Sunday, November 27, 2005


A Holiday Weekend of Hoops...

After having watched some games this weekend, some random thoughts:

7 of the 9 guys in Illinois' rotation have played zero to moderate minutes....with McBride being the moderate....but NONE of the 7 have played when the games are on the line. So, to think there won't be bumps in the road is silly. For Dee to have played as poorly as he did, and for Illinois to still have pulled out that Wichita St. game, fans should have been happy.......but you know Illinois fans.

Weber is going to have to get past Jamar Smith's defensive lapses.......he needs to play more. He is one of the only scorers on the team....he spreads out the defense and makes it easier for Augie and Pruitt....and he knows how to feed the post. What he brings to the offense makes up for what they lose with his defense......he needs at least 20 minutes a game. Warren Carter could be put in this category as well.

Pruitt is ALOT better than anyone expected IMO.

Calvin Brock isn't ready to play at this level yet. Haven't decided on Arnold yet.

Chester will allow Dee to get some rest....but the offense is best when Dee, Rich and Jamar are on the court together.

Brian Randle played the best game of his career on Saturday.....he needs to play with that aggressiveness every game.

Dee is so much better when he plays in control....less turnovers, more assists and more points....just let the game come to you Dee...stop forcing.

Deron Williams id a freakin stud.....ate up Baron Davis on Saturday night.

Calipari has a chance for a really good team for the first time in a while.....all of his top 8 are freshmen or out in March...or next year.

Duke is good....but not super athletic.....they won't want to play Memphis again in March. Athletic teams should give them trouble. Paulus can really pass the ball.....Dockery still can't shoot. Redick struggles if you can put someone long and quick on him...Carney from Memphis....or maybe Randle from Illinois?

We should have recruited Dominique James (Marquette) harder.....he could have really helped us this year and next.....Jerel McNeal....not so much.

Gonzaga has a very good team this year.....Morrison and Batista could play for anyone.

Arizona has alot of talent.....but are poorly coached.

Wichita St. will look like a quality win at the end of the year.

Notre Dame is going to be terrible this year....the slowest backcourt in the country.

Luther Head is a player......steal of the draft getting him where Houston did.

The Big Ten is going to be strong this bad losses yet. The last few years....we would already have 2-3 bad losses.

I'm thinking 8-9 losses for Illinois this year.......sounds right to me. Patience is a virtue.

Weber would be in a tough spot if he played someone that was not at least holding his own defensively. Wrong message to the team IMO. Disagree about Carter. He's an experienced junior now and still doesn't get it on defense and he's not showing me much offensively either. Also disagree about Wichita St. I think they finish no better than 4th in the MVC. We made them look better than they really are. Randle could dominate both ends of the floor if he would put his mind to it.
And now we got Eric Gordon!!!

wooo hoooo!!!!
huge get for BAM. i'll celebrate when he signs the dotted line. i've gotten too cynical over the years on Illinois verbals...
I'm not sure Hawaii beating MSU doesn't count as a bad loss for the B10....and NW getting punked by DePud doesn't help.

Waiting patiently for Ryan to chime in on the Gordon committment....
I've been impressed with Jamar and Carter offensively but my guess is Weber considers them the 2 worst defenders on the team. Since he said he'd like to see the team hang its hat on defense, I understand why they might be getting fewer minutes than some would like.

I agree that Wichita State was a game that some people are overreacting to. When Dee goes 3-14 and this year's Illini still win, we need to be happy. I still think that Dee and Augie have to carry this team offensively, as they are really the only guys Weber can count on game in and game out offensively. McBride, Smith, Carter and maybe Randle will all have good games, but you can't count on them every night yet.

I'm not sold on Gonzaga after watching them vs. UCONN. Remember, this is a UCONN team playing a freshman point guard right now and they, to me, might be the team to beat this year (after watching games all weekend). Gonzaga's depth is badly hurt with Heytfelt's injury. I liked Pargo's game, he's got a nice future for the Zags. Wouldn't be surprised to see him in the NBA some day.

West Virginia, a preseason top 15 team, now has 3 losses, including a home loss to an LSU team that doesn't scare anybody. Beilein just isn't that great IMO, sorry. Maybe there's a reason he didn't get a major college coaching job for so long?

I disagree with you on Pruitt, Butts. I think some people thought he would be very good, considering he was a top 80 player coming out of high school. He's always had the body and the tools, it's great to see him produce with an opportunity to get on the floor.

Deron's definitely a stud but Chris Paul's the Rookie of the Year, barring injury.

For those of you that think I hate Weber, I'm giving him all the credit for winning the Wichita State game. That inbounds play was outstanding and it was great to see him have confidence in Warren Carter for such a big shot.

Is Xavier destroying Purdue not a bad loss for the Big Ten? I know our expectations have lowered for the Boilers, but that's not a great loss IMO.
Xavier is better than I don't consider it a bad loss....forgot about the Hawaii game. But we haven't had the Belmont's or the Boston U's like in past years.
When you are struggling to we were against Wichita St.....sometimes you have to give up some defense to get the offense....Weber even alluded to that after the Rutgers game....he has an itchy trigger finger for the freshmen...said that he (Weber) needs to get past that.
Big Ten just got a bad loss tonight, Minnesota losing to Gardner-Webb.

Xavier should not be a better team than Purdue, middle of the road mid-major team vs. middle of the road Big Ten team.

Fortunately, Thad and the boys took care of a well-coached Virginia Tech team tonight to get the Big Ten off to a nice start.
butts I agree with you about Notre Dame. I wish they would make the tourney just so Illinois could get another shot at them.

Quinn and Falls are nice complimentary players but they're in trouble with them as the starting backcourt.

Some ND fans are starting to compare Brey to Ty. Looks like another dead branch from the Coach K coaching tree.

Zeller looks like a decent athlete but thats about it right now.
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