Pregame: Illinois vs Indiana, Saturday, December 26th, 3:00pm CT, FS1

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#78      
Admin
In case you were wondering how many points the #Illini scored in transition last year, it was 657 (if I heard/remembered the number right). That was 29.3 percent of the total points scored.

This fun fact brought to you by Brad Underwood.

Playing with even more pace this year.

"I've got 42-42 at half, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Are you kidding me?" — Brad Underwood in response to a Big Ten that's turned into an offense league.

Underwood: There's no doubt (Curbelo's) impactful for us. He was able to stay foul free (at Penn State) and stay on the floor. I tell our guys all the time it's not about who starts. It's about who finishes. You've got to feel your way through that.

Underwood: I'm so proud of Giorgi Bezhanishvili and what he's had to endure not going home. After the Big Ten tournament, everybody else scattered but him.

 
#80      
Over on the Indiana board, they're in the abyss. Their veteran guards aren't getting it done and the young talent is still too green to be reliable.

Our guards will disrupt their offense and Kofi and Giorgi will run wild.

My prediction:

friends sleep GIF
Pain... Cham-Pain.
 
#82      
The last time Indiana was blue blood was the great recriuting class they landed. Believe it was the Calbert Chaney class. Class fell apart when Laurence Funderburk transferred and a couple didn't develop. But it was a Fab 5/Duke/Kentucky type class.
 
#83      
Jackson-Davis seems like a tough match-up for Kofi to me. He's quick for a big man and I'm not sure that Kofi can move his feet well enough to stay in front of him without fouling. I was encouraged by a play Kofi made in the PSU game where he moved his feet with a guard driving to the baseline and the guard threw it away, though. He's not terrible with moving his feet by any means. Jackson-Davis is just excellent at it.
Neither really had foul trouble when they played last year: Men's Basketball vs Indiana on 3/1/2020 - Box Score - University of Illinois Athletics (fightingillini.com)
Jackson-Davis is probably their only option for guarding Kofi. We can switch off between Kofi and Giorgi guarding him. I'd go at Jackson-Davis all night, hoping to get him in foul trouble. They don't have many folks who can score behind him.
 
#88      
At the end of that clip..........

1989 Illini vs. Hoosiers - a game of mega superstars!! (ESPN/Dick Vitale covering the game on TV.) Both Illinois and Indiana very likely entered the NCAA tourney as #1 seeds that season. And locally, Jim Turpin was on the call from Bloomington, Indiana. Really loved that familiar voice on the radio!

Nick!!!!
 
#89      
Vegas line: Illini -7

It's really hard to pick against the Illini in this one. Sure seems like we'll cover the 7 pts at home too. Guess it's time to get out of my prediction funk. I'm going with the good guys. I like the Kofi vs. Jackson-Davis comment from above.......Kofi needs to keep pace offensively and we're in great shape.

Illini 82
Hoosiers 73

(It's so un-Illinois to keep shooting over 50% from the field. Is this the game that it ends? I did a quick check and the 1989 team was better in nearly all offensive categories than 2005. This current team is on pace with 1989.)
 
#90      
Since you asked (and slow day), I looked into this.
1910-1929: 104-34-11 (.698) 2 NCs, 1 #2 and 10 Top 10s.

View attachment 6911

The Galloping Ghost rides again

(561) Pinterest
 
#92      
Vegas line: Illini -7

It's really hard to pick against the Illini in this one. Sure seems like we'll cover the 7 pts at home too. Guess it's time to get out of my prediction funk. I'm going with the good guys. I like the Kofi vs. Jackson-Davis comment from above.......Kofi needs to keep pace offensively and we're in great shape.

Illini 82
Hoosiers 73

(It's so un-Illinois to keep shooting over 50% from the field. Is this the game that it ends? I did a quick check and the 1989 team was better in nearly all offensive categories than 2005. This current team is on pace with 1989.)

The biggest concern IMO is how they've come out maybe not as hungry after winning a game. Any game in the BIG where you don't bring it can be dicey. Ayo's leadership and growth is going to be a big part of how guys handle success, and so far, I see a team that's still growing, with ups and downs.

Offensively, I can see why Underwood's pleased. Lotta weapons and great plays. When I think back to Groce and even Weber before, it's an amazing transformation in style to see so many fearless guys who mix it up in the paint. While there are some mistakes, they're doing a lot of the things he's asking and it's good basketball that's exciting to watch. Defensively, we're not as comfortable, and I'm not sure what the missing ingredients are. Be a good question for some of the better coaches on the board, or maybe one of the beat guys to ask Underwood. After watching Baylor dial it up for the win, I'm envious of great defense.
 
#93      
Winged Warrior
The biggest concern IMO is how they've come out maybe not as hungry after winning a game. Any game in the BIG where you don't bring it can be dicey. Ayo's leadership and growth is going to be a big part of how guys handle success, and so far, I see a team that's still growing, with ups and downs.

Offensively, I can see why Underwood's pleased. Lotta weapons and great plays. When I think back to Groce and even Weber before, it's an amazing transformation in style to see so many fearless guys who mix it up in the paint. While there are some mistakes, they're doing a lot of the things he's asking and it's good basketball that's exciting to watch. Defensively, we're not as comfortable, and I'm not sure what the missing ingredients are. Be a good question for some of the better coaches on the board, or maybe one of the beat guys to ask Underwood. After watching Baylor dial it up for the win, I'm envious of great defense.

After listening to BU's press conference, you just have to respect the hell out of these kids for committing to this season the way they have. I totally understand the possibility of some letdown moments because of all the stress of how this season/year is playing out. It's only going to make them stronger and better by the end of the year.

I still think this will be one of our favorite teams ever by season end. They show flashes of brilliance and toughness and can only get better!

Now Hulk smash the Loosiers and grind them into dust!

tenor.gif
 
#94      
Defensively, we're not as comfortable, and I'm not sure what the missing ingredients are. Be a good question for some of the better coaches on the board, or maybe one of the beat guys to ask Underwood. After watching Baylor dial it up for the win, I'm envious of great defense.

I’m sure it’s scouting report based, depending on the players we’re guarding and the current action we’re guarding, but it seems like sometimes we get stuck in between a couple philosophies. Sometimes we look like we’re trying to keep the ball to one side and take away reversals, ice screens, etc. (a less aggressive baylor style)

Sometimes we’re not squared up like that and give up the middle and if it’s a p/r then we have kofi play back on pick and roll defense (a more packline style), where he sometimes gets stuck in no man’s land if the guard doesn’t recover quick enough.

Again I’m sure it’s more scout based, if the ball handler can’t shoot there’s not much harm in letting him use the screen and playing off to give up a J. But I’d like to see our pick and roll defense pick up significantly considering how many of these you’re gonna have to guard per game.
 
#96      
Play hard with intensity we win, play flat we lose.
 
#97      
The biggest concern IMO is how they've come out maybe not as hungry after winning a game. Any game in the BIG where you don't bring it can be dicey. Ayo's leadership and growth is going to be a big part of how guys handle success, and so far, I see a team that's still growing, with ups and downs.

Offensively, I can see why Underwood's pleased. Lotta weapons and great plays. When I think back to Groce and even Weber before, it's an amazing transformation in style to see so many fearless guys who mix it up in the paint. While there are some mistakes, they're doing a lot of the things he's asking and it's good basketball that's exciting to watch. Defensively, we're not as comfortable, and I'm not sure what the missing ingredients are. Be a good question for some of the better coaches on the board, or maybe one of the beat guys to ask Underwood. After watching Baylor dial it up for the win, I'm envious of great defense.
Great comment re. Baylor's defense. Clearly the best defensive team we've faced in the past couple of years.
 
#98      
Paducah, Ky
I'm watching the Illini-loosiers game from 1987 on BTN Illini classics right now....lots of memories ....the Snake, Doug A., Tony W.
loving it
 
#99      
Really? Does anyone here really want to go back to where we were in 2012 at the outset of Groce (who inherited a fairly decent set of players)? And Gardner-Webb at the time was near the bottom of D-1 teams (they finished that season at #270)

You wrote this on Christmas?
 
#100      
Great comment re. Baylor's defense. Clearly the best defensive team we've faced in the past couple of years.

I literally changed my high school teams half court defensive philosophy from denying to the no middle defense the day after that game.

Im pretty sure that’s the best college defensive team I’ve ever seen.
 
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