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Illinois Pregame Thread


IUFLA
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When: Thursday, January 19th 8:30 pm EST 

Where: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois

TV: FS1

Illinois comes into the game 12-5 (3-3 in Big 10 play) having won 3 straight after an 0-3 start to the conference season...They do have a game @Minnesota on Monday. The way the Gophers looked at Ohio State on Friday, the Illini better not overlook them...

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Illinois.PNG.6fcac4e7763f0a6178b2e343e3b749d1.PNG

Illinois has been starting Dain Dainja (who has been a pleasant surprise for them) Matt Mayer, Coleman Hawkins, Terrance Shannon Jr, and Sencire Harris over the last 5 games...That's one of the bigger lineups we'll see...Dainja has been averaging 12 a game in his last 5, shooting over 66% from the field...7 boards to go along with that...Poor FT shooter...

Some tough matchups for us in this one...TJD will obviously be on Dainja, but I think putting 6'6 Jordan Geronimo on 6'10 Coleman Hawkins might get us burned...Kopp will almost have to handle Mayer, who can carry them when he's hot...

Shannon can run hot and cold too...He had a midseason stretch that while he was averaging 15 PPG, he was shooting only 38% from the field...Last 3 he's averaged 22 PPG, but still hasn't shot well from 3 (33%)...We have to stop his dribble/drive game...Galloway? JHS?

Harris is a high energy guy and rounds out the starting 5...He has not scored a point in their last 4 games...

Epps (FR), Melendez (SO) (major disappointment so far), and Rogers (FR) are the guys who get time off the bench...

Izzo said he thought Skyy Clark leaving might have been addition by subtraction, and I think he's right...The Illini are on a tear, and this will be a difficult game for us to win... @5foulssaid Wisconsin was the best team for us to get better against, and he was right...Illinois isn't as disciplined, and doesn't play as fundamentally sound as Wisconsin, but they're as good defensively, better offensively, and are much more athletic...

Tough one...Let's see what we can do on the road...

Edited by IUFLA
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4 hours ago, IUFLA said:

When: Thursday, January 19th 8:30 pm EST 

Where: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois

TV: FS1

Illinois comes into the game 12-5 (3-3 in Big 10 play) having won 3 straight after an 0-3 start to the conference season...They do have a game @Minnesota on Monday. The way the Gophers looked at Ohio State on Friday, the Illini better not overlook them...

image.png.3607158d1dba07964ef479786e796059.png

Illinois.PNG.6fcac4e7763f0a6178b2e343e3b749d1.PNG

Illinois has been starting Dain Dainja (who has been a pleasant surprise for them) Matt Mayer, Coleman Hawkins, Terrance Shannon Jr, and Sencire Harris over the last 5 games...That's one of the bigger lineups we'll see...Dainja has been averaging 12 a game in his last 5, shooting over 66% from the field...7 boards to go along with that...Poor FT shooter...

Some tough matchups for us in this one...TJD will obviously be on Dainja, but I think putting 6'6 Jordan Geronimo on 6'10 Coleman Hawkins might get us burned...Kopp will almost have to handle Mayer, who can carry them when he's hot...

Shannon can run hot and cold too...He had a midseason stretch that while he was averaging 15 PPG, he was shooting only 38% from the field...Last 3 he's averaged 22 PPG, but still hasn't shot well from 3 (33%)...We have to stop his dribble/drive game...Galloway? JHS?

Harris is a high energy guy and rounds out the starting 5...He has not scored a point in their last 4 games...

Epps (FR), Melendez (SO) (major disappointment so far), and Rogers (FR) are the guys who get time off the bench...

Izzo said he thought Skyy Clark leaving might have been addition by subtraction, and I think he's right...The Illini are on a tear, and this will be a difficult game for us to win... @5foulssaid Wisconsin was the best team for us to get better against, and he was right...Illinois isn't as disciplined, and doesn't play as fundamentally sound as Wisconsin, but they're as good defensively, better offensively, and are much more athletic...

Tough one...Let's see what we can do on the road...

Harris went out with an injury yesterday and needed help getting off the floor.  He is a really good defensive player who will get into the hall handler.

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2 minutes ago, rico said:

What is the word on Goode?

In the article I linked above about Harris, Underwood said Goode was doing individual workouts but hasn't practiced yet... So sounds like he's got a few weeks to go

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11 hours ago, kyhoosier29 said:

Please, pretty please play defense like Sat! 

Yup that defensive effort was repeatable, no reason not to do it again. And if we don’t… I think we’ll have every right to be disappointed.

Honestly the second half on offense was very good and repeatable, too. We didn't hit a ton of threes or do anything fluky. Have to play hard and execute and we can win this (and most B1G) games. 

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6 minutes ago, KoB2011 said:

Yup that defensive effort was repeatable, no reason not to do it again. And if we don’t… I think we’ll have every right to be disappointed.

Honestly the second half on offense was very good and repeatable, too. We didn't hit a ton of threes or do anything fluky. Have to play hard and execute and we can win this (and most B1G) games. 

Dainja-Trayce should be a good matchup... Dainja is the same height, beefier (to say the least), long arms, and more athletic than he looks...

I think Galloway starts with Shannon, and JHS on Harris... We have to stop Shannon's drive game...

As I said in the OP, the matchup that concerns me is Hawkins-Geronimo... Hawkins can play but he's really inconsistent... Remember he kept them in the game against us in the BTT (18 points on 4-7 from 3) with Race guarding him... 

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1 hour ago, rico said:

Massey has Illinois winning 74-69.

Torvik has Illinois winning 77-72.

As Mile would have said....I report, you decide.

Seems about right to me even if we play with the same defensive intensity as Saturday which is my main hope. Should we do that and squeak out a road win, that would be awesome but I really just want to see the team we saw Saturday show up again.

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On the road and short two starters. That's a tough ask in conference. Nothing I've seen on the road this season says this game is winnable. It would take a monumental shooting game, which would be shocking. It's more likely UI shoots 30 free throws.

I'm hoping they keep it close and figure it out in the end. 

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Illini have a 13-5 record for the 4th straight season at this point. Brad's mad scientist experimenting with the 5 out offense and switching everything on D is over, the December Drama period is also over, things seem to be headed in the right direction. Probably blew the chance at a B1G title with those struggles, along with Purdue being really really good.

Mayer is playing really well, just had his first career double double and is second on the team in blocked shots behind Dainja. He struggled early in the season with his 3 point shot but since the Texas game has been at 45%. I don't think you want to put Kopp on him.

The freshmen who are still on the team have played better than expected (including Dainja as this is his first full season). Epps is a natural scorer, Harris and Rodgers are good on D but pretty limited on the other end. And Dainja has made 7 of his last 8 free throws, so look out.... 😁 Looking forward to seeing how he does vs TJD as he really hasn't had to play a top big man yet this season. 

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3 minutes ago, Artesian_86 said:

Check out Illinois' message board..... Apparently, they are looking to destroy  IU Thursday night! They keep bringing up the BIGTEN tourney loss last year.....lol

https://www.illinoisloyalty.com/post/illinois-vs-indiana-thursday-january-19th-7-30pm-ct-fs1.30361/page-2

These last two points are of great interest for the fan base but are any of these players at all deeply rooted in the program to have such hostility towards Indiana? how many of them have only been here for one year?

We better come to play or they will punch us in the mouth but I was glad to see they won easily on the road the other day it was either that or go to quadruple overtime we'll see if they let off the gas at all.  It's a true barometer game for both teams.

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8 hours ago, BruceDouglas said:

Illini have a 13-5 record for the 4th straight season at this point. Brad's mad scientist experimenting with the 5 out offense and switching everything on D is over, the December Drama period is also over, things seem to be headed in the right direction. Probably blew the chance at a B1G title with those struggles, along with Purdue being really really good.

Mayer is playing really well, just had his first career double double and is second on the team in blocked shots behind Dainja. He struggled early in the season with his 3 point shot but since the Texas game has been at 45%. I don't think you want to put Kopp on him.

The freshmen who are still on the team have played better than expected (including Dainja as this is his first full season). Epps is a natural scorer, Harris and Rodgers are good on D but pretty limited on the other end. And Dainja has made 7 of his last 8 free throws, so look out.... 😁 Looking forward to seeing how he does vs TJD as he really hasn't had to play a top big man yet this season. 

It'll either be Kopp or Geronimo... And the other one will get Hawkins... 

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