Wisconsin 63, Illinois 55 POSTGAME

#101      
Can you believe this is a thing that we have to think about?

I mean, I like to think I'm real about where our program is right now, but at the same time, if Malcolm Hill doesn't get to play in a tournament game in his Illinois career, my head is going to explode.

A sample of programs currently holding at large bids in Bracketology:

South Carolina
Seton Hall
Texas A&M
St. Joes
LSU
Oregon
Dayton
Providence
 
#102      
Arlington Heights, IL
2004-2005 Illini per a Wisconsin Lunatic

I watched the game last night with a good friend of mine who is a die hard Wisconsin fan, myself being a die hard Illini fan. We get together for most games between the two teams, and are both able to respect the other program while also hating on the other to an extent. We were talking at halftime about all things Illini and Wisconsin basketball, when he made the following comment about the 2004-2005 Illini, and honestly believed what he was saying:

"I really don't think that team was all that good."

He kept talking, while I tried to wrap my head around what he had just said. My first response once I processed his absurd statement was:

"Ok, first of all, take it back. You take it back right now."

I rattled off the first things that came to my head regarding the utter GREATNESS in every sense of the word of that team. Things I said included:

"37-2 tied for the most wins at the time in a single season in NCAA HISTORY!"
"3 different players who were selected First Team All-America by either USA Today, Parade, or Coaches."
"The domination of ranked teams that year, Wisconsin included. They had #1 Wake Forest down by over 40 before calling off the dogs. They had a ranked Gonzaga team down by 40 before calling off the dogs. They won by double figures at Michigan State, who was a top 10 team and ended up in the final four."
"John Wooden was quoted after their dismantling of Gonzaga, that he had not seen such a strong basketball team in a long time."

I stopped here, I think my friend saw that he struck a nerve. He tried justifying his statement by saying the NCAA was down that year, and I chose not to respond for the sake of our friendship. There is so much more I could have said, but if he still wasn't convinced of their greatness after hearing just a few of their accomplishments, maybe he just had to live every game as I did. Any thoughts? More than anything, I think I am looking for the comfort of fellow Illini lifers after having to justify something to a crazy person, that I believe is common sense. :chief:
 
#103      
Well, the Big Ten was down that year for sure (even though 3 made it to the E8), but college hoops? Not sure on that. The UNC team that beat us had a bunch of future NBA guys on it.

And that weekend when we beat Arizona was probably one of the best all time NCAA tournament weekends. Ever.
 
#104      
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
Well, the Big Ten was down that year for sure (even though 3 made it to the E8), but college hoops? Not sure on that. The UNC team that beat us had a bunch of future NBA guys on it.

And that weekend when we beat Arizona was probably one of the best all time NCAA tournament weekends. Ever.

I would remove "probably." I can't think of a better 72 hours of basketball in my life (and I'm reasonably gray).


:illinois:
 
#105      
Wilmette, IL
I agree. I'll still be watching, but the last couple games have really forced me to the realization that you just can't be competitive in this league with backups playing starter minutes and no depth. This team is worn down physically and mentally. I'm seeing improvement from the freshmen and also Mav. There are still positives happening, it's just hard to watch.

I generally agree, but it seems like everyone we play is also playing freshman, and the occasional walk-on (like Wisconsin did last night). In the first half, Happ went out with about 12 minutes to go and then Koening was out for about 10 minutes too, both with foul trouble. So they were effectively down two starters and playing a walkon, and yet they still outscored us, outrebounded us and outshot us. We would definitely be better with our injured guys back, but we're losing even with the other team is at a disadvantage, too.
 
#106      
KL and JT don't turn over the ball much because they don't do much of anything. They don't create off the dribble, don't drive and dish, don't drive and finish or kick out to shooters. They safely pass the ball around the perimeter, generating no shots for teammates or themselves.

KN and MH are good enough handlers to run the O by committee. Might have 2-3 more TOs per game but also will have more shooters on the floor, which creates more space for drives and pass and cut movement. Trotting out the same lineup with weak PGs and expecting different results will not work.

Not agreeing or disagreeing with you... just took a guess at a possible reason why this isn't happening.

I'd imagine players other than Tate and Lewis have been tried at point guard during practice, especially immediately after Tate's injury. My guess, total guess, is that no one impressed the coaches as being able to do the job better than either Tate or Lewis.

Groce has no problem initiating the offense from another position, a dual point. So, I will also guess that the issue is getting the ball up the court. Turnovers while getting the ball up the court or at the top of the key are real bad turnovers.

Another guess... If you assign point guard duties to a shooting guard, it may cause them to use more energy, wear out their legs and our poor shooting will only get worse.

And a final guess... Tate is running the offense the way Groce has told him to run it. Tate has good vision and is capable of playing fast. We've seen it prior to this year.
 
#107      
I generally agree, but it seems like everyone we play is also playing freshman, and the occasional walk-on (like Wisconsin did last night). In the first half, Happ went out with about 12 minutes to go and then Koening was out for about 10 minutes too, both with foul trouble. So they were effectively down two starters and playing a walkon, and yet they still outscored us, outrebounded us and outshot us. We would definitely be better with our injured guys back, but we're losing even with the other team is at a disadvantage, too.

While the point you're making is true, you're neglecting to mention that those teams aren't at the same disadvantages we are 100% of the time in every game. It's a lot easier to deal with in spurts.
 
#108      
Not agreeing or disagreeing with you... just took a guess at a possible reason why this isn't happening.

I'd imagine players other than Tate and Lewis have been tried at point guard during practice, especially immediately after Tate's injury. My guess, total guess, is that no one impressed the coaches as being able to do the job better than either Tate or Lewis.

Groce has no problem initiating the offense from another position, a dual point. So, I will also guess that the issue is getting the ball up the court. Turnovers while getting the ball up the court or at the top of the key are real bad turnovers.

Another guess... If you assign point guard duties to a shooting guard, it may cause them to use more energy, wear out their legs and our poor shooting will only get worse.

And a final guess... Tate is running the offense the way Groce has told him to run it. Tate has good vision and is capable of playing fast. We've seen it prior to this year.

I just don't think it's that hard to get the ball across halfcourt to initiate the offense. KN would have little problem doing this. And JT and KL create no shots for others nor can they score for themselves. Defenses don't have to respect their games at all. JT actually seemed to play much better last year than this year. At least last year his passing and court vision helped him find open teammates for shots. He almost never does that this year. He shouldn't play 15-25 mpg because he is capable of something or because we saw him do it prior to this year. The season's 3/4 of the way over. New wrinkles need to be explored because the current wrinkle isn't working.
 
#109      
San Francisco
I watched the game last night with a good friend of mine who is a die hard Wisconsin fan, myself being a die hard Illini fan. We get together for most games between the two teams, and are both able to respect the other program while also hating on the other to an extent. We were talking at halftime about all things Illini and Wisconsin basketball, when he made the following comment about the 2004-2005 Illini, and honestly believed what he was saying:

"I really don't think that team was all that good."

He kept talking, while I tried to wrap my head around what he had just said. My first response once I processed his absurd statement was:

"Ok, first of all, take it back. You take it back right now."

I rattled off the first things that came to my head regarding the utter GREATNESS in every sense of the word of that team. Things I said included:

"37-2 tied for the most wins at the time in a single season in NCAA HISTORY!"
"3 different players who were selected First Team All-America by either USA Today, Parade, or Coaches."
"The domination of ranked teams that year, Wisconsin included. They had #1 Wake Forest down by over 40 before calling off the dogs. They had a ranked Gonzaga team down by 40 before calling off the dogs. They won by double figures at Michigan State, who was a top 10 team and ended up in the final four."
"John Wooden was quoted after their dismantling of Gonzaga, that he had not seen such a strong basketball team in a long time."

I stopped here, I think my friend saw that he struck a nerve. He tried justifying his statement by saying the NCAA was down that year, and I chose not to respond for the sake of our friendship. There is so much more I could have said, but if he still wasn't convinced of their greatness after hearing just a few of their accomplishments, maybe he just had to live every game as I did. Any thoughts? More than anything, I think I am looking for the comfort of fellow Illini lifers after having to justify something to a crazy person, that I believe is common sense. :chief:

Tell him that according to a Sports Illustrated poll, that was the best team ever not to win a championship.
 
#110      
Wilmette, IL
I generally agree, but it seems like everyone we play is also playing freshman, and the occasional walk-on (like Wisconsin did last night). In the first half, Happ went out with about 12 minutes to go and then Koening was out for about 10 minutes too, both with foul trouble. So they were effectively down two starters and playing a walkon, and yet they still outscored us, outrebounded us and outshot us. We would definitely be better with our injured guys back, but we're losing even with the other team is at a disadvantage, too.

While the point you're making is true, you're neglecting to mention that those teams aren't at the same disadvantages we are 100% of the time in every game. It's a lot easier to deal with in spurts.

That is true. I just shake my head that early in the game we often don't keep up. Then we make a run at the end when we should be exhausted due to our lack of depth. And then we fall short because of largely bad plays at the end, like , say, Lewis taking multiple shots while KN and ML stand watching. But yes, Finke going out for the end of the game, and no "change of pace" from a guy like Thorne makes a real difference.
 
#112      
I just don't think it's that hard to get the ball across halfcourt to initiate the offense. KN would have little problem doing this. And JT and KL create no shots for others nor can they score for themselves. Defenses don't have to respect their games at all. JT actually seemed to play much better last year than this year. At least last year his passing and court vision helped him find open teammates for shots. He almost never does that this year. He shouldn't play 15-25 mpg because he is capable of something or because we saw him do it prior to this year. The season's 3/4 of the way over. New wrinkles need to be explored because the current wrinkle isn't working.

Agreed on JT, he seems to have regressed. Obviously his ft shooting would have taken a hit with him hurting his hand I the first game, but he seems to be worse creating for others as well. Maybe it is because teams are sagging even further off him and only protecting against that 1 area against him (which would be smart.) The thing I can't get over the most is here we are 2.75 seasons into his career, and every off season we hear about how much he's worked on his shot, and it looks like the exact same abomination of a jumpshot as the day he stepped foot on campus. That form should take minimum effort to correct. You're not going to make him any worse by trying to change it now
 
#113      
I just don't think it's that hard to get the ball across halfcourt to initiate the offense. KN would have little problem doing this. And JT and KL create no shots for others nor can they score for themselves. Defenses don't have to respect their games at all. JT actually seemed to play much better last year than this year. At least last year his passing and court vision helped him find open teammates for shots. He almost never does that this year. He shouldn't play 15-25 mpg because he is capable of something or because we saw him do it prior to this year. The season's 3/4 of the way over. New wrinkles need to be explored because the current wrinkle isn't working.

I responded to a post saying there was no reason to play Tate or Lewis. I threw out a few possible reasons to play them. I tend to speak up when Tate and/or Lewis are singled for the poor play of the team. It isn't because I think they are world beaters.

The current wrinkle is that the team is bad in pretty much all phases of the game, not just pg play. Yet, there is a handful of posters that harp on Tate constantly like somehow benching him is going to fix the team. It wouldn't.

Paraphrasing Lou Henson, if you finish at the top of the conference in rebounding and defense, you'll finish at the top of the conference. I agree with that and think the opposite is true, that if you finish at the bottom of the conference in rebounding and defense, you will finish at the bottom of the conference.

That is where we are at. Benching Tate isn't going to fix it.
 
Last edited:
#114      
Anyone know what happened with Krush member(s) and the officials last night?

During Sunday's basketball game against Wisconsin, official Eric Curry was seen engaging in a not-so-pleasant talk with the group after harsh words had been directed toward the officiating crew in Illinois' 63-55 loss.

Marcus Jackson
 
#115      
I responded to a post saying there was no reason to play Tate or Lewis. I threw out a few possible reasons to play them. I tend to speak up when Tate and/or Lewis are singled for the poor play of the team. It isn't because I think they are world beaters.

The current wrinkle is that the team is bad in pretty much all phases of the game, not just pg play. Yet, there is a handful of posters that harp on Tate constantly like somehow benching him is going to fix the team. It wouldn't.

Paraphrasing Lou Henson, if you finish at the top of the conference in rebounding and defense, you'll finish at the top of the conference. I agree with that and think the opposite is true, that if you finish at the bottom of the conference in rebounding and defense, you will finish at the bottom of the conference.

That is where we are at. Benching Tate isn't going to fix it.

PG, defense and rebounding are ALL major problems for this team that ALL need to be addressed. We won't get any better offensively by continuing to have JT and KL share PG duties 40 mins/game. Continuing to have them run the offense and play a combined 40 mpg isn't going to fix the offense. Trying a new lineup with PG by committee isn't likely to be worse. Having 5 guys on the floor who are actual scoring threats might actually improve the offense. Even a marginal improvement could mean the difference between losing 63-55 and winning 65-63.
 
#116      
Agreed on JT, he seems to have regressed. Obviously his ft shooting would have taken a hit with him hurting his hand I the first game, but he seems to be worse creating for others as well. Maybe it is because teams are sagging even further off him and only protecting against that 1 area against him (which would be smart.) The thing I can't get over the most is here we are 2.75 seasons into his career, and every off season we hear about how much he's worked on his shot, and it looks like the exact same abomination of a jumpshot as the day he stepped foot on campus. That form should take minimum effort to correct. You're not going to make him any worse by trying to change it now

I spent much of Sunday's game watching just him and KL when they were on offense. Their defenders were sagging a good 5-7 feet off them to the edge of the FT lane until they got inside the arc. It reminded me of how Purdue defended Frazier his junior year when we played in W-L. Running a drive-oriented offense in that situation is next to impossible. There's just nowhere for others to drive with the ball, and KN's and MH's defenders are able to play denial defense on them without having to worry about playing help D. It's painful to watch. Not sure why JT hasn't improved his shot at all. He's no better shooter today than his frosh year. Even Frazier shot 38 or 39 percent from 3 later in his career at UI. Some players just can't develop a jumper. KL isn't much better, and he just doesn't have a quick first step, either. He'd be best in a backup role for 8-10 mpg. In his defense, he's playing far too many minutes for what he brings to the table.