.
They should be seeing it as a prime opportunity for playing time under a coaching staff that has shown they can win with the right players. When we are good and have talented players, many here say it's going to be hard to recruit because we don't have playing time to offer. When we lose 75+% of minutes to graduation, transfer, or going pro, some of those same people say "well it's going to be hard to recruit here, we're in a rebuild". I think our slogan here should be "Always half empty".

We have a good brand of basketball, a coach who players have raved about, one player who's likely going in the first round of the NBA draft and another who may or may not also get drafted should he choose to declare so I'm not worried about us finding the players. Just look at what happened with AJ Storr, no one here really knew what was going on there until about 24 hours prior to his commitment. Everyone needs to take a breath.
 
#982      
I mean, to me, a team with Curbelo, Miller, Grandison, Mitchell and Kofi as the starting 5 has a legit shot to get a double bye in the Big Ten and is probably the best frontcourt in the country (I’ve watched a decent bit of Mitchell, and he’s really that good). I don’t think missing on one of those pieces takes us off the bubble next year. Whiff on all 3, and then let’s talk...
But 60% of them won’t be here.
 
#983      
Who did they coach up Underwood's first 2 seasons when Kofi wasn't on the team? Those first 2 Underwood teams were bad. 14-18, 12-21 level bad. I'd argue the 14-18 team didn't have much talent, and it was Underwood's first season so I'll give him a pass. But the 12-21 team had Ayo, Giorgi, Frazier, Feliz all on it. So I think the jury is definitely out on whether Underwood can coach up inferior talent since he hasn't at Illinois. Which is people take recruiting misses very hard. We know this staff can win with high end talent. But if they don't have it, the results haven't been good.
So a 12-21 team had all those guys and 2 years later nearly all the same guys are a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and they weren’t coached up? If anything, you made my point.
I’m talking about developing players over time. Ayo certainly didn’t show up NBA ready. He wasn’t even All -Conference. A lot of folks wondered loudly on this board if he could ever get there. Kofi was a giant mass of potential, but wasn’t really good at anything except being really big. Trent and Demonte weren’t exactly lock down defensive players & Demonte couldn’t throw water in the ocean.
 
#986      
Who did they coach up Underwood's first 2 seasons when Kofi wasn't on the team? Those first 2 Underwood teams were bad. 14-18, 12-21 level bad. I'd argue the 14-18 team didn't have much talent, and it was Underwood's first season so I'll give him a pass. But the 12-21 team had Ayo, Giorgi, Frazier, Feliz all on it. So I think the jury is definitely out on whether Underwood can coach up inferior talent since he hasn't at Illinois. Which is people take recruiting misses very hard. We know this staff can win with high end talent. But if they don't have it, the results haven't been good.
Black,Tejon.
 
#987      
So a 12-21 team had all those guys and 2 years later nearly all the same guys are a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and they weren’t coached up? If anything, you made my point.
I’m talking about developing players over time. Ayo certainly didn’t show up NBA ready. He wasn’t even All -Conference. A lot of folks wondered loudly on this board if he could ever get there. Kofi was a giant mass of potential, but wasn’t really good at anything except being really big. Trent and Demonte weren’t exactly lock down defensive players & Demonte couldn’t throw water in the ocean.
I think your and CYE’s post illustrate the disconnect between two groups of posters. The guys recruited for next year thus far have talent and should be contributors or more during their Illinois careers, but certainly big question marks as to the impact they’ll have on overall team performance next year. With who we know we are losing (Ayo and Giorgi) and who it is possible to very likely we are losing (Kofi, AM, DMW and Trent), it seems a stretch that the 3 new recruits, oft injured Hutch and BBV, and big steps forward by Curbelo and Hawk are enough to keep the team squarely in the tourney let alone at the same level as this year. So far the team has missed on bringing in some other players for this year that seemingly would have helped with the former. Obviously still time, but understandable for some angst. I do agree that the likelihood of going back to the level of “success” next year of BU’s first two teams is unlikely. But I think I can speak for most fans in saying we’re hoping for another tourney bid without riding the bubble.

As for beyond this year, I like the prospects for Illinois basketball. Storr and Bass combined with this year’s class thus far bodes well for the future of the Illini. But still not feeling confident about the present (next year) yet.
 
#988      
Urbana, IL
Sometimes, as a fan base, we can be the worst, and have the memory of a goldfish.

We just had an amazing season—most B10 wins in Illinois history. But, we had a heartbreaking loss in the round of 32 and so many can’t (or choose not to) remember anything before that. Underwood came into a dumpster fire. We had two losing seasons under him as he started to rebuild. In 2020, if it weren’t for the pandemic, Illinois would have made another tourney appearance with a solid seed. This year, we were a number 1 seed. Someone transfers, some targets go elsewhere, you ignore new recruits, and suddenly the majority of the fan base questions if BU is going to be successful and you question his recruiting abilities. Ffs, folks...

Dan, maybe you could create a “Festivus” thread where everyone can air all of their grievances. It may be therapeutic for our fan base.
 
#992      
Sometimes, as a fan base, we can be the worst, and have the memory of a goldfish.

We just had an amazing season—most B10 wins in Illinois history. But, we had a heartbreaking loss in the round of 32 and so many can’t (or choose not to) remember anything before that. Underwood came into a dumpster fire. We had two losing seasons under him as he started to rebuild. In 2020, if it weren’t for the pandemic, Illinois would have made another tourney appearance with a solid seed. This year, we were a number 1 seed. Someone transfers, some targets go elsewhere, you ignore new recruits, and suddenly the majority of the fan base questions if BU is going to be successful and you question his recruiting abilities. Ffs, folks...

Dan, maybe you could create a “Festivus” thread where everyone can air all of their grievances. It may be therapeutic for our fan base.
Football Soccer GIF by Apple TV
 
#995      
Sometimes, as a fan base, we can be the worst, and have the memory of a goldfish.

We just had an amazing season—most B10 wins in Illinois history. But, we had a heartbreaking loss in the round of 32 and so many can’t (or choose not to) remember anything before that. Underwood came into a dumpster fire. We had two losing seasons under him as he started to rebuild. In 2020, if it weren’t for the pandemic, Illinois would have made another tourney appearance with a solid seed. This year, we were a number 1 seed. Someone transfers, some targets go elsewhere, you ignore new recruits, and suddenly the majority of the fan base questions if BU is going to be successful and you question his recruiting abilities. Ffs, folks...

Dan, maybe you could create a “Festivus” thread where everyone can air all of their grievances. It may be therapeutic for our fan base.
I hate the strawman arguments. I don't think anyone is questioning if BU is a good coach and we're a good program. I think there's a lot of legitimate nervousness and anxiety about next year's team. The last 2 years are really what are making us feel this way, as those seasons have shown us what we can be and raised expectations to a very competitive and fun level.
 
#996      
Big 7 footer from the Zags has entered the portal. Highly rated that never really cemented himself there. Maybe Gentry has a connection, being an assistant when he committed there. Wishful thinking I suppose. The list of suitors will be long as well I'd assume.

Hoping Kofi's decision doesn't cripple the team. He has to do what's best for himself though.
 
#997      
Big 7 footer from the Zags has entered the portal. Highly rated that never really cemented himself there. Maybe Gentry has a connection, being an assistant when he committed there. Wishful thinking I suppose. The list of suitors will be long as well I'd assume.

Hoping Kofi's decision doesn't cripple the team. He has to do what's best for himself though.
Based on his numbers he's essentially the Russian Brandon Lieb.
 
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