Michigan 78, Illinois 68 POSTGAME

#201      
You think there's a chance Groce is gone before next year?

No, I think Groce survives 2016 as I've stated on this board multiple times.

Just responding to a post that linked 2017 recruiting class with the decision on Groce for next year. The 2017 recruiting class is irrelevant on Groce's future for next year, just on timing alone.

Now, Groce is safe IMO for next year, but he needs a home run class with some difference makers at key positions (PG and C) and also make the tournament next year. Without a very strong 2017 recruiting class, not just a good one, the future may be bleak even if we do make the tournament next season.
 
#202      
Bloomington, IL
You think there's a chance Groce is gone before next year? I don't see that personally unless things really fall apart similar to the last 3 games of last year, where we're clearly not even a functioning "team" any longer. I support Groce through to next year - barring that scenario - since he has truly been handed the worst injury luck I've ever seen.

Also, I can't imagine another coach coming in and doing better with the 2017 class. He's had the time to get in with these kids. No excuses, he and the staff have to land a strong class. Of they don't do that with some Nojel/Williams pieces and several top 100s, then I've seen enough regardless of how next year goes.

Anytime you have new AD coming in there is chance changes will be made.
 
#203      
Southern Illinois
Anytime you have new AD coming in there is chance changes will be made.

No doubt! I'm very interested to see how the AD thing shakes out in the next week or two (hopefully that's all the longer it takes). If we land someone with strong ties to some good coaches (or their agents) it's a possibility. If we land an up and comer type AD, it's doubtful any change is made in Mens BB. I think a change in basketball should ONLY be made next year IF someone with a very strong resume is willing to come on board.
 
#204      
No, I think Groce survives 2016 as I've stated on this board multiple times.

Just responding to a post that linked 2017 recruiting class with the decision on Groce for next year. The 2017 recruiting class is irrelevant on Groce's future for next year, just on timing alone.

Now, Groce is safe IMO for next year, but he needs a home run class with some difference makers at key positions (PG and C) and also make the tournament next year. Without a very strong 2017 recruiting class, not just a good one, the future may be bleak even if we do make the tournament next season.
The challenge will be the impact future coaching staff uncertainty may have on recruiting in summer/fall of 2016, when we will be closing on 2017 recruits hopefully.
 
#205      
It's all been said, but what we are seeing this year isn't the result of injuries. At least not solely. It's the result of not landing a decent PG or C in 4 years.

I like Groce, great guy, but his coaching chops leave a lot to be desired. Game prep, adjustments, lineup decisions, offensive scheme (or lack thereof), defensive fundamentals. All lacking.

If he had a banner class lined up for 2017, I'd be all for bringing him back for another year. So far that class is empty.

If we get a new AD in short order, and we finish this season with a still empty recruiting class and a subpar record....I think it's time to look elsewhere.
 
#208      
Herndon, VA
For us to have a chance, Maverick has to EARN 25 minutes/game :hand:
ODL, in a normal situation, i.e., no injuries, I totally agree. A player must earn his way on to the court. We, however, find ourselves in a very unusual situation and sometimes a coach needs to go outside the box. Who is Mav going to out-earn minutes from? There ain't no one. He is the only one. If Thorne was healthy, sure. But Mav needs to realize his back, and his back only, is up against the wall to do something special for this team as a junior year leader. His eyeballs need to be opened wide by somebody either on that team or on the coaching staff. I like a lot of what Mav has shown this year, don't get me wrong. I like this kid. But man...
 
#209      
It's crazy to see how many people give up so early. We try to focus on the good and how people can build and grow for the future. "Fire John Groce", "Fire", "Fire", "Fire", this must be the new trend of modern day sports. Not doing well?, "fire", had a bad day? "fire", injuries? "fire", bench coaches on a forum think they are better than the head coach "fire". How about "ENJOY". Enjoy the game, enjoy the sparks and highlights and cheer our team on for a better result.

GO ILLINI

- Que the Debbie Downers -


In my opinion, we took a big swing with JG hoping we would hit a home run. At the time, I thought it was a good hire and thought that he would succeed, especially with recruiting. He was given a great job and opportunity along with A LOT of money. When employees are paid that kind of money, the employer has reason to expect results.

When he was hired, I don't think the expectations were that we wanted to be sweating come Selection Sunday. We were looking for someone that would elevate us from mediocrity. I guess it depends on what fan expectations were for this year's team without injuries, but I felt that we would be a mediocre bubble team. Not only would I say that have not risen above mediocrity, I would say that we have trended down even more.

I fully support our players, the program, and the university, but it is really hard to "enjoy the game" the way it is currently being played. I even like JG on a personal level. Unfortunately, it is a business decision and I don't feel that it is working out for him here. It isn't like he will be living out of a cardboard box if we let him go. He will continue to make a lot of money from the UI or someone else.
 
#210      
Inside points

I was at the game Wed. For all the talk about Groce isn't at fault because he lacks talent due to injuries, I must disagree. The last time I saw that many easy inside points was at a Harlem Globetrotters game when Meadowlark Lemon handed a glass of water to a Washington General. Time after time, Michigan beat us off the dribble and passed to a wide open Wolverine. Most of the guys were so wide open that there weren't that many under basket fouls because there was ZERO contention. NO DEFENSE whatsoever. I am not a basketball expert or former coach, but after seeing the same play 20 times, maybe something could've been done??? I swear there had to be close to 36 easy, easy inside points.
 
#211      
Bloomington, IL
This is a dated but interesting read on BW struggles after last year's season. Talks a little about his challenges at Illinois too. Despite the chaos and declining success at k state over the last 3 years, they seem to be doing surprisingly well this year.

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/big-12/kansas-state/article19462956.html

They are doing surprisingly well because BW is pretty good at teaching defense and toughness. You can win a lot of games concentrating on those two things. He has plenty of other deficiencies but those are strengths.
 
#212      
Bloomington, IL
For us to have a chance, Maverick has to EARN 25 minutes/game :hand:

Mav shouldn't be playing more than about 5 minutes per game to give someone else a blow. When he is in the game it is an open invitation to the basket for the other team.
 
#213      
Bloomington, IL
ODL, in a normal situation, i.e., no injuries, I totally agree. A player must earn his way on to the court. We, however, find ourselves in a very unusual situation and sometimes a coach needs to go outside the box. Who is Mav going to out-earn minutes from? There ain't no one. He is the only one. If Thorne was healthy, sure. But Mav needs to realize his back, and his back only, is up against the wall to do something special for this team as a junior year leader. His eyeballs need to be opened wide by somebody either on that team or on the coaching staff. I like a lot of what Mav has shown this year, don't get me wrong. I like this kid. But man...

The occasional nice offensive plays that Mav makes do not come close to making up for the points he gives up at the other end.
 
#214      
They are doing surprisingly well because BW is pretty good at teaching defense and toughness. You can win a lot of games concentrating on those two things. He has plenty of other deficiencies but those are strengths.
Yep. Sounds like kstate struggles offensively though....and have struggled in general for the last 2 years (despite BW s defense coaching prowess. Pretty remarkable that he could blow up a roster and survive so far this year. Also interesting that K state extended his contract incrementally which I'm sure helped him rebuild his roster (2015 recruits not ancy about coach transitions).

Dont think JG has that luxury of job security for recruiting that BW has, even though their first 3 year records are similar.
 
#215      
Orange Crush '89
Northern Illinois
Both these paragraphs sum up my feelings toward JG. I don't think there's a coach in the country who could take this injury-plagued roster to the Dance, and JG has assembled a nice frosh class, especially if you consider Nichols a member of the group, too, though I guess he'll be considered a frosh next year, actually. And I think a lot of fans, myself included, would be OK with seeing JG replaced in the offseason with a great candidate, but considering we still have interims running the university and DIA, that's unlikely as you said. The last 3 1/2 years have greatly tempered my hopes for JG, I must admit. A lot of lost luster.

I'm also intrigued to finally see a JG team with a quality PG running the show in what is a PG-friendly offense and what a difference it might make in the quality of shots we get, especially with good wings like MH, KN and JCL stretching the D and a low-post scorer like MT in the lineup. Unfortunately we may never get to see this, as next year looks like it'll be more of the same. (I have modest expectations for Lucas as a frosh backing up JT or TA.)
This is where I am, I think much of my backing of Groce is in line with how you laid it out so well HoC, and I have zero confidence in the ability of the athletic department to find a good replacement. Given its permanent state of flux/interim-ness I can't imagine that the type of coach that we need and deserve would want to come to this mess.

Maybe I'm settling too much, and maybe the new AD will be a home run, but short of Uncle Shahid dropping in T-Bone style and saving the day I don't see a way out that doesn't take years and multiple changes up top.

Sigh. :(
 
#216      
This is where I am, I think much of my backing of Groce is in line with how you laid it out so well HoC, and I have zero confidence in the ability of the athletic department to find a good replacement. Given its permanent state of flux/interim-ness I can't imagine that the type of coach that we need and deserve would want to come to this mess.

Maybe I'm settling too much, and maybe the new AD will be a home run, but short of Uncle Shahid dropping in T-Bone style and saving the day I don't see a way out that doesn't take years and multiple changes up top.

Sigh. :(
I agree on this. Unfortunately for recruiting sake in 2017, I don't think it will be healthy for us to have an AD that is luke warm on the coach. I believe you're almost in a position as an AD where you have to make a change or give an extension....commit one way or the other.
 
#217      
Champaign Area
ODL, in a normal situation, i.e., no injuries, I totally agree. A player must earn his way on to the court. We, however, find ourselves in a very unusual situation and sometimes a coach needs to go outside the box. Who is Mav going to out-earn minutes from? There ain't no one. He is the only one. If Thorne was healthy, sure. But Mav needs to realize his back, and his back only, is up against the wall to do something special for this team as a junior year leader. His eyeballs need to be opened wide by somebody either on that team or on the coaching staff. I like a lot of what Mav has shown this year, don't get me wrong. I like this kid. But man...

I am just saying Mav needs to "earn" his minutes for us to have a chance (so to speak). Granted, he could play out of necessity (like this year) without earning his minutes but in that case we will simply get blown down (like this year).
 
#218      
Bloomington, IL
Yep. Sounds like kstate struggles offensively though....and have struggled in general for the last 2 years (despite BW s defense coaching prowess. Pretty remarkable that he could blow up a roster and survive so far this year. Also interesting that K state extended his contract incrementally which I'm sure helped him rebuild his roster (2015 recruits not ancy about coach transitions).

Dont think JG has that luxury of job security for recruiting that BW has, even though their first 3 year records are similar.

BW is nearly perfect for K-State, in my opinion. They don't have a very fertile recruiting area like we do in Illinois and they don't have the national recognition that Kansas has to afford them the opportunity to go get highly rated recruits. Therefore, in order to win they have to use scheme and they have to do it well. I believe that is why BW was able to win at SIU. He is the kind of coach that I think can succeed with under-rated players that have a chip on their shoulder and are willing to run through a wall for the guy. Those kind of players love Weber. Unfortunately, at Illinois he was pressured to go get highly rated players and those players have a different mental makeup and that created contention between player and coach. As long as K-State fans can tolerate low scoring ugly games, his approach can really work in that kind of environment. I hope he does well at K-State even if he wasn't the right guy for Illinois.
 
#219      
Bloomington, IL
Wow, that's something I haven't thought of - With Groce on contract to 2018, is an extension after this season really necessary for recruiting to be successful? I think you're right. We are all-but-guaranteed to be a sub-500 team this year and it's unlikely that the injury excuse (a legitimate excuse in this case) will keep the pressure at bay. Outsiders won't care about the excuse, they'll just look at the record and talk about how absolutely far Illinois has fallen. The "Groce on the hot seat" talk will intensify and get worse, impacting recruiting. It will get much worse, as hard as that is to imagine.

This is probably the best statement I have seen on the site in a while. "Outsiders won't care about the excuse". Since Groce hasn't had success in the previous 3 years, there really is nothing to point to either. If you keep him around, then you are completely hanging your hat on a successful next season and even that is going to have to be a very high level of success to recover the recruiting hit. Fortunately, we are in a very fertile recruiting area so you can get some wins based on geography and fandom alone... much tougher in football, where we are in the same situation.
 
#220      
Wow, that's something I haven't thought of - With Groce on contract to 2018, is an extension after this season really necessary for recruiting to be successful?

The contract is less of an issue. You can extend the contract but not guarantee the money and buyout. Recruits wouldn't care less for the details of the contract. The biggest issue in recruiting is that Groce will be on the hot seat next year no matter what. Contract or no contract, Groce WILL be on hot seat and everyone knows it. Would recruits be wiling to commit knowing that coach may not be there when they arrive or for the duration of their career? That is the real question and concern.
 
#221      
BW is nearly perfect for K-State, in my opinion. They don't have a very fertile recruiting area like we do in Illinois and they don't have the national recognition that Kansas has to afford them the opportunity to go get highly rated recruits. Therefore, in order to win they have to use scheme and they have to do it well. I believe that is why BW was able to win at SIU. He is the kind of coach that I think can succeed with under-rated players that have a chip on their shoulder and are willing to run through a wall for the guy. Those kind of players love Weber. Unfortunately, at Illinois he was pressured to go get highly rated players and those players have a different mental makeup and that created contention between player and coach. As long as K-State fans can tolerate low scoring ugly games, his approach can really work in that kind of environment. I hope he does well at K-State even if he wasn't the right guy for Illinois.
I'm all for recruiting underated players that go through walls.
 
#222      
Reviewed 2d half and agree with JG press conference that we lost game in 4 to 5 min stretch in middle of 2d half. They were like 6 for 8 from 3p (most were contested) and we were 1 for 9, even though we had good open looks. Levert made our our post D look weak by driving/attracting double team and dump off for easy layups inside...he was the difference in the game.

Mich had alot of offensive boards they didn't convert...their length (6'6" or more, except walton) gave them a big advantage around the basket.
 
#223      
There are good examples of players that have gotten better. Are there good examples late in seasons of the team getting better at the offensive and defensive systems and really clicking, really looking good? Year one I think so for sure. Since then? Last year's ending was an absolute disaster. I'm still shaken by it. To see Rice and Egwu end their careers with such a wimper is such a shame.

Groces second year there was quite an improvement as well. And it seems like you are basing your entire opinion of Groce based off two and a half games.
 
#224      
Sorry to say this is how it will play out.. MM seems to be a great kid and teammate but just does not get it. Has his offense taken a step forward this year? Only out of necessity and the fact that his playing time has increased with Nnanna gone. To me he is a big disappointment and complete miss on JFG. He has had 3 years to make himself better on defense but is still lost and slow to react. He has always had decent ability to post up and shot from 10-15 feet. What upsets me the most is the guy has had the opportunity to become a beast with his frame but is still slow and weak. MF has added more weight and muscle in one RS season.

If he had worked harder on his body to become a banger down low then he would have gotten a lot more PT last year but sadly that did not happen.. With is size and 30 pounds he would be another MT.. I would gladly give up his lack of defense to see him abuse other centers on offense.. As many mentioned last season he was getting abused by MF last season in practice which helps explain why he will only get 25 minutes is if we only have one option at center. I for one would nominate MM in an instant if JFG has count scholarships this year even knowing we would be losing 1 of our 2 true centers.



Given the situation, I'll admit that MM isn't exactly stepping up. This team desperately needs some tenacity down low and there's zero tenacity to his game. Seems like he's constantly on cruise control, and shows no hunger, hustle or even a shred of aggression in the paint.

At the same time, I gotta cut the kid some slack. Even though he hasn't impressed in the "next man up" department, he was never supposed to. He is who is. I will give him the benefit of the doubt as I honestly believe the skill set that he DOES bring to the court is under-appreciated. He's super efficient offensively and has a really sweet touch. The MM we have now would be a very serviceable backup w/ spot minutes. I realize that's not the case, but his intended role on this team would otherwise be served really well...it's a similar idea with Tate.
 
#225      
How so? I stated that I've seen player improvement. What I haven't seen are teams where the team is as good as the individual parts. I've been saying that for years. I don't enjoy watching us play. Defensively and offensively, the system hasn't seemed to work since year one for Groce.

I think it's a team dynamics and system issue more than a player development issue, and that isn't new this season.

How so? Because I've seen you more than once say how "shaken" you still are based on the end of last year.