Looking ahead to 2021-2022

#29      
It will be interesting seeing the way too early top 25. My bet it is ScUM and O$U to beat in the big ten. After that I have no idea. There are a lot of teams with question marks and it be interesting to see how the dust settles.

My bar for a successful season is making the tournament. Once there anything can happen if one of our players gets hot
 
#30      
Forgottonia
It will be interesting seeing the way too early top 25. My bet it is ScUM and O$U to beat in the big ten. After that I have no idea. There are a lot of teams with question marks and it be interesting to see how the dust settles.

My bar for a successful season is making the tournament. Once there anything can happen if one of our players gets hot
MSU will be in the mix.
 
#31      
It will be interesting seeing the way too early top 25. My bet it is ScUM and O$U to beat in the big ten. After that I have no idea. There are a lot of teams with question marks and it be interesting to see how the dust settles.

My bar for a successful season is making the tournament. Once there anything can happen if one of our players gets hot
Purdue will be a handful as well
 
#32      
^ There will be plenty of good teams in the Big Ten, with Michigan being the obvious favorite and Purdue/OSU being good again. Maryland should be pretty good, actually ... but if we can play the transfer game correctly, we will be a Tournament team and hopefully in the top 25 again, IMO. If Kofi were to come back, we will be fighting for a double bye, no doubt about it.
 
#35      
Wow at UCLA being #1. Recency bias at its finest

“UCLA will start at No. 1 based on the assumption that every meaningful piece that helped the Bruins make the Final Four, and finish 13th at KenPom, will return to campus. Obviously, Johnny Juzang has a decision to make about the NBA Draft. But if he comes back, and picks up right where he left off, UCLA -- which is adding five-star prospect Peyton Watson -- should have a real chance to return to the Final Four.”

They were already a legitimate final 4 team, could return all the pieces, and add 5 star. Does not seem biased.

If that was about Illinois instead of UCLA I feel like we would all say “yeah, that makes sense.”
 
#36      
#38      
“UCLA will start at No. 1 based on the assumption that every meaningful piece that helped the Bruins make the Final Four, and finish 13th at KenPom, will return to campus. Obviously, Johnny Juzang has a decision to make about the NBA Draft. But if he comes back, and picks up right where he left off, UCLA -- which is adding five-star prospect Peyton Watson -- should have a real chance to return to the Final Four.”

They were already a legitimate final 4 team, could return all the pieces, and add 5 star. Does not seem biased.

If that was about Illinois instead of UCLA I feel like we would all say “yeah, that makes sense.”

they got hot. No doubt they have talent but they were not in the top 25 all year for a reason.
 
#41      
I'm just happy to see us in a preseason top 25 after losing a player like Ayo, along with pieces like Trent, Da'Monte and maybe even Kofi. That speaks to building a program that will be a consistent winner again.

However, I do agree that we really have ZERO idea what next year will look like. Heck, ignoring all of the COUNTLESS possibilities with the transfer portal giving and taking from various Big Ten teams, even just Kofi's decision will probably adjust us up or down about 7-8 spots in lists like these. If we had Kofi go pro and another unexpected player leave, we could be a middle-of-the-pack team that is never ranked ... if we got a surprise instant-impact transfer and Kofi came back and nobody else left, we could all of a sudden be near the top 10 again. So many unknowns.
 
#44      
We need a Big, can't assume Kofi stays. Too many Bigs are fine...ask Baylor.
Ayo has been a program changer. Losing him is obviously a huge hit, but if Kofi stays I think we'll remain at or near the top of the conference. If we lose both of them, I think the staff has real trouble. There's talent available in the portal, but the idea that we're going to replace the production of two All-Americans with transfers is pretty optimistic.

It's hard to picture how dominant Kofi could be with another year of experience and coaching. He'd be like Godzilla out there.
 
#45      
I think preseason rankings are pretty worthless, and one this far out is beyond worthless. We have no idea what the team will look like. Heck, has Ayo even officially declared for draft?
 
#46      
Ayo has been a program changer. Losing him is obviously a huge hit, but if Kofi stays I think we'll remain at or near the top of the conference. If we lose both of them, I think the staff has real trouble. There's talent available in the portal, but the idea that we're going to replace the production of two All-Americans with transfers is pretty optimistic.

It's hard to picture how dominant Kofi could be with another year of experience and coaching. He'd be like Godzilla out there.

I mean, we won't ... next year WILL be a rebuilding year, but good programs have those when they send players to the NBA (which is amazingly good for the program's recruiting abilities). We won't be replacing them next year, but the hope is that we can down the line.

In an ideal world, we would be coming off of a deep NCAA run and the sting of a "rebuilding year" wouldn't be so hard to take ... that's why the Loyola loss was so devastating to me. However, if Kofi DOES stay ... I mean, we saw how these guys played without Ayo. I am not diminishing how hard it would be to "replace" him, but we don't need to, we just need to keep marching on. Curbelo and Grandison in the backcourt excites me, personally!
 
#48      
Working From Home

Illini at #25 with 5 Big teams ahead of them.
Over at The Athletic, Seth Davis has Illinois at #10. Realistically, I think 10 is probably the ceiling and 25 is probably the floor; very dependent on Kofi’s decision, Hutcherson’s health, and how the rest of the offseason goes with recruiting and transfers.

https://theathletic.com/2499773/202...d-seth-davis-list/?source=user_shared_article