Looking ahead to 2021-2022

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#301      
Cary, IL
Riiighhhtt...damn...makes it even harder.


PG: Curbelo, Trent F, Goode?
SG: Trent F, Podz, Hutch, Goode
SF: Hutch, Payne, Melendez, Podz
F: Jacob G, DMW, Coleman, Payne, BBV
C: Kofi, Hamlin, BBV, Coleman, Lieb
I thought BU mentioned many moons ago that Hutch could play the positionless point.
 
#303      
As you said, roster still in flux, but glaring hole at the 1 from a depth standpoint. Just seems like a huge glut at the 2 and 3 spots. I know he might choose to go with a smaller line-up like Baylor played with 4 guards on the floor which could spread things out a little bit more.
Hutch and Trent can play point for the few minutes Curbelo is out. I don't think having a backup point is a big deal this season, provided Curbelo stays healthy.
 
#304      
He is a GREAT shooter from 3 in practice. We’re talking like can’t-miss from 3. For some reason it didn’t translate to games this year, but I think the light will turn on for him at some point. When it does-yikes. The B1G and the rest of the country will not have an answer.

First I've heard this --kind of surprised, actually. He was fearless going into the paint, so it seems like his confidence would carry over to shooting. Hope he gains the confidence to get his shot off --if he's that good, he should have the green light and be shooting it when he's open. Most decent shooters overcome their hesitation once they're expected to take the shot.

With Miller, DaMonte, and Ayo, he might not be the obvious choice for those shots. Plus he would be looking to get it inside to Kofi. He only took 1 per game.
 
#305      
I think you gotta be pretty optimistic right now. Alot if unknowns, but if things come together it looks like we'll have a lot of young, long, upside talent.

IMO
- You have 5 guys who are all around the same size: Podz, Hutcherson, Grandison, Goode, Melendez. All are 6'6 - 6'7 and "wings". I don't see any of them playing PG so you're gonna have to sort out a lot.
- Podz was 35 a game against bad competition. Still, that's a TON of points. But a few positives are that his shot is LEGIT quick and being left handed can't be overlooked, it does throw guys off, and I think there is more dribble/drive in there.
- Goode, to me, is the catch and shoot guy, I see him and Grandison being nearly identical.
- RJ is the project
- I'm in the lane that you can't count on Hutcherson until he is actually in a game.
- I still think Miller is gone...if he is back, then you're gonna have a real jam at the 2 and 3. I want Miller back, but I'm not laying out red carpet and a crown. If you wanna play, cool, come in and lets work cuz now we have guys behind you who wanted to be here who want those minutes.

- I don't see much from Payne unless its an ally oop from Belo, which, might be allllll he needs to do.

- If Kofi comes back...you get the ball in Belo's hands with 3 shooters and Kofi down low and we go try to win the Big10 again.

I think you have to be pretty excited about the possibilities.
 
#306      
Hutch and Trent can play point for the few minutes Curbelo is out. I don't think having a backup point is a big deal this season, provided Curbelo stays healthy.
With Trent coming back not worried about PG in coming year. Will be a priority in 22 however. A big, however, is still a priority (assuming no Kofi) with no backup to Payne as far as we know. Maybe Hamlin and/or Lieb are further along than we are expecting. Can see us playing two fours but BBV and Hawkins are also unknown at this point. Hopefully staff is aware of Kofi’s intention but with our present roster it appears to be a hole.
 
#307      
Whatever this looks like, there is a huge glut at the 2,3,4 spot. I see a struggle to get Coleman more consistent time if DMW comes back.
I suspect we'll see more of Grandy at his natural spot as a 3 next year. He's really a guard that had to play up b/c of our roster construction (same for DMW) but hopefully Coleman (or a transfer) can improve and alleviate that issue.

Also, of all our freshmen recruits, I get the sense that Podz is the best equipped to immediately contribute. Minutes will depend a lot on if Miller is back and how healthy Hutch is, but his shooting + ball handling + competitive fire should at least push our guys for playing time.
 
#308      
chitown
First I've heard this --kind of surprised, actually. He was fearless going into the paint, so it seems like his confidence would carry over to shooting. Hope he gains the confidence to get his shot off --if he's that good, he should have the green light and be shooting it when he's open. Most decent shooters overcome their hesitation once they're expected to take the shot.

With Miller, DaMonte, and Ayo, he might not be the obvious choice for those shots. Plus he would be looking to get it inside to Kofi. He only took 1 per game.


I don't think it was confidence with Curbelo I think it was simply fatigue and strength issue . He often times exerted a ton of energy getting free of defenders and didn't seem to have his legs under him in order to get the three off . The ability' to play at the pace he likes and to consistently get his three off at the higher level is something he is gonna have to retrain his body to do because in hs he didn't have to rely on it . Its nothing 2000 shots per day over the summer after his initial workout cant fix and from his training video I think thats what he is working on .
 
#309      
I suspect we'll see more of Grandy at his natural spot as a 3 next year. He's really a guard that had to play up b/c of our roster construction (same for DMW) but hopefully Coleman (or a transfer) can improve and alleviate that issue.

Also, of all our freshmen recruits, I get the sense that Podz is the best equipped to immediately contribute. Minutes will depend a lot on if Miller is back and how healthy Hutch is, but his shooting + ball handling + competitive fire should at least push our guys for playing time.
Don’t agree but it will be something to be discussed all summer. It will be based on defense in the end. All three are very offensively talented. Believe it will be Melendez’s quickness that will be the difference.
 
#311      
Champaign
I don't think it was confidence with Curbelo I think it was simply fatigue and strength issue . He often times exerted a ton of energy getting free of defenders and didn't seem to have his legs under him in order to get the three off . The ability' to play at the pace he likes and to consistently get his three off at the higher level is something he is gonna have to retrain his body to do because in hs he didn't have to rely on it . Its nothing 2000 shots per day over the summer after his initial workout cant fix and from his training video I think thats what he is working on .

It didn't seem like fatigue it looked more like a footwork issue. When Curbelo caught the ball on the perimeter a lot of the times he was already moving to drive and attack a closeout. The best guys at catch and shoot guys are already set and ready to fire before the ball even gets there. Similar with off the bounce he needs to get his footwork down to be able to be consistent with his release. He was good with the turnaround in the lane because that gave him the same footwork and form to practice every time.
 
#312      
True but 6th man sounds worse than it really is. Curbelo was basically a starter last year. Just hard to imagine Trent and Adam wanting to come back if both aren't starting and starting 3 small guards is interesting.
Not really, if it's working against a particular team, fine. If it's not BU will substitute pretty quickly.
I'd be a really cr*ppy coach but I'd only start two of those three per game.
 
#313      
It didn't seem like fatigue it looked more like a footwork issue. When Curbelo caught the ball on the perimeter a lot of the times he was already moving to drive and attack a closeout. The best guys at catch and shoot guys are already set and ready to fire before the ball even gets there. Similar with off the bounce he needs to get his footwork down to be able to be consistent with his release. He was good with the turnaround in the lane because that gave him the same footwork and form to practice every time.
Agree, but also think it is a mental thing. We are going to see a ton of growth for him as the game slows down mentally for him and he is able to play at the speed wants to. It's coming and it is going to be really exciting.
 
#314      
If all the coaches on Loyalty applied for openings at Illinois we would be undefeated every year. This is the way I read some commentary on here sometimes.

-Shot launch angle is 1.38° too low.
- Right foot 3/16" too far in front of left, causing too much lefthand spin on the three
- Left leg stronger than the right because Fletch didn't focus appropriately on balanced lifting. Causing him to not be able to leave change on top of the backboard.
- Right hand too strong on rebound, causing the ball to pop out upon reentry too earth.
- He would typically play center because he is 7'4" but since he hasn't been with Fletch yet, he will play the point, too weak for B10 play.
- If we would run the flying V more often we'd score 200 a game.
 
#315      
I'm sure it's SOMEWHERE in this thread, but has anyone actually heard something one way or the other on Kofi? Or has he simply told the staff he needs time to decide. I know the deadline and stuff, but it seems strange to hear so few rumors, compared to Adam Miller. Maybe I totally missed something.

It feels so weird to be hanging on the decision of two players (Miller and Kofi) SO much. I mean, last year we were all hoping that Ayo and Kofi would be back and knew that it would kind of make or break our NCAAs potential (well, at least on paper...), but at the same time we were simply a top 20-25 team in 2019-20 that also had a strong leader in Feliz who was leaving and no more Griffin. As excited as I was going into last year, we now KNOW that this team can play at a top 5 level, even without Ayo. :oops: As disappointing as the Loyola loss was, if Kofi and Adam returned, I would be even more excited for this year, I think ... especially because I could attend a game. :p
Underwood is loading up on 3 point shooters. Since 3 of them will be freshmen, a full pre-season will help develop them prior to the rigors of Big Ten. If Kofi and Miller come back, the Illini could be better next year.
 
#316      
Just saw that Dru Smith, Mitchell Smith, and Tilmon are all signing with agents and leaving Mizzou. Combined with Mark Smith leaving, they're not going to have a single RSCI top 100 player on the roster, unless someone transfers in. #41 ranked recruiting class with the highest at #144 (247 composite). I thought the selling point of Cuonzo was that he could recruit! Man am I glad we didn't end up with him at the helm. All signs point to a fast sinking ship over there.
 
#317      
Just saw that Dru Smith, Mitchell Smith, and Tilmon are all signing with agents and leaving Mizzou. Combined with Mark Smith leaving, they're not going to have a single RSCI top 100 player on the roster, unless someone transfers in. #41 ranked recruiting class with the highest at #144 (247 composite). I thought the selling point of Cuonzo was that he could recruit! Man am I glad we didn't end up with him at the helm. All signs point to a fast sinking ship over there.
Agree. Although he is so defensive minded, wonder if he can have success with scrappy 3 stars a la Weber. But it’s pretty clear the scrappy 3 stars are out of necessity rather than preference.
 
#318      
Just saw that Dru Smith, Mitchell Smith, and Tilmon are all signing with agents and leaving Mizzou. Combined with Mark Smith leaving, they're not going to have a single RSCI top 100 player on the roster, unless someone transfers in. #41 ranked recruiting class with the highest at #144 (247 composite). I thought the selling point of Cuonzo was that he could recruit! Man am I glad we didn't end up with him at the helm. All signs point to a fast sinking ship over there.
I feel horrible for him, seems like a really good guy....
 
#319      
I feel horrible for him, seems like a really good guy....
You must have him confused with this guy:
gonzo GIF
 
#320      
Just saw that Dru Smith, Mitchell Smith, and Tilmon are all signing with agents and leaving Mizzou. Combined with Mark Smith leaving, they're not going to have a single RSCI Scould recruit! Man am I glad we didn't end up with him at the helm. All signs point to a fast sinking ship over there.
So maybe we can sneak up on them in the Braggin Rights game this year and snatch a "W"?????
 
#321      
So maybe we can sneak up on them in the Braggin Rights game this year and snatch a "W"?????

The ONLY depressing thing involved with the return of Illinois basketball is that we have beaten Mizzou only once in the Underwood Era, during our worst season. (n) That is honestly my favorite sporting event of the year, and this year with fans back in the stands and the game back in St. Louis ... I would like to attend and finally see that W.
 
#322      
So maybe we can sneak up on them in the Braggin Rights game this year and snatch a "W"?????
Yeah, if we don't get a W in next year's game...then something will have gone off the rails. We missed our chance to get revenge on MS and Tilmon, but have to take advantage of (at least) one more chance with Pickett.
 
#324      
I just had a thought today of how silly some of these preseason rankings for next year really are, ESPECIALLY this offseason. The Illini are not even showing up in some people's top 40 rankings, and it will literally be hilarious IF/when the following things happen and these ~experts~ just all of a sudden update their lists due to the ~news~.

1) Trent announces he's coming back --> #25
2) Adam Miller announces he's coming back --> #20
3) Da'Monte announces he's coming back --> #15
4) Kofi announces he's coming back --> #7

Lol. I am all aboard Team Rankings Matter, and I believe getting preseason hype is important for the program ... but this year especially is hilarious to try to predict.
 
#325      
Kind of infatuated with the idea of playing a team of 6’5”-6’7” guys ala 88-89. Maybe Hawkins at center, Belo at point, Hutch, Jake, Goode, Melendez, Podz, at positionless. But then I wonder where is Nick Anderson and Mike Battle? Have to step up my coolade intake to see replacements for them.
 
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