Friday, November 18, 2005

 

South Dakota St......or The Traveling Wildcats

I am pumped for tonight's game.......and I am going to miss it. Little Butts is in action and I won't be able to catch the Illini.....but if I could.....here is what I would be looking for tonight.

1) We should be able to dominate this game down low......do we? While this team is supposed to be solid, and will play hard, they have no one to match up with Augustine and Pruitt down low. To start this season properly, I would love to see Augie and Pruitt demand the ball...and dominate.

2) Does McBride play like the player he can be....or like the player he has been the last 2 years? I would love to see Richard take the ball to the lane...and show a mid-range game. If he can do that, teams can't just defend him on the 3-pt line. When I think of Rich, I think of him in the state championship game his junior year.....there was no one more confident on the court. He needs to find that again.

3) Everyone raves about Randle and his freakish athletic ability. He can defend 4 different positions. He is going to take the opposing team's best player on most nights. Can he play that defense without picking up the stupid, touch fouls? If he can't stay on the court more than 15-20 mpg., Illinois will be in trouble this year.

4) Can Marcus Arnold be a productive player in the Big 10? Can he get us points in the paint? When he got here, I thought he could get us 10 ppg.......now I'm not sure that he is going to get 10 mpg. He needs to step up.....we need a tough kid to be productive off the bench....he is the logical option.

5) Dee is Dee. I think he is going to be frustrated at times this year by his teammates play.....can he be the leader and keep his composure....and keep his team moving in the right direction. If he can be the leader, and help this team along, be the PG......then I think the NBA will see the things they are looking for from Dee this year. He'll get his points....he needs to do the other things.

6) Warren Carter needs to score for this team. Can he be the Illini's Vinnie Johnson......get 8-12 points in 15-20 minutes? I don't know....but they could sure use them.

7) Chester......we need you. If only for 5-10 mpg, we need you to play D and handle the ball. I think the D will be there for sure....just concerned about the freshman mistakes. Don't force things....and you will be fine. He is the backup PG....there is nobody else. The kid has to perform so Dee doesn't get worn down.

8) Calvin Brock has about 5-6 games to prove that he needs to be on the court....and he will probably have limited minutes to do it. Not a great shooter.....one of those guys, like Randle, that just has to make plays...defense, run the court, etc. Maybe a year away.

9) Last, and certainly not least for me, is Jamar Smith. Has there been a player more scrutinized by Illinois fans since his commitment than Jamar Smith? Offered too early? Not offered too early? At this point, I don't care. This kid has offensive skills that are hard to teach...and he is playing with alot of confidence. If there is a question....it is his defense...and how much does it hurt Illinois. Some say he is improving. I know this....if he plays 20-25 mpg.....I think he will average in double figures....and Dee could really use the help on the offensive end.

10) Finally, Coach Weber. Another guy that gets little respect.....but he has done something in his first 2 years that no other Illinois coach had done in the last 50. What kind of changes will he make to the offense? How will they get the ball down low? How much will he play Jamar Smith? How much 3-guard will we see?

Yep, if I was watching this game, those are a few of the things I would be looking for tonight....
but it is not to be. Little Butts and his 4th grade squad are going to get a basketball education tonight I think.....as they travel to Hillside to play the Traveling Wildcats.....these are the kids that funnell to Proviso East or St. Joe's. Tipoff at 6:00pm. How concerned are the Wildcats about the Naperville boys?? They called and asked if we could bring our 6th grade team....to play their same 4th grade team....at 7:00pm. Yep, an education it will be.

Comments:
Good points butts - also of considerable interest this weekend is another Eric Gordon visit - this time with his family - for Sunday's game.

Will the coaching staff be angling for a committment this weekend ? Some of the '07 kids are already jumping in (See: Alex Legion), maybe it's time for EJ to do the same.
 
Gordon would be a HUGE committment for Weber.....and would really relieve some pressure from him and his staff. Nothing comes easy for us in recruiting, however, and I am not holding my breath for a committment this weekend.

butts
 
We seem to want to create McBride in our image. How about if we hope he does the things the coaches ask him to do?
 
1959--do you think they want him to stand on the 3-pt line and not move? I didn't think so!:)


butts
 
Yikes, hope little butts doesn't get owned tonight.
 
I will post my Illini thoughts later....seems like Pruitt and Augie did dominate. Little Butts did get an education tonight.....that if you play as hard as you can, and you compete, you can play with anyone. Against a very good Memorial Park team (Hillside), the boys lost by 6.....actually had a 4 point lead at halftime. All in all, a good night of hoops.
 
Rich played very well tonight. If he can play like that every night it will be tough to take his starting spot. Solid defense with 4 assists and 15 pts. He even drove the lane for a little pull up jumper in the 1st few minutes of the game ; )
 
Well, Augie and Pruitt answered the call.

Dee played sloppy, but he's still Dee. He'll be fine with time.

Chester and Jamar did the job once again as well.

Have to get some of guys within the Randle/Carter/Brock/Arnold quartet going, or we'll struggle with depth issues. As dumb as it sounds, hopefully Warren's big dunk will give him some confidence going forward. I think Randle just needs one big game to really prove to himself that he's as good as we think he can be. Still not sure on Brock or Arnold and what kind of potential they really have. Haven't seen enough yet.
 
It's still early but Arnold and Brock look like low men on the totem pole right now. Arnold has looked lost in all 3 games so far and Brock looks like an athletic kid that also plays basketball right now.
 
Can someone dig up some info on Chris Hicks, the new walk-on? He's from Whitney Young.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
I asked for info on Chris Hicks, not about your dumbass posters!
 
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