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

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#1,101      
I'm pretty tired of the narrative on here that because Miller entered his name in the portal and is considering transferring, he is therefore a bad teammate. Not only is that flawed logic, but everything we've heard is that he was a good teammate that was frustrated with his role, I would assume b/c he committed here with a vastly different view of what his role would be like. One little clip doesn't prove anything, but this stood out to me the other day when I saw it on The Jump -- check out AM's reaction in the background on this clip. If he wants back and the team will have him back, I expect we will see that Adam and not the ruthless, conniving, untrustworthy teenager he has suddenly morphed into over the last two weeks.

A little over the top.
 
#1,102      
Here's the Kool-Aid. I'm all over it, but the thought of Goode and Melendez being key contributors on a good team, as freshmen, seems remote. If Kofi comes back....he in conjunction with Curbelo, different story.
What are you basing that on? Their 247composite ratings? Videos? Having seen them play?

They probably have the raw talent and offensive skills to contribute right away. It depends on how well they can play defense. They actually bring some things to the table the current team lacked.
 
#1,103      
Fringe top 100 guys rarely have an outsized impact their freshman year. The data supports that argument, no matter how optimistic you want to be.
Genuine question - can I see this data? If there's data that shows the ppg, minutes played, etc for fringe top 100 guys, I'd love to look it over.
 
#1,104      
Fringe top 100 guys rarely have an outsized impact their freshman year. The data supports that argument, no matter how optimistic you want to be.
Genuine question - can I see this data? If there's data that shows the ppg, minutes played, etc for fringe top 100 guys, I'd love to look it over.
I think most of the scouting reports this year are pretty lacking. With very little/no AAU games, its hard to compare apples to apples when ranking players. I'm bullish on both guys, but I am typically more homer than skeptic.
 
#1,105      
Coach stated that he expect AC to lead next year. IF Miller decides to come back Miller will have to swallow a few very bitter pills that he would not have had to if he had not declared for the portal. So, I am not convinced that there will be as good a chemistry. ?????
To be fair, his end of year press conference was after Miller entered the portal. If Adam returns, there will be plenty of opportunity for him to be a scoring guard.
 
#1,106      
What are you basing that on? Their 247composite ratings? Videos? Having seen them play?

They probably have the raw talent and offensive skills to contribute right away. It depends on how well they can play defense. They actually bring some things to the table the current team lacked.
I'm all for the optimism, but look at the 247 rankings for Miller's/Belo's class and peruse the recruits ranked 50-100. How many of those guys made a big impact this past season? A few? A handful?


Its fine to be optimistic but the expectations some of you have for these kids is unreal. Then when a guy like Miller has a good freshman season we've got people on here trashing him for not living up to expectations.
 
#1,107      
In comparing those first two teams, did you look at relative strength of schedule?

Also, 2018/19 team finished 7-7 with wins over MD and MSU. The 2017/18 team lost 10 out of the last 14; 13 out of the last 17.

Overall, I have been impressed by the way this staff has plugged players into roles.

The 247 composite fpr this season's rotation looks like this: 32, 33, 46, 46, 109, 177, 373, NR

As of now, we are adding: Luke Goode (94), Ramses Melendez (97). and transfer Omar Payne (45 in 2019) Possibly AJ Storr (169 in 2022) could reclassify

Curbelo (46) and Grandison (NR) are returning.

Kofi (46), Miller (33), Williams (177) appear to be 50/50 afaik.

Ayo (32), Frazier (109), and GB (373) likely gone.

Coleman Hawkins (164) and Austin Hutcherson (NR with top 50 talent) will likely move into the rotation.

Others Lieb (478), Hamlin (NR), BBV (NR)
I also think that AJ’s ranking will likely increase, like Derek Piper said, since the class of 2022 is the next class to really look closer at once this next season starts (unless he reclassifies)
 
#1,112      
Like Giorgi? Trent outplayed his ranking freshman year too. Ok, I get it, cherry picking. But I don't think the issue is nearly as cut and dried as you do.

We don't need all of our freshmen to outplay their ranking. But if 1 out of (soon to be) 3 do, that would be good. Definitely think that 2 out of 3 is possible.

If 1 or 2 outplay their ranking, we're still a bottom half of the Big Ten team unless Kofi returns or we add another significant piece.

A starting lineup of Curbelo, Grandison, Payne, <insert freshman here>, and Hutch isn't going to sniff the NCAA tournament when our top 2 options off the bench are 2 more fringe 100 freshman.

As of right now, we are replacing Ayo, Trent, Miller, Damonte, and Giorgi. We may be replacing Kofi too. If Kofi leaves, that's 82% of our scoring and 80% of our minutes.
 
#1,113      
Like Giorgi? Trent outplayed his ranking freshman year too. Ok, I get it, cherry picking. But I don't think the issue is nearly as cut and dried as you do.

We don't need all of our freshmen to outplay their ranking. But if 1 out of (soon to be) 3 do, that would be good. Definitely think that 2 out of 3 is possible.
Georgi and Trent had massive playing time as freshmen because they joined a depleted roster. It won't be a good sign overall if any of those three freshman are playing significant minutes.
 
#1,114      
I'm all for the optimism, but look at the 247 rankings for Miller's/Belo's class and peruse the recruits ranked 50-100. How many of those guys made a big impact this past season? A few? A handful?


Its fine to be optimistic but the expectations some of you have for these kids is unreal. Then when a guy like Miller has a good freshman season we've got people on here trashing him for not living up to expectations.
Fascinating how you made the leap from "contribute right away" to "make a big impact". Looking at rankings for general purposes is fine. I prefer to look at the individual player. What role will they play? What skills to they bring to the table? Are they a good fit? Do they have enough athletic talent? Based on videos, and recent reports, Melendez looks like a well rounded top 50ish talent. Goode is tall and can shoot (40% from 3). If they can play adequate defense; there is no reason why they can't contribute.

On Miller, I am not sure who "some of you" are, but I thought he made a solid contribution as a freshmen.
 
#1,115      
If 1 or 2 outplay their ranking, we're still a bottom half of the Big Ten team unless Kofi returns or we add another significant piece.
So do I, but it's early: the roster is far from set.

But that isn't what I was responding to.
 
#1,116      
The issue with Melendez is size -- based on his game (slashing wing) I think he might have a tough time with the size of players he's going to face. We'll see what kind of work Fletch can do before the season begins. If Goode can survive on defense -- maybe not against starters but backups -- I could see him having a bigger-ish role. A pure shooter that comes off the bench, and when he's on fire you ride him more and when he's not he plays less.

If Miller decides to not come back, I just want to see development and improvement from the guys on our squad. A lot of our young pieces seem tailor made to be high-level role players down the road. At that point, my eyes are on the 2022 and 2023 classes and having a product that is still enticing to those loaded classes, even if our team is below what our expectations were a couple months ago.
 
#1,118      
4* transfer portal from Tennessee Freshman last year

Tennessee alum here. HARD PASS. The kid can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. His recruiting ranking in his class dropped from fringe top 30 to finish at 80 for a reason. Very good athlete. Not a good basketball player.
 
#1,119      
Plenty of knee-jerk reactions for people on here upset when Miller entered the portal. Would love for him to come back and he seems like a perfect fit next to Curbelo. He's going to get plenty of minutes/shots and will need to carry the offensive load when he's in there without Curbelo. Fingers crossed he just wanted to test the waters and will re-join the program.
Don't want him don't need him. If he wants to test the portal close the door behind him. He can and will be replaced. Too many prima Donna's through all of sports at all levels, this crap needs to stop.
 
#1,120      
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.
But I think after the second year Underwood changed his defensive philosophy, and stopped exposing us to a risky scheme, then we started to trend up. Am I correct on this point. part of his own maturity process!
 
#1,121      
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
Hearing rumors that Adam Miller is coming back. *grain of salt*
I would be good with that. It seems like the plan has always been to build around Belo and Miller as the core moving forward. Give Miller opportunities to play a hybrid Frazier/Ayo role this year alongside Belo. He'll get plenty of chances to score and facilitate. Surround them with guys who can shoot 3s, finish around the basket, and play defense. That's a team that can win some games.
 
#1,122      
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.
But I think after the second year Underwood changed his defensive philosophy, and stopped exposing us to a risky scheme, then we started to trend up. Am I correct on this point. part of his own maturity process!
 
#1,123      
If Zakharov wants to come here, absolutely take him. Kid can move and shoot. Saw someone say he’s a Russian Giorgi....1) I’ll take that and 2) his ability is more advanced than Giorgi. Look what our staff did with Giorgi. Now apply that to this kid.

Clip from 2017 I think....the music sucks, but the kid can move, has a jumper and the little grammatical errors are amusing:

This one is just a “meet the players”, but he says he likes to play defense:
 
#1,125      
Don't want him don't need him. If he wants to test the portal close the door behind him. He can and will be replaced. Too many prima Donna's through all of sports at all levels, this crap needs to stop.
Frustrated Larry Bird GIF by SB Nation
 
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