Where does the Illinois basketball program "belong?"

#26      
Completely agree.


Different topic, but I still wonder what Minny fans think about getting rid of Tubby Smith..I hope we never pull a similar move.

We already did with Weber. 6 years of sub .500 conference results with 3 missed tournaments and 3 bubble made tournaments.

I hope Illinois would make a change every time if that was the case.
 
#27      
We already did with Weber. 6 years of sub .500 conference results with 3 missed tournaments and 3 bubble made tournaments.

I hope Illinois would make a change every time if that was the case.

Tubby at least made the tournament his last year and had a pretty decent chance of making it the next year as well. It's one thing to get rid of a coach because he's not getting you any wins in the tournament, but to replace him with a guy that only had one year of HC experience at freaking FIU is one of the dumbest things ever. You take that kind of gamble when you haven't had any success at all, not when you're making the tournament but failing to win a game.
 
#28      
Bill Self was a mid-major coach. You didn't like him? That stepping stone you mention is how Illinois got stuck with Weber.

Yes, I'm not scared of being a stepping stone, because there are so few programs above us, that it can only happen so often. Also, while there is no reason to not be "above" Xavier, they have been a stepping stone job that because of successful coaches has been able to promote from within to make 13 of the last 15 tournaments and currently top 5.

We're on pace to miss 6 of our last 9 tournaments precisely because we made a hire based on loyalty after someone left us for a blue blook.
 
#29      
Tubby at least made the tournament his last year and had a pretty decent chance of making it the next year as well. It's one thing to get rid of a coach because he's not getting you any wins in the tournament, but to replace him with a guy that only had one year of HC experience at freaking FIU is one of the dumbest things ever. You take that kind of gamble when you haven't had any success at all, not when you're making the tournament but failing to win a game.

I agree with that. I wouldn't change directions unless I had a good read on who I'd likely get.
 
#33      
I'm curious to hear what the older fans on the board think as to how quickly we can return to "normal" for Illinois Basketball.
 
#34      
I'm curious to hear what the older fans on the board think as to how quickly we can return to "normal" for Illinois Basketball.

Basketball is not like football. You're never more than a year or two away from relevance. We COULD be back to being Illinois Basketball next year under Groce. I don't think we will, but it's very possible.
 
#37      
Yes, I'm not scared of being a stepping stone, because there are so few programs above us, that it can only happen so often. Also, while there is no reason to not be "above" Xavier, they have been a stepping stone job that because of successful coaches has been able to promote from within to make 13 of the last 15 tournaments and currently top 5.

We're on pace to miss 6 of our last 9 tournaments precisely because we made a hire based on loyalty after someone left us for a blue blook.

I'm also not worried about being a stepping stone. There's not much above the Illinois job; we just happened to have the horrendous luck to lose two good coaches in a row to the NBA and one of those few better programs. It rarely happens in the Big Ten, especially recently.

I'll echo what other posters have said here. On average, a solid NCAA team, with a bad season on the NCAA bubble, and a good season a top-four NCAA seed. Top third of the B1G, and never feeling that we don't have a chance against an in-conference opponent.
 
#39      
Top 4 in the conference 4 out of 5 years. The rest (NCAA success) will follow from that.

The B1G has been very strong lately, as a result I wouldn't look at MSU, Wisconsin (or really even Purdue/Michigan) as being in a bad place because they are not in the top 4 in the league.

I feel like Illinois should be a top 25 - 30 team in the nation 80% - 90% of the time, which means tournament appearances and kenpom top 30 for me (although AP is nice for exposure).

I feel like we should be top 20 with protected seed about 50% of the time

With that, I believe there would be occasional years where we are a threat to win it all ... but we can cross that bridge when we're relevant on a regular basis again.
 
#41      
I'm curious to hear what the older fans on the board think as to how quickly we can return to "normal" for Illinois Basketball.

I qualify for that. :) Posted already on how I think it's more difficult now, but with the right coach it's something that can be done in a couple of years. The problem now is that I'm not sure we can get that "right coach" as easily as in the past for a number of reasons. The pool of coaches to choose from is very different now as we've seen with recent coaching searches, and not just our own. The top mid major guys aren't as eager to move up so the hires are riskier. Since we're not the type to pay big $$, going "out of the box" or taking a chance on more unproven guys is the probable result.
 
#42      
Not sure if we still have the distinction since it has been so long since we have won an NCAA tourney game, but we have the most NCAA tourney wins without a national title.

Without a doubt, with our student section, the Assembly Hall, our proximity to Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Peoria, etc, we should finish in the upper half of the BIG every season, we should make the tourney 7/8 years, Sweet 16 1/2 years, Final Four 1/12 years. These are minimums.

I'm willing to give Groce a pass on this year (obviously) but if Whitman has someone else in mind, I won't be disappointed if we have a new coach next season (b/c of all of the off the court issues). I say this knowing that if Groce stays next year, we have the potential to be good and he could end up repairing the program with a strong class of '17. At any rate I really hope he stops taking so many transfers and starts developing high school recruits. (as in keeping the Colberts and not risking the Pauls, Cosbys and Starks of the world)
 
#43      
Not sure if we still have the distinction since it has been so long since we have won an NCAA tourney game, but we have the most NCAA tourney wins without a national title.

Without a doubt, with our student section, the Assembly Hall, our proximity to Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Peoria, etc, we should finish in the upper half of the BIG every season, we should make the tourney 7/8 years, Sweet 16 1/2 years, Final Four 1/12 years. These are minimums.

Minimums set by who? Just because fans say that those are minimums doesn't mean it's realistic. I agree with tourney 7 out of 8 years should be the expectation but you lost me after that.

With the parity in college basketball becoming more and more evident by the year, I don't think we can set expectations on reaching the sweet 16 every other year. Not many top programs can achieve that, yet alone a "top 25" program that is falling apart at every level in the university.
 
#44      
Minimums set by who? Just because fans say that those are minimums doesn't mean it's realistic. I agree with tourney 7 out of 8 years should be the expectation but you lost me after that.

With the parity in college basketball becoming more and more evident by the year, I don't think we can set expectations on reaching the sweet 16 every other year. Not many top programs can achieve that, yet alone a "top 25" program that is falling apart at every level in the university.

Yeah, I see a couple of folks here claiming that the run we had from 2001-2007 should be the baseline. That would be great, but I don't think it's really a realistic "expectation".
 
#45      
Completely agree.


Different topic, but I still wonder what Minny fans think about getting rid of Tubby Smith..I hope we never pull a similar move.

Are you comparing quality of Tubby Smith's coaching to Groce, and hoping we dont fire him and regret it? Or saying just generally you hope we never trade down that badly. I agree with point 2 but point one I'd say thats comparing apples to appleseeds at this point.

Edit: Also I used the word point in a sentence three times above, so I wanted to point that out in case you were unsure of my point.
 
#46      
On average, a solid NCAA team, with a bad season on the NCAA bubble, and a good season a top-four NCAA seed. Top third of the B1G, and never feeling that we don't have a chance against an in-conference opponent.


this sounds spot on to me - i interpreted a top four seed as getting a 1 through 4 seed in our strong seasons.
 
#47      
The camera never lies
Champaign
For those of us who have been around awhile, we long for the days when we seldom if ever lost on our home court.

I was just thinking about this the other day, I've worked UI M&W BB games for the past 20+ years. This year between the two teams, I shot games for a stretch of 30 days without a home win. It's tough at times but I have to support the teams good or bad. I'm not angry about this year because its about what I expected by December, with everything that happened with both teams.
 
#48      
Are you comparing quality of Tubby Smith's coaching to Groce, and hoping we dont fire him and regret it? Or saying just generally you hope we never trade down that badly. I agree with point 2 but point one I'd say thats comparing apples to appleseeds at this point.

Edit: Also I used the word point in a sentence three times above, so I wanted to point that out in case you were unsure of my point.

Lol, I wasn't kidding when I said it was a different topic. I wasn't trying to relate it to our situation at all. Just think it's funny that Tubby is getting publicity with how he turned Texas Tech into a decent team while Little Richard is struggling to stay above Rutgers. This is what happens when people are on completely different levels when it comes to expectations. The cute little run that Minny had in the late 80s and middle 90s gave people the false sense that they were a good program. Tubby made the tourney 3 out of 6 years and IMO, that's more than great results for that kind of program. But to relate it to our situation, I think we could turn our program around and people still wouldn't be content. We could make the tourney 6 out of 7 times but people will complain when we don't make the Sweet 16 every other year. I believe it's the same people that complained about McCamey's impact, which is laughable in hindsight.

Nobody wants to be mediocre, but people need to understand that you're more than likely to strike out when you're aiming for a homerun. Sometimes people need to settle with base hits. We weren't making the sweet 16 every other year with Henson but I'd be ecstatic if we got to that level again.
 
#50      
Just think it's funny that Tubby is getting publicity with how he turned Texas Tech into a decent team while Little Richard is struggling to stay above Rutgers. This is what happens when people are on completely different levels when it comes to expectations. The cute little run that Minny had in the late 80s and middle 90s gave people the false sense that they were a good program. Tubby made the tourney 3 out of 6 years and IMO, that's more than great results for that kind of program.

The thing about Tubby's tenure at Minnesota was that when you look at his record, it looks like just plodding, consistent okayness, when in the moment they constantly seemed just on the verge of becoming much better than that, only to always have something go wrong.

It was a stupid, stupid firing, but I can understand why their fanbase was frustrated. It's not like they invented higher short-term expectations out of whole cloth. They were ranked in 4 of Tubby's 6 years and never finished above .500 in the Big Ten.

The fact that his seasons all had such a distinct Glen Mason-like quality to them couldn't have helped either.