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2018-19 NCAA Basketball thread

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2 hours ago, bmags said:

Man that was some game from Javon Pickett. Xavier Pinson will be fun too if he develops on defense and limits his TOs. When Porter went down I just wanted a 500 season and that’s still likely but man what a run the last two games.

Agree about Pinson. He was the least heralded of the freshmen and he looks to have good upside as well as Pickett and Watson. Definitely encouraged about the future. Got a couple 4 stars committed and can continue to develop these freshmen and Tilmon. Jontay's injury really hurts still. This was a tournament team with him and he was really fun to watch.

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9 hours ago, Boogua said:

That was awful. I just can't believe he continues to put De La Rosa out there. Illini were up 12-4 when he brought him out there. He can literally do nothing good on the court right now. Nothing.

No matter what Underwood will get another year. Any players that have the stench of Groce on them will be off the roster. If he doesn't make the tournament next year I think there could be a change.

At least they need to improve. I'm not sure how close they have to get to the tournament.  At some point Whitman isn't going to be able to ask to pay another basketball coach

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1 hour ago, fathom said:

Seems like some internal issues going on with Illinois program. Alan Griffin’s mom is going off on Underwood on twitter.

Doesn't shock me.  Underwood's rotations have been terrible.  Griffin and Jones were pretty highly regarded recruits and neither of them are cracking the rotation is hilarious to me.  Are they that bad?  

Like others have said, De La Rosa is 7 feet tall, that's it. That dude sucks at basketball.  Samba Kane should get all the back up minutes.  I don't care how raw he is.  He's so athletic that I'll take his mistakes.

Ayo was worse than bad.  Like embarrassingly bad.  

I would not be shocked if there is more turnover within this program like Jones, Williams, Griffin.  With that, I don't see how Underwood can get another year after next if this does happen.

 

https://twitter.com/audreyrgriffin?lang=en

Here is the rant from Griffin's mom.  She's not wrong at all.  Underwood has been horrible in recruiting and in game coaching.

Edited by GGajewski18

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Honestly don't see Underwood working out, he's digging too much of a hole.  We have one of our biggest recruits on campus and we lose to FAU.  Doubt Whitman makes a move after 2 years but he should at this point.  Just inexcusable what is happening here.

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On 12/29/2018 at 9:33 PM, bigruss said:

Honestly don't see Underwood working out, he's digging too much of a hole.  We have one of our biggest recruits on campus and we lose to FAU.  Doubt Whitman makes a move after 2 years but he should at this point.  Just inexcusable what is happening here.

I'm willing to give the guy a bit more time...but it's really not looking great.  I get that it's a process...but why on earth is it always like a complete rebuild on this team.  I understand he inherited garbage...but I'd expect them to be a little better than this.  I will say one thing in his defense...this team just isn't going to win games...much less compete without some competent 4's.  They just get killed in the paint game in and game out.

However...it doesn't take away from a few other things.

1. The O.  I really see no rhyme or reason with it.  Honestly it's not much different then what I've seen the past 8 years...a bunch of guys passing the ball back and forth around the top of the key.  They do lack a slashing SF and it's hurt not having Tevian out there missing out on valuable experience.  Ayo drives uncontrollably into no-man's land.  They just don't have any reliable big men underneath.  Thank God for Giorgi.

2. The D.  Not a fan of this over-extending D that consistently leaves guys out of position...and then they usually peter out by the 2nd half.  It shows on O also.  What he did last night he should be doing more of....switches to a zone.  They played it very well and it was effective...then he switches back to man and gives up 3 easy buckets in a row.  Made ZERO sense.  Easily could have been up 8-10 at that half.

Let's hope the recruiting front brings in some bigs.  Some have said they're confident Kofi gave a silent verbal on his trip this past week (believe it when I see it).  Also hope Antwan January makes the grades to get on campus too (not holding my breath on that one either). You get both those guys in and next year is a different story.

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Yea the Kofi rumors were fun for about a day until he and his manager changed tunes when off campus.  We'll see how that goes, fingers crossed he comes here because that is a game changer.

But if he doesn't come here, I honestly don't know the way out of this.  I don't think we have enough talent or we aren't coaching well enough to get out of this mess with the current roster.

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On 1/4/2019 at 3:55 PM, bigruss said:

Yea the Kofi rumors were fun for about a day until he and his manager changed tunes when off campus.  We'll see how that goes, fingers crossed he comes here because that is a game changer.

But if he doesn't come here, I honestly don't know the way out of this.  I don't think we have enough talent or we aren't coaching well enough to get out of this mess with the current roster.

Game changer.

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Give me four years of Underwood classes and we'll see how good Illinois is.  Programs are built.  I don't care if today is the bottom.

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18 minutes ago, AustinIllini said:

Give me four years of Underwood classes and we'll see how good Illinois is.  Programs are built.  I don't care if today is the bottom.

Basketball shouldn't take 4 years to build a team.  

Big news with Kofi, a much needed step but they need more.

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3 minutes ago, bigruss said:

Basketball shouldn't take 4 years to build a team.  

Big news with Kofi, a much needed step but they need more.

It's not a matter of should or shouldn't.  It just does sometimes.  Underwood had nothing when he arrived.

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12 hours ago, bigruss said:

Basketball shouldn't take 4 years to build a team.  

Big news with Kofi, a much needed step but they need more.

Teams generally turn around quicker when they have decent upperclassmen leftover. I mean even Groce won a tournament game because he had Paul and Richardson left over.

 

Tell me what good seniors this team has. Now tell me what good juniors this team has. This team has 0 of either. Kind of ridiculous to think about.

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You don't turn around a program and win championships in 4 years, but you certainly improve year to year. He hasn't shown any improvement really. Yes, last year is a throwaway but this year has been almost more of a regression than anything. As someone mentioned above, his rotations are terrible, his offense is basically passing the ball around the three point line until someone can jack up a shot and his defense which was pretty good last year (at least at turning the other team over) has gone away. Ever single "close" game they've had this year follows the same script -  winning or about even at halftime, go on an extended 6-8 minute drought, lose the lead and go down big, then have a #fakerally in the last few minutes. 

Where is Griffin? Why was Jones sidelined for 25% of the season? They're not winning a lot of games this year, so play the young guys and see what they can do. Williams, Feliz and Nichols aren't good enough/consistent enough, so give the freshman those minutes.

Getting Kofi and being in on his Oak Hill teammate (another top 100 wing) and Terrance Shannon means Underwood gets one more year after this. He probably had it anyway, but that seals it regardless of how this dumpster fire season turns out. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Boogua said:

Teams generally turn around quicker when they have decent upperclassmen leftover. I mean even Groce won a tournament game because he had Paul and Richardson left over.

 

Tell me what good seniors this team has. Now tell me what good juniors this team has. This team has 0 of either. Kind of ridiculous to think about.

I agree with this but there are a ton of coaching mistakes too that make me wonder if he's good enough. Yesterday was a great example - you can't even get a shot off to try and win the game. That's on the coach for not having something set up. They had 6 or 7 shot clock violations against Indiana. They consistently go on extensive offensive droughts. Well coached teams don't do that. You manufacture some points with set plays to end a drought. He just lets them play until someone eventually makes a shot. 

Young players make mistakes. I get that. But it's a consistent problem. It hasn't gotten better. That's a failure of the coach to get his players in position to succeed.

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16 minutes ago, Jenksismyhero said:

I agree with this but there are a ton of coaching mistakes too that make me wonder if he's good enough. Yesterday was a great example - you can't even get a shot off to try and win the game. That's on the coach for not having something set up. They had 6 or 7 shot clock violations against Indiana. They consistently go on extensive offensive droughts. Well coached teams don't do that. You manufacture some points with set plays to end a drought. He just lets them play until someone eventually makes a shot. 

Young players make mistakes. I get that. But it's a consistent problem. It hasn't gotten better. That's a failure of the coach to get his players in position to succeed.

I definitely agree that his in game stuff needs some work, but I'm not going to write him off overall just yet. This team was down 2 late with the ball against Gonzaga. I think he prepares them well in general. The players need to execute better and they really need to make open shots.

In that terrible loss last week against FAU there were just so many open threes that were missed. It was hard to imagine it coming from a D1 team.

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We'll see if Kansas losing Azubuike means someone else can win the Big 12 for once

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13 minutes ago, Heads22 said:

We'll see if Kansas losing Azubuike means someone else can win the Big 12 for once

Well ISU has SHARED the title with KU a couple times during their run. Would be great to see ISU win it outright. With their full roster back in place now they are a pretty dangerous team, more so than they were for the first 8-10 games of the season.

 

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42 minutes ago, NorthSideSox72 said:

Well ISU has SHARED the title with KU a couple times during their run. Would be great to see ISU win it outright. With their full roster back in place now they are a pretty dangerous team, more so than they were for the first 8-10 games of the season.

 

ISU hasn't had a piece of the title since 1999-00 and 2000-01 when they won both outright.

I was at the game on Saturday; if that's what Kansas looks like without Azubuike then Tech or ISU will win the league. But, KU has done this before, and ISU simply held serve at home. If a team other than Kansas is to win, they're gonna have to knock em out in Lawrence.

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5 hours ago, Jenksismyhero said:

You don't turn around a program and win championships in 4 years, but you certainly improve year to year. He hasn't shown any improvement really. Yes, last year is a throwaway but this year has been almost more of a regression than anything. As someone mentioned above, his rotations are terrible, his offense is basically passing the ball around the three point line until someone can jack up a shot and his defense which was pretty good last year (at least at turning the other team over) has gone away. Ever single "close" game they've had this year follows the same script -  winning or about even at halftime, go on an extended 6-8 minute drought, lose the lead and go down big, then have a #fakerally in the last few minutes. 

Where is Griffin? Why was Jones sidelined for 25% of the season? They're not winning a lot of games this year, so play the young guys and see what they can do. Williams, Feliz and Nichols aren't good enough/consistent enough, so give the freshman those minutes.

Getting Kofi and being in on his Oak Hill teammate (another top 100 wing) and Terrance Shannon means Underwood gets one more year after this. He probably had it anyway, but that seals it regardless of how this dumpster fire season turns out. 

 

Griffin simply turns the ball over too much right now and isn't making shots.  It's a process with FR - balancing playing time and game reps vs. completely destroying them when they aren't ready for the minutes yet.

Tevian Jones was suspended for those games.

I agree that the development of those two is key to this thing working out.  But Rome wasn't built in a day...

After last year, this thing was really basically pulled back to the studs.  It's a really, really young roster that had a brutal schedule, so I'm not really looking at wins/losses when comparing this year to last.  KenPom thinks they are basically the same overall today as they ended last year which I would argue IS progress considering how much offense comes from Giorgi - a nothing recruit, and Ayo.

There are definitely concerns with BU, and even with Kofi in the fold, I'm pessimistic this works out.  But the fact that this team is bad after losing their best player from last year (Black) and relying on an unranked FR for the majority of the big guy minutes isn't surprising...

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I've never been so annoyed by a team that knocks off #8 on the road but what the hell

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1 hour ago, Heads22 said:

I've never been so annoyed by a team that knocks off #8 on the road but what the hell

That's good for Iowa, too.   They had in some ways an equally important win at 0-6 PSU without Tyler Cook, especially after losing by 24 points last year in State College to a very pedestrian team.

Three weeks ago, it looked like Iowa was dead in the water, and yet they're 15-3.   Two months ago, I would have said they were a lock for the Round of 32, but then the reality of Oregon not actually being a #13 team in the country when Iowa beat them in MSG set in.

The B10 has so much parity after you get past Michigan and MSU.   Look at Minnesota losing at Illinois, for example.   If Iowa doesn't get Cook back this weekend, they could easily lose at home to Illinois, then they have another hellacious four game stretch (started WI, @ MSU, @ Purdue).

 

As far as the B12 goes, last year OU and WVU were so much better, KSU hasn't exactly come together like predicated coming out of last season's run...it seemed almost every team could win against any other conference team on their home court.

Edited by caulfield12

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12 hours ago, Heads22 said:

I've never been so annoyed by a team that knocks off #8 on the road but what the hell

I understand they are a young team, and only really put the full roster together a few weeks ago, but how do they lose at home to a weakened KSU team and then go beat TT on the road?

 

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6 hours ago, NorthSideSox72 said:

I understand they are a young team, and only really put the full roster together a few weeks ago, but how do they lose at home to a weakened KSU team and then go beat TT on the road?

 

They certainly have focus issues.

 

And hey! How bout them Illini!

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I think it was a stars-aligned kind of game but it's nice to see Ayo starting to assert himself. He's played really well the last 4-5 games. Giorgi too when he stays out of foul trouble.

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