Monday, November 28, 2005



They started out as whispers.....Bruce Weber can coach...but he can't recruit. Wait until Self's kids leave....the Illinois program will be in trouble. With each major miss, as judged by the media, the whispers got louder. Doyel, Katz......even our own Illinois Hoops Nut....questioned whether Weber was the right man for the job. Ignore the back to back Big 10 Championships! Ignore the Final 4 appearance.....the guy can't recruit.....according to the gurus. Livingston, Wright, Scheyer, and Collins......didn't get one. Livingston was NBA bound his whole Sr. year....but ignore that. Scheyer was always going to Duke. Illinois was in perfect position for Collins and Wright.....recruited them hard all the way.....until Kansas opened up their wal....I mean came in and got them. Heck, Self is so good, Wright didn't even need to visit.

Everyone ignored Pruitt.....Michigan St. isn't Duke or Kansas. They ignored Carlwell....even though he is rated higher than Scheyer by most everyone....he didn't count. They watched Jamar Smith put up huge numbers.....but Bossi and Telep don't like him.....they offered too early. After watching Kansas and Arizona play last week, both of those coaches wish they had a kid that can shoot like Jamar....but no matter.

Nobody can ignore ERIC GORDON!! And he is coming to Illinois in 2007. Everybody's #1 ranked SG. Rated in the Top 10 in the class of 2007 by every recruiting service that matters. Recruited by Coach K himself.......they can't ignore GORDON! And Gordon couldn't ignore Illinois......couldn't ignore that he loved all of their coaches.....loved the fans....and loved what Weber and staff did for Deron Williams and Luther Head.....finally a kid that is paying attention.

Gordon has plans too.....he plans on bringing some friends with him to Champaign. My guess is he has already sent a message to Derrick Rose....and there will be others. Bruce Weber's signature recruit has caught the attention of the media....Doyel has written about him today. So has Fox....Telep....Rivals....etc. Weber has answered his least for now.

My only question........IHN where are you??

I hope Ryan's OK. I know he'd hate to miss out on the thrill and excitement of the Illini and Coach Weber landing the highest ranked recruit since Marcus Liberty (give or take).

Maybe he ate too much turkey and is suffering from a tryptophan hangover. Or maybe it was crow...
Congrats to Weber and the Illini coaching staff, this is a big-time commitment. Huge that they were able to make it happen this early. I'm not surprised as Gordon's liked the Illini for a long time, but I am thrilled that he was able to commit before visiting Duke.

Phil, why should I have to eat crow? I never said Weber would never be able to recruit. I just said he hadn't done as well, on paper, as his predecessors, up to this point. He's obviously learning on the job and this is a great feather in his cap. Thrilled to see it, hope it continues!!

How long until Weber is fired now? Does this give him a longer tenure? When does Geunther's successor have to make that difficult decision and get rid of him?
Derrick Rose come on down.. word on the streets is that DePaul is leading... I don't really understand the logic behind that one.. regardless I for one will be dumbfounded if he chooses DePaul.

Is there some sort of conspiracy between the CPL and Illinois.. *sheesh*

Great get! Go Illini!
Hopefully the DePaul leading talk will change now that Gordon is on his way to IL.
Brad, what I always said was that Weber would last only 5-10 years if he didn't start recruiting better. Fortunately, he figured out how to get a big-time recruit.
Depaul lost to NIU by 11 tonight so Rose will have to decide if competing for a spot in the NIT is really what he wants to do.
"Brad, what I always said was that Weber would last only 5-10 years if he didn't start recruiting better. Fortunately, he figured out how to get a big-time recruit."

Now you're adding qualifiers? IIRC you explicitly stated in the past that Weber would be fired within 5-10 years, likely by RG's successor..... I don't remember any "unless he recruits better" comments.
Anonymous, that's because urban legends start and people run around stating things that aren't true. I always said Weber would be fired within 5-10 years by Guenther's successor IF he didn't start recruiting better. After seeing the performances so far by Weber recruits like Marcus Arnold and Chester Frazier, do you think that's such a crazy idea? Seems to me the only Weber recruits that have really impressed are the highly ranked Shaun Pruitt and Jamar Smith, who is showing that he can really shoot the ball. The other guys he's recruited haven't played real well (Arnold, Frazier, Brock, Jackson's a RS).
Frazier is a freshman point guard with a 14 ot 3 assist to turnover ratio. Dee only played 22 minutes against Rutgers, and the Illini pulled away with Frazier on the floor. Hard to put him in the hasn't played well category.

"Fortunately, he figured out how to get a big-time recruit."

Carlwell is top 50 on virtually every ranking list. HMM?

Then this...

"highly ranked Shaun Pruitt"

So big-time and highly ranked are different, if it suits your agenda?

BTW, one exact quote "the cupboard will be pretty bare at IL soon. IMO, in 5-10 years we'll be talking about how Geunther chose the wrong guy, and that's even if Weber wins a title this year."

You also called him 'Ron Turner Part II' and said 'at least Turner recruited the guys he went to the Sugar Bowl with'.
Brad, good quotes. I was talking about Thad Matta vs. Bruce Weber in that first quote. I think, in 5 years, we will definitely be having the conversation over whether Guenther picked the right guy.

While I obviously like how Weber has picked up his recruiting, I also would love to see him get to the Final Four with his own recruits and not Bill Self's. As I stated earlier, he's playing with the house's money right now as he still will be led by Self's players this year and, for the most part, next year.

Was it such a crazy thought to question the guy's ability to recruit at a big-time level prior to Eric Gordon?
He'll be playing with Self's players because they are upper classman and have the most experience.

Also, please note that Ingram struggled his first year back from redshirting. I expect Arnold and Brock to produce next year. I expect CJ and Meacham to struggle at times next year. It usually takes a year to get back into game form. I also expect Randle to have a huge year next year. Anything from him this year is a bonus.
God, I love revisionist history.

IHN, if you backpedal any faster, the Earth might stop revolving.
get off your high horse and give BW some credit. First it was, "he's won so far, but will be in trouble down the road...and he's won so far, but he can't recruit....he will be gone in 5-10 years." Now you still say in 5-10 years we will be questioning BW v. Matta? You must think those guys at OSU are going to stick around for quite a while to be able to catch up to all that BW has and will accomplish. Frazier has been perfectly serviceable so far, and it's still very early...who is better, Frasor or Smith???I'll take Smith. The future looks bright for the Illini, period, and you can't stand the fact that BW will be here for a long, long time.

Other people said winning would bring the recruits, and it has.

Gordon, Smith, Pruitt, Randle, and Carlwell seems like a pretty damn good core group to build around, don't you agree? Semrau, Frazier and Meacham are going to be very good support players at the very least.

I guess it is never enough for you. While I would like to see Illinois take the next step too, I am pretty happy with the direction we are headed...I wonder what your response would be if Mr. Rose happened to follow? I would really want to hear that one.
Gordon will be playing one year with Brian Randle and Shaun Pruitt, Mr. Anonymous.

I agree that Carwell and Gordon are a very nice core for the 2006 and 2007 classes. Sorry if I'm not sold on Frazier and Meacham as my point guards. I still think 2006-2007 has NIT written all over it.
Look - I'm not afraid to admit that I had some serious concerns about Weber's ability to recruit. But getting Gordon is awesome - I think he's the kind of kid that leads teams to championships.

I differ from IHN somewhat on what percentage of the job recruiting makes up (he thinks 70%, I think probably closer to 40% - 50%) but I'll still watch recruiting with some nerves to see how we build on this.

I'm not worried about Weber losing his job, or the team performing well, however....
Nut...I'll take that bet. Illinois in NCAA vs NIT in 2006-2007.


I don't bet against the Illini, regardless of my feelings about certain individuals. Doesn't make it as fun to watch. I'm already having a hard time rooting for Jamar Smith b/c of you.


I will take your bet too. Meachum is better than advertised and Frazier, Smith, McBride will do fine as well. If Randle plays like he did Saturday, my only concern will be who our other big men contributors are besides Pruitt.

Either way, Illinois will be in the NCAA next year, barring any unforeseen injuries.

I believe you might be guilty of revisionist history a little as well. Oh well, the UI will continue being a great program with Weber leading the way.
Phil, you wouldn't know what I actually said since you were tossed by Jeff from the Rivals board.

You can keep buddying up with Brad since he's the only Internet guy out there with real access to the coaching staff, but it doesn't mean that you have 1/2 a clue of what you're talking about regarding my posts.
Indiana, Ohio State, and Wisconsin will all have more talent than Illinois next year in the Big Ten. Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa will be somewhere in the same neighborhood as Illinois. Hopefully Weber's outstanding coaching can get the Illini to the top of that second grouping...but I'm don't see much upside on a team with Chester Frazier and Trent Meacham as their point guard.
"Was it such a crazy thought to question the guy's ability to recruit at a big-time level prior to Eric Gordon?"

No, it wasn't, but the things you said were over the top.
What do you think of the prospects for the last 06 scholarship, RC? Would any of them improve your projections?
Brad, I guess it depends on your view of over the top. Based on conversations I had with coaches, players and journalists around the recruiting scene, I think Weber recruits differently than most people. I think his style plays best with a certain type of prospect, one from a stable household who has good advisors around him. Eric Gordon certainly fits that mold.

I think Weber got desperate and reached big-time for Chester Frazier and made some questionable strategic decisions in the class of 2005 that didn't ingratiate him with Illinois-based players and coaches.

That said, I think he's figuring it out and the longer Tracy Webster's around, the more success Illinois will have recruiting. McClain and Price bring next to nothing recruiting-wise, but Webster's great and he's only getting better the more experience he gets.

I really don't understand how some of my comments are considered over the top.
Brad, of the guys still on the board for 2006, I think I'd be most impressed with Vaughn assuming he's got the grades. Harvey would be fine, too, I think he'd probably be an upgrade to Frazier and Meacham.

I'm not sold on Ramar Smith, as he's capable of bullying people to the basket at the high school level but won't get away with that in college. And his outside shot is atrocious. I really wasn't impressed with Ramar at Nike Camp even though he scored a lot of points. He's certainly not a point guard, which is what this team needs. Plus, if you read the comments about his departure from prep school, there's not much that's likable about that situation. I'd probably stay away from him and concentrate on Vaughn, Harvey and others that may emerge over the season. I like Beverly a little but I'm not sure he's a point guard, need to see more from him at that position.

I think JaMarcus Ellis might be an interesting guy with that final scholarship as well. He could come in and score, that's for sure.
IHN- I also think Ellis would be an interesting option...i definitely like the way he plays.

I think Meacham is better than everyone thinks. We may have one year (next) where we "only" win 20-23 what? Am I perfectly content with a backcourt of Meacham and frazier, no...but with an improved McBride at SG, and a Randle and Pruitt who are getting better and better, living with Meacham and Frazier at point for one year is NOT the end of the world. I think we may be better than you think next yeart too.

IMO the recruiting ball has begun to roll, you may try saving some face before BW's recruits start stacking up.
Nut--Illinois' talent level will be fine next year. I think you are really underestimating how good Jamar Smith and Pruitt can be with some more coaching and a year of experience. Add McBride, Randle and Carlwell....not too bad. chester won't be a star...but he's solid on D and he doesn't turn the ball over...they don't need him to score a bunch. Meachem can shoot.....and he is more athletic than you think.

As far as the rest of the Big 10, Indiana loses Killingsworth, Monroe, Strickland. If DJ White has a good year...he'lee be gone too. Plus, yoyo is still coaching them...and will be next year as well.

I know Thad's your boy.....but those guys are still all going to be freshmen....they need to prove it on the court...not the RSCI. Oden will be strong. Will conley, Lightly and cook all be ready to go as freshmen????.....they need to prove it.

Butts, DJ White needs to be healthy this year to go pro, and that's no guarantee. Robert Vaden is an excellent player and will have a chance at Big Ten Player of the Year in 2006-2007. Ben Allen will also be very good, and AJ Ratliff will be back. I think you underestimate the talent on that Indiana team.

As for Ohio State, I saw some guys last night that will contribute next year in addition to the Thad Five. Was very impressed with Sylvester Mayes and Ron much, that I'm not sure both Conley and Cook will be starting next year.
I don't underestimate Indiana...they will be very solid...but I don't think their talent level next year is any better than Illinois. What has AJ Ratliff done that has impressed you thus far? And, Allen needs to prove it too. Remember, Lorbeck was supposed to be a star at Michigan St. too. And, again, it is still Davis running the show.

Ohio st. will be very talented....can they put that all together in 1 year. After that, Oden will be gone....along with Lewis and Mayes. It's not only bringing in talent...but you have to mold it into a team. We will see how they do....alot of guys expecting major minutes next year...should be interesting.

Ohio State will have one of and possibly both Dallas Lauderdale/Kosta Koufos in 2007-2008, Butts. Either one of those guys will be a solid replacement for Oden, and Conley/Cook/Lighty will only be sophomores.

AJ Ratliff showed solid potential last year, IMO. About the same type of potential as Jamar Smith has shown this year for Illinois.

Take Dee and Augie off the team and who are your scorers next year? McBride, Pruitt and Smith will be solid scorers, but I don't see anybody coming in that is going to add much offensively next season.
"I really don't understand how some of my comments are considered over the top."

You're an intelligent guy. If virually everyone tells you the same thing, wouldn't you at least begin to wonder?

I like Vaughn as a player, if he can qualify. He would be my first choice.
I think Meacham is better than Wil Walker. Rankings don't show that, so we'll see.
Just a little hint. I wouldn't go around quoting Gregg Doyel. The man is a complete moron.

I'm assuming that what you said after I left was pretty much the same thing you were saying before I left...based on a lot of the comments I'm seeing here, it looks like that's a safe assumption.

As for "buddying up to Brad", I have no idea what you're talking about. I agree with some of his viewpoints, and we talk at games. Other than that...??????????

I do give you tons of credit for putting your name on your posts unlike some guys that go by the name of "anonymous".

While I said plenty of things that were unpopular, I don't like when people "quote" me that weren't even there, as I'm sure you can understand. Like the Weber would be fired comment, I only said he'd be fired IF he didn't start recruiting better. Guess what, since then, he's started recruiting better (at least if you buy into rankings which I most certainly do). I saw a post last week on the Rivals board that said I was the source that Cass had an offer from Illinois...couldn't be further from the truth. Again, just makes me mad when people attribute statements to me that just are not true.
"Like the Weber would be fired comment, I only said he'd be fired IF he didn't start recruiting better."

I was there and I certainly don't remember any qualifier. I distinctly remember you stating that Weber would be fired by RG's successor (I also vaguely recall you stating something like 5-7 years).

"I think Weber got desperate and reached big-time for Chester Frazier"

And he should have taken Phillip Perry instead? Who do you honestly think would have helped Illinois more this year? While he looked nervous at first last night, Frazier did play some very good D in the second half and looked like he belonged on the court. I think you'll eventually have to stop calling him a "reach".
Bobby Frasor, Jeremy Pargo, and Brandon Ewing are all guys I'd have taken ahead of Chester Frazier. You can add Philip Perry to that list if you'd like, sure. I don't think he's any worse than Frazier, that is for sure, and he's from the Chicago area.

Have you seen Chester's shooting percentages?
"Bobby Frasor, Jeremy Pargo, and Brandon Ewing are all guys I'd have taken ahead of Chester Frazier. You can add Philip Perry to that list if you'd like, sure. I don't think he's any worse than Frazier, that is for sure, and he's from the Chicago area."

unless I'm mistaken:

staff took Smith over Frasor for the SG slot (though Frasor is forced to play point for UNC) - based on initial observations, IMO the staff made the correct call.

weren't there initial eligibility concerns with Pargo?

IMO Frazier does have one advantage over Perry/Ewing as well - he's a 5th year prep school player - already came in at 19 years old, I consider it a "free" redshirt year.

"Have you seen Chester's shooting percentages?"

So, he's hasn't shot well in his first 6 games as a true frosh. Frazier's strengths right now are defense and ball-handling. Have you seen his Assist/TO ratio? 5.0 to 1 is pretty good.......

Has his shooting cost Illinois a game yet?

You apparently didn't bother to check, but did you see Pargo & Ewing's shooting percentages this year? I'll save you some time:

Ewing - 32.1% / 25% on 3's
Pargo - 35% / 28.6% on 3's

They're not exactly setting the world on fire either....
What stats were you looking at

Ewing shot 43.2% from the field and just over 30% from 3.Just under 80% from the foul line.

Broke the freshman conference and all game scoring record for the conference.Was 3rd team all conference and all tourney team.Averaged 32 minutes a game and lead a team with 9 new players as a freshman.

Pargo's shooting was not that good but that isn't what he was there to do.They had Morrison.

I think Chester is good for Illinois but you can't make the arguement based on wrong information
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