Pregame: Illinois at Rutgers, Wednesday, February 3rd, 5:30pm CT, BTN

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#76      
EDIT: I forgot DJ Williams. Fixed

Someone earlier said we'd be missing 5 of our top 8-9 guys. I wrote out my rankings (IMHO - feel free to disagree with me). I am also including Darius Paul who I saw play 0 minutes ever.

1) Hill - Active :chief:
2) Nunn - GTD :(
3) Coleman-Lands - Active :chief:
4) Thorne Jr. - Out :tsk:
5) Black - Out :tsk:
6) Abrams - Out :tsk:
7) Paul - Wasted opportunity / off team :mad::mad::mad:
8) Finke - GTD :(
9) Williams - Active :chief:
10) Morgan - Active :chief:
11) Jordan - Active :chief:
12) Tate - Active :chief:
13) Lewis - Active :chief:
14) Austin - Active :chief:
15) Liss - Active :chief:

By my count that would be 6 of the top 8 guys. Starters would be #1, 3, 9, 10, and 11 best players on the team with only #12, 13, 14 and 15 on the bench to give you any minutes.

We might lose to Rutgers, guys.


We need a player manager damnit!
 
#77      
Or we could take the advice so often given to Groce on these boards and bench both point guards in favor of someone who poses a greater scoring threat. Our lineup would then be:

DJW
JCL
AJ
MH
MM.

That would leave AA on the bench to backup all five positions.

Does that work for you?


Why stop there if we're listening to the "fans" on the message board? Yank AA and Mav too and put them in street clothes! We'll go with 4 this week. I've been rooting for the Illini longer than I care to admit and I think we have one of the best fan bases in the country, but seriously guys the miserable hating on our own guys from some of the people on this forum is really a shame.

I know we're not talking about biddy basketball...these are men. And they play for a major program...but the whining and moaning and pessimism and negativity about our own guys is really too much -- even for an online message board.

In my opinion, and I know it's just that, the only reason to dog one of our own guys is if they're not working hard and not being a team first player. These guys want to win. They're all putting in the effort and trying to play the role that the coaching staff has given them.

Turns out it's a lot more fun to root for the Illini (through both up and down years) if you're actually rooting for them.
 
#78      
At what point do we just start playing Orange Krush members? I mean they aren't called the 6th man for nothing right?
 
#79      
And he'll probably continue at that pace when he plays 5 minutes one game, zero minutes the next, 2 minutes the next, etc., and gets yanked every time he makes a mistake. So I don't care what those percentages are now. They are no worse than Tate's, are they not (I didn't look)? Tate's ceiling has been discovered; let's start finding DJW's.

Amen. Tate has hit three 3 pointers in his college career. One each season so far. He isn't anything special handling the ball. I would much rather see something different than the same thing over and over again when it continues to fail...I hope some of the freshman start getting more minutes starting with this game. Best case scenario for this season is NIT so why not realize that and get some guys experience?

+1. We desperately need more playmakers and shot makers on the court. AJ and DJW have the potential to be both. Our PGs work hard and try hard but neither is a playmaker or shot maker. If KN and MF return, we need a lineup that doesn't leave us playing 4 against 5 offensively for long stretches of games.
 
#80      
+1. We desperately need more playmakers and shot makers on the court. AJ and DJW have the potential to be both. Our PGs work hard and try hard but neither is a playmaker or shot maker. If KN and MF return, we need a lineup that doesn't leave us playing 4 against 5 offensively for long stretches of games.

x1000

That's an estimate of how many times I've heard this. :deadhorse:

4v5 would be an improvement. I've watched a lot of 1v5 or 2v5 the last few years and I've come to the conclusion that it is by design.

If you want more offensive production, how about getting more chances by getting more rebounds. You know, if you go get the ball, you have a chance to score (good). If the other teams goes and gets the ball, then they have a chance to score (bad).
 
#82      
It is extremely frustrating knowing every time one of our pg's has the ball in his hands its just taking time off the shot clock and I highly doubt AJ or DJ is the answer.But what the heck have we got to lose?Defense?Don't I sometimes see DJ brought in for defensive purposes towards the end of games?No doubt our turnover numbers would rise but 0 points and few assists from the point just doesn't cut it.I'm not a DJ fan.I really never seen anything from his high school stats or the very few times that I saw him play that made me think he would make a good D1 player.(But I'm sure I wouldn't make a very good talent scout either.)But what he does have is athleticism and thats something this team as a whole sorely lacks.He's not going to reach this "ceiling" from the pine.And I'm sure AJ can score but needs a lot of work on defense.Lets face it,we aren't going anywhere this year.Wins or losses no longer matter with me but how we play the game does.Staying the course ain't cutting it.C'mon John,play for the future and shake things up a bit!




'
 
#84      
Morrison, CO
Would love to see a breakout game from Mav tonight. Even if KN and MF can't play, we should be able to exploit their complete lack of size.
 
#85      
It is extremely frustrating knowing every time one of our pg's has the ball in his hands its just taking time off the shot clock and I highly doubt AJ or DJ is the answer.But what the heck have we got to lose?Defense?Don't I sometimes see DJ brought in for defensive purposes towards the end of games?No doubt our turnover numbers would rise but 0 points and few assists from the point just doesn't cut it.I'm not a DJ fan.I really never seen anything from his high school stats or the very few times that I saw him play that made me think he would make a good D1 player.(But I'm sure I wouldn't make a very good talent scout either.)But what he does have is athleticism and thats something this team as a whole sorely lacks.He's not going to reach this "ceiling" from the pine.And I'm sure AJ can score but needs a lot of work on defense.Lets face it,we aren't going anywhere this year.Wins or losses no longer matter with me but how we play the game does.Staying the course ain't cutting it.C'mon John,play for the future and shake things up a bit!
'



I really think the problem with "shaking things up" is the offense. Groce has called it a dribble-drive offense. The dribble-drive offense is a motion offense. The problem is that we don't have very good motion, off the ball movement frequently comes to a standstill. It's very difficult to look good as a play-making point guard in a motion offense with little to no off-the-ball movement.

So, you have an offense that requires players to read the defense and move. Then you're hit with a bazillion injuries, forcing you to play players that aren't ready and those that are, having to play out of position. We can see the results. I don't think the answer is to play even more players that aren't ready.

Of course, as you say, you can toss in the towel and start practicing for next year, using the remaining games as a teaching tool. I wouldn't be against that at all. It wouldn't be pretty in the short-term though.

Anyway, I liked your post except for the reference to the point guards... "taking the time off the shot clock" part. I think the PG's are playing as directed by the coaches.
 
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#86      
Morrison, CO
I really think the problem with "shaking things up" is the offense. Groce has called it a dribble-drive offense. The dribble-drive offense is a motion offense. The problem is that we don't have very good motion, off the ball movement frequently comes to a standstill. It's very difficult to look good as a play-making point guard in a motion offense with little to no off-the-ball movement.

So, you have an offense that requires players to read the defense and move. Then you're hit with a bazillion injuries, forcing you to play players that aren't ready and those that are, having to play out of position. We can see the results. I don't think the answer is to play even more players that aren't ready.

Of course, as you say, you can toss in the towel and start practicing for next year, using the remaining games as a teaching tool. I wouldn't be against that at all. It wouldn't be pretty in the short-term though.

Anyway, I liked your post except for the reference to the point guards... "taking the time off the shot clock" part. I think the PG's are playing as directed by the coaches.

I have not been an advocate for making a head coaching change, but if this statement is really true, then Groce has to go.
 
#87      
Cedar Falls, IA
I have not been an advocate for making a head coaching change, but if this statement is really true, then Groce has to go.
I believe it is true that Groce has accepted the fact that his PGs cannot score, so apparently it's no longer an in-game concern of his. Yesterday in the pre game presser he said our PGs "are being evaluated on taking care of the ball, defending, and being vocal." :(
 
#88      
Morrison, CO
I believe it is true that Groce has accepted the fact that his PGs cannot score, so apparently it's no longer an in-game concern of his. Yesterday in the pre game presser he said our PGs "are being evaluated on taking care of the ball, defending, and being vocal." :(

Maybe I'm being too harsh on Groce. He may have missed on all the flashy PGs but at least he got us a couple of players that are killing it with the vocals. sweet.
 
#89      
I believe it is true that Groce has accepted the fact that his PGs cannot score, so apparently it's no longer an in-game concern of his. Yesterday in the pre game presser he said our PGs "are being evaluated on taking care of the ball, defending, and being vocal." :(

They are taking care of the ball... team is ranked 11th in turnovers per game. I don't think you get as much mileage out of being good at taking care of the ball as you do from rebounding where we are ranked something like 315th in rebounding margin. Indiana's stats in these two categories are the opposite, horrible number of turnovers and great rebounding margin.

I think the team as a whole, offense, defense and transition would look very different, much better, if our rebounding margin was a +5 rather than a -5. Just getting it to even would make a world of difference.
 
#90      
Would love to see a breakout game from Mav tonight. Even if KN and MF can't play, we should be able to exploit their complete lack of size.
Mav already had his breakout game. That was Minnesota. I want to see him carry over the lessons learned on a more consistent basis.
 
#92      
They are taking care of the ball... team is ranked 11th in turnovers per game. I don't think you get as much mileage out of being good at taking care of the ball as you do from rebounding where we are ranked something like 315th in rebounding margin. Indiana's stats in these two categories are the opposite, horrible number of turnovers and great rebounding margin.

I think the team as a whole, offense, defense and transition would look very different, much better, if our rebounding margin was a +5 rather than a -5. Just getting it to even would make a world of difference.

A large part of the reason we dont turn the ball over is that we attempt very few passes into the interior, and our guards rarely put the ball on the floor. I would love to see where we rank on average length of possession before a shot goes up, or percent of possession where we take a shot in the first 15 seconds. I think JFG is playing the percentages again here, and, I believe, his overriding offensive strategy with this group is "put up as many shots as we can in a game" with the hope that quantity of offensive opportunities is our best bet (rather than quality), especially since we have at least 4 guys with some range. We can work and work to get good easy baskets but it doesn't happen, and our league does not consistently call fouls inside, so tall bodies and wide bodies on opposing teams can stymie our thinner and smaller guys. Get a good look from anywhere, shoot with confidence, and get back is bascially what we are running. So not as many TO opportunities.
 
#94      
I really think the problem with "shaking things up" is the offense. Groce has called it a dribble-drive offense. The dribble-drive offense is a motion offense. The problem is that we don't have very good motion, off the ball movement frequently comes to a standstill. It's very difficult to look good as a play-making point guard in a motion offense with little to no off-the-ball movement.

So, you have an offense that requires players to read the defense and move. Then you're hit with a bazillion injuries, forcing you to play players that aren't ready and those that are, having to play out of position. We can see the results. I don't think the answer is to play even more players that aren't ready.

X100000 (the number of times I've seen you beat the same old, wrong drum)

The main (not only but main so you don't misquote me again) problem with the offense is lack of talent at the 1 spot, not lack of movement off the ball. That's about as crystal clear as you can get. Neither of our PGs are play-making PGs. And off-the-ball movement is largely and easily thwarted when the opposing defense can sag off your PGs and jam up the wings and lane because your offensive spacing is poor due to your PGs' inability to make outside shots.
 
#95      
X100000 (the number of times I've seen you beat the same old, wrong drum)

The main (not only but main so you don't misquote me again) problem with the offense is lack of talent at the 1 spot, not lack of movement off the ball. That's about as crystal clear as you can get. Neither of our PGs are play-making PGs. And off-the-ball movement is largely and easily thwarted when the opposing defense can sag off your PGs and jam up the wings and lane because your offensive spacing is poor due to your PGs' inability to make outside shots.

The no 1 problem with the team is rebounding. No 2 problem with the team is defense. The offense scores 72 points a game, about average.

Fix what's broken.
 
#97      
The no 1 problem with the team is rebounding. No 2 problem with the team is defense. The offense scores 72 points a game, about average.

Fix what's broken.

How do you know rebounding and defense wouldn't improve with DJ or AJ getting increased PT at the expense of Tate/Lewis? With the amount of zone we play, their length alone would help stop some of the "free" passes inside that taller guys can just throw over the top of our PGs. As for the offense, how many more points would we average if DJ/AJ could get 10-12 points between them over the little scoring coming from Tate/Lewis? Plus the benefit to Hill, Nunn, JCL etc. from having a 5th scoring threat in there? The answer to these Qs right now may "we don't know"; but the team is losing a lot of games. How about we try and find out rather than having these guys languishing on the bench while the offense is hampered by no-scoring PGs.

P.S., I share your contempt for so-called fans calling Tate and other players like AA worthless or otherwise denigrating him personally because of his struggles on the floor. That happens here too much and when it does it pisses me off as much as it does you. Tate is a tough gritty player who plays hard and with pride and heart and therefore always has my support. By the same token, when posters, in recognition of his clear limitations as a player, suggest that the team would benefit from having other players take a fair portion of his minutes, that is not "hating" on Tate or Tate-bashing. Agree?
 
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#98      
Urbana, IL
Groce: Michael Finke did not practice today for the second day in a row. "Very unlikely" for tomorrow.
https://twitter.com/DPiperScout/status/694605454807339009


Groce: Nothing structurally wrong with Finke's knee. Just has pain and swelling. Certainly will get better with time.
https://twitter.com/JWernerScout/status/694605462520623105


Groce: Nunn a little bit more probable than Finke. Will trust doctors on whether one or none can go tomorrow night.
https://twitter.com/JWernerScout/status/694605730624708608


Groce: Kendrick Nunn will be a gametime decision. Finke as well. Nunn more probable than Finke.
https://twitter.com/DPiperScout/status/694605695342120960

Correct me if I'm wrong but are there really only 4 scholarship players who have been unaffected by injury or illness? Morgan, Hill, Williams, and Jordan. Am I missing someone? This is unreal. I hope we can pull off a win tonight. We desperately need one.
 
#99      
If Nunn and Finke don't play tonight, what is the over/under on shot Malcolm takes tonight 22?
 
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