Looking ahead to 2021-2022

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#2      
even if kofi doesn’t come back im looking forward to this season. We will have a chip on our shoulder and will not be the hunted. it’ll be interesting to see how we do with most of our team being young
 
#5      
It's been a while since I've felt so uncertain about what the roster will look like next year. There's only 2 guys on the current roster that would shock me if they didn't return (Curbelo and Miller). Anyone else leaving seems like a possibly at this point.
 
#6      
Hoping for big steps forward from our freshmen. Really hoping (a healthy) Hutch is back, he's a difference maker. Very much looking forward to seeing how our new group acclimates.
 
#8      
Paducah, Ky
Thank you for starting this thread Dan.....

I'm still hurting from the abrupt and disappointing ending to this season, but every journey starts with the first step and soon I will be able to take those steps...
I remember the 89 Flying Illini and the end of that game....that game was the elevating circumstance to my HATRED of all things scUM....

I remember watching that doofus from osu hitting that jumper to end the unbeaten streak in 2005....later I remember that fat !!! from the tarholes and the brutal job done to Augie and the team to ROB us of our prize.....

I will remember yesterday's game forever, just like the other games I have listed...And it will hurt just as much as they STILL do, BUT.........

Time to start looking forward with as much resolve as I can......

recruiting looks to be trending positively , and I'm really excited to see how Luke G. and RJ will fit in next season...I;m sure they are not the only new additions for next season and a nice dose of exciting commitments from certain players would help me through this heartbreaking period....

As always , I am a diehard Illini fanatic and will cheer on the Illini to the best of my ability.....
 
#9      
Yesterday hurt A LOT........however, I am thankful for this team and this group of seniors (along with AYO and KOFI) for what they have done for this program. we are relevant again, and not only relevant, we are going to be good for years to come. BU has turned the culture around and we will be getting our share of good/great players.

I am excited to see where Illinois basketball heads in the upcoming years.
 
#10      
I maintain that while we are not a better team without Ayo, we play better. We love college basketball because it is a sport of effort, and the difference was stark. Thank God for that Michigan game because I am officially hyped for next year. Let's hit the transfer market for some height and give the keys to Curbelo, Miller, and maybe Kofi. I-L-L.
 
#11      
Loda, IL
Current (barring unusual circumstances) guaranteed pieces for next year:

- Curbelo
- Adam Miller
- Grandison
- Giorgi
- Hawkins
- Goode (new)
- Melendez (new)
- BBV
- Hamlin
- Lieb

Maybe:
- Hutch (hopeful)
- Kofi (doubtful)

considering how things can go on the transfer market and remaining recruiting targets, we have a decent foundation with the expectation Hawkins, Adam and Curbelo develop and Goode/Melendez prove Underwood and staff as excellent evaluators (as seen with previous freshman classes).
I think even without Kofi, we are 1 piece away from being big ten title contenders once again.
Thoughts?
 
#12      
Current (barring unusual circumstances) guaranteed pieces for next year:

- Curbelo
- Adam Miller
- Grandison
- Giorgi
- Hawkins
- Goode (new)
- Melendez (new)
- BBV
- Hamlin
- Lieb

Maybe:
- Hutch (hopeful)
- Kofi (doubtful)

considering how things can go on the transfer market and remaining recruiting targets, we have a decent foundation with the expectation Hawkins, Adam and Curbelo develop and Goode/Melendez prove Underwood and staff as excellent evaluators (as seen with previous freshman classes).
I think even without Kofi, we are 1 piece away from being big ten title contenders once again.
Thoughts?
We're in a state of flux. Gonna be awhile before the dust settles. If things break right (multiple paths), we could be very strong again.
 
#13      
The fact that we appear to be recruiting so many unsigned prospects/transfers seems to indicate that there will be a decent amount of turnover to the roster. But it could also mean we are just establishing a pecking order of who gets the scholarship(s) first.

1. I think it's clear that we are interested in big men for if/when Kofi declares. They aren't going to commit and we aren't going to sign them until the staff and Kofi know which direction he is leaning.
2. There is going to be at least 1, probably 2 or 3 guards/wings added, just based on how many offers are out, some combination of Burnett, TyTy, Podz.
3. We should not speculate on tranfers out. I mean I guess we technically can, but it just really doesn't sit well with me.
4. At worst, this should be a borderline top 25 team next year. At best, top 10 and contender-type. If Kofi returns, we retain our main guys, and we add an impact player or 2, we're right back in the swing of things.
 
#19      
I touched on this a bit in my "Thank You" post. I mourn better by focusing on the positives, eternal optimist or some psychological suppression techniques? You decide.

Beyond excited for next year's teams. IF Kofi comes back, we will be a Pre-Season Top 10 team and a favorite to win the Big Ten. I'm more bullish on him coming back than others. Luckily, there's a few months to go before anything is decided.

If Kofi does not come back, Illinois should still be Top 25 nationally and a Top 4 threat in the B1G. We have the depth and experience to compete with anyone. Our current commits might not be Curbelo or Ayo deference makers, but will have specific roles to fill to ease them into contributing pieces.

More if's incoming: With all of the rumored,

recruiting.jpg


we could be in for another Top 10 team without Kofi. If we can get one or 2 of the rumored pieces. Oh boy.

As with any new season, if's can dominate the conversation. We have a decent grasp on the knowns, now we just wait for Transfer Portal Frenzy.
 
#20      
Going forward, use names and add a source, if possible.

Kessler: what's the link to us? Thought he had a pretty unimpressive season, FWIW. Yeah, he's better than Lieb and Hamlin, but that's a low bar.
He didn’t play much and put up decently impressive numbers considering his time. But there is no link to us.
 
#21      
This year was just so crazy. There's going to be some normalcy returning next year. The blue bloods will more than likely be back. We may never see a year with them all down again. Kansas was the best of the bunch as a 3 seed. UNC an 8, MSU a first four loser, Duke and Kentucky not even in the tournament. It hurts to have not taken advantage of a 1 seed in a year like this. In no way am I setting 1 seed expectations, but just having those traditional power back pushes this year's top programs back down into the middle of the pack.
 
#24      
Next year you return at least 3 starters: Curbelo, Miller, Grandison. Best case, Kofi is back and Hutcherson is 100% healthy and returns. That could easily be the starting lineup, not even taking into account transfers/freshman. Kofi goes pro, you have Giorgi. That's not a bad lineup. Depth would be interesting and who knows what to expect out of Hutcherson, but I think you know that Miller and Curbelo's floor is their play this year, and ceiling is potential stars. Giorgi and Grandison are at worst serviceable role players.

Really we're looking at a middle of the pack big ten team and tournament team next year. Expectations will be shaped by what happens in the next couple months, but at minimum we should expect another tournament, and for Underwood's sake a Sweet 16 or further run would go a long way.
 
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