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Old 08-17-2006, 05:46 PM   #1
IlliniFan
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Default Illinois basketball fans

Since UConn got one I figured we should get one too.
Any Illini fan or college basketball fan feel free to post your opinions and any information about Illinois on this thread.
I feel that this year will not be as strong a year as we have been having recently but will quickly turn around next season with the addition of Gordon, McCamey, and hopefully Rose. We got a solid big man this season in Freshman Brian Carlwell to add to a good roster which includes Jamar Smith, Rich McBride, Shaun Pruitt, Brain Randle, and Chester Frazier (bit of a Dee Brown resemblance here). Hopefully we can make this a memorable season and make a good run in the tournament.
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:37 PM   #2
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i know this team now is not as strong as the team we had in the past few years but hopefully we can still be one of the top teams in the big 10.....i really thought that calvin brock was gonna be something when illinois recruited him but coach weber hardly uses him......hopefully, that eric gordon kid won't change his mind about going to illinois........
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Old 08-20-2006, 02:41 PM   #3
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I've said all along that if we even get servicable PG play from Meacham and/or Frazier, there's no reason we shouldn't be good again. I think we could be better offensively this year because we've got four good players returning in the same roles, albeit expanded, that they were in last year.

The '05-'06 Illini had zero players who were returning in a role they were in before; Dee had never been the point guard, Augie had never been a featured scorer, Randle, Pruitt and McBride had never been starters and had played very little, period, and Jamar and Frazier were freshmen. Even though we lose Dee and Augie, the last links to the 37-2 team, we enter this year with more continuity. I think Pruitt, Randle, McBride and Jamar all have a great opportunity to blossom into big-time players with the knowledge that we need them to score. All of them were outstanding at certain times last year, when we weren't over-reliant on Dee.

I think an X-factor for this team could be Rich Semrau. He was a Top 50 recruit with other offers from Florida, Wake and Kentucky before last summer, when he was injured and- from what I've read- badly misused by his AAU coach. He's 6'9", 225, is a terrific shooter, good rebounder, and moves very well. I think he could make as big of an impact as a freshman as Jamar Smith did.

Off-topic......

Are either of you guys actually excited for Illinois football? This is the first time in four years that I have been. Not that we'll be good, but I think we'll be a lot better (I think 5-7 is realistic) and more fun to watch. I just can't believe the kind of recruits Zook is getting; a Top 25-rated class before all the analysts knew we had Jeff Cumberland and Melvin Alaeze. Alaeze, Justin Sanders and Antonio Steele immediately make our defense better, but our D-line will still pretty much suck (at least the tackles).

But guys like Juice Williams, Chris James, Cumberland, Alaeze, Rakheem Smith, Vontae Davis...that's the kind of recruiting class you eventually win conference championships with. Here's hoping Zook keeps it going in '07 with commits from Robert Hughes, Josh Brent, and Martez Wilson. These are the kind of guys that Turner, with few exceptions, could only dream of.

Last edited by TheGame414 : 08-20-2006 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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I have never really followed Illini football as closely as basketball, especially since we've been one of the worst in the nation. But, from what you're saying things are starting to look better. Maybe we'll be big ten champs again in a couple years. Good point about the whole basketball line up and how we will have several returning players. I am especially excited about Brian Randle and how he will do this season.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:29 AM   #5
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The big thing for Randle, obviously, is how much his jumper develops. I think he's shown signs of a respectable midrange jumper, but if he can start knocking down outside shots, the sky is absolutely the limit for him.

Even if he doesn't become a respectable outside shooter whatsoever, he's capable of being a 12-14 ppg scorer simply because of his athletic ability: breakaways, alley-oops, taking people off the dribble, putbacks. If he stays out of foul trouble

As far as his NBA future and his personal development as a player, Randle's jumper is a major point of concern, but with one of the nation's best 1-2 punches in terms of three-point shooting with Smith and McBride (and with Meacham, who hit over 40% of his threes at Dayton two years ago, and Semrau, it could be an excellent three-point shooting team, period), we don't need Randle to be a good shooter. It's just that if he became one, he might be one of the best players in the country.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:35 PM   #6
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Yeah, Ive always saw him as similar to Rudy Gay with out all that hype. It's not like Rudy Gay has that great of a shot either.
Anyway Brian Randle had a couple of crazy dunks this season check em out...
http://youtube.com/watch?v=LR-UeEPXGsc
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:28 PM   #7
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Entertaining as always boys.

My guess is that you guys will dominate in football and basketball.

Last edited by ThaKing : 08-22-2006 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:16 AM   #8
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TheGame i love the eric gordon avatar, i got a chance to play against him this year he's nasty
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Old 08-23-2006, 06:27 PM   #9
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well this thread died out fast...guess it would be a better idea to start it up some time in January when the games get started. Or maybe if the football team is decent for once and according to thegame we shouldnt be the laughing stock of Big Ten any more...we can talk about how we killed Ohio State!:
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:59 PM   #10
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Default illini football

just wondering how rashad mendenhall is doing? or how you think he's gonna do for illini? he's there rb, he was supposed to be something special... but haven't heard anything of him yet, i've seen him take a couple of snaps in a couple of games but he looked dissapointing. anyone?

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Old 08-24-2006, 06:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Entertaining as always boys.
Thank you, thank you.

Quote:
My guess is that you guys will dominate in football and basketball.
Vegas has even odds on what happens first: an Illinois football bowl win or a Kansas 1st-round basketball victory.

*Da-da-dum!*

I'll be here all week, folks! Be sure to tip your waitress!

Unfortunately for me, the odds on the White Sox rotation going all the way through with five straight quality starts is 400-1. And even worse, I'd refuse to put even so much as 10 bucks down for those odds.

Quote:
just wondering how rashad mendenhall is doing? or how you think he's gonna do for illini? he's there rb, he was supposed to be something special... but haven't heard anything of him yet, i've seen him take a couple of snaps in a couple of games but he looked dissapointing. anyone?
Rashard has as much natural ability as any running back Illinois has had in a long time. Definitely in my lifetime, at least (though Ty Douthard, if anyone remembers him...probably not...is one of my biggest personal disappointments as an Illini fan, because I thought he had star written all over him).

He has the size, speed and skills to be an NFL franchise back. That's why he was one of the top 25-50 players in the nation as a HS senior, after all.

Then again, lots of guys have those kinds of abilities never end up amounting to much.

He didn't do much as a freshman, but then again, he played the one and only position on the team that actually had depth with quality players. Pierre Thomas is an absolute stud who would be an All-American if he was on a good team, and E.B. Halsey, though I'm not a fan of the way he runs at all, is a versatile back.

I think Rashard's gonna be a terrific back, but I'm cautiously optimistic. He's still been inconsistent in training camp, according to the coaches, but he was awesome in the scrimmage. As much as I like the way Pierre runs (for those who've never seen Pierre Thomas carry the ball, he's absolutely relentless), Mendenhall is bigger and more of a physical specimen and has an extra gear, that the elite backs have, that Pierre doesn't quite have.

I personally hope Halsey gets phased out of the offense, or at least gets utilized more as a slot receiver/punt returner and little else, because the ball really needs to be in Pierre's hands 20 times a game, and Rashard's hands at least 15 times a game, too. If USC can find a way to get LenDale White and Reggie Bush each the ball often enough, then I'd like to think we can get Pierre and Rashard each the ball often enough. They're as dangerous as any RBs in the Big Ten, and with Millington and Myles at LT and RT now, we should have a good enough O-line for them to do some damage.

I just hope he learns something in his last year playing with Pierre Thomas. If he learns to run with the same ruthlessness, he'll be a superstar. Combined with Juice Williams, Jeff Cumberland, Chris James, and Derrick McPhearson- and, I once again pray, Arrelious Benn and Robert Hughes- the '07 and '08 Illini could be real, real hard to stop from scoring.

It's hard to get over-the-top excited considering how bad we've been since 2001, but Zook is compiling the type of athletes we haven't had in quite some time.

Last edited by TheGame414 : 08-24-2006 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:40 AM   #12
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TheGame i love the eric gordon avatar, i got a chance to play against him this year he's nasty
He's the best high school shooting guard I've seen in a long time. Granted, I don't get to see everyone. But that kind of scoring ability, combined with the all-around intensity he brings to every facet of the game- rebounding, defending, etc- well, there's a reason everyone has him ranked No. 2 or even No. 1 overall in the nation now.

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Originally Posted by IlliniFan
Or maybe if the football team is decent for once and according to thegame we shouldnt be the laughing stock of Big Ten any more...we can talk about how we killed Ohio State!:
Let's not get it twisted....I'm looking forward to the OSU game, but that's because they may be the No. 1 team in the nation and I can't wait to see Troy Smith and Ted Ginn in person. (That's the great thing about Illinois football...even though we've sucked most of my life, I still get to see future NFL stars in person every season. They just play for the other teams.)

Don't know if we'll climb out of "laughingstock" status quite yet, but I'm confident that Zook has the program pointed in the right direction, and we should be better. Hey, if Penn State can go from 4-7 to 11-1, in large part because of big contributions from freshmen playmakers, I see no reason we can't at least go from "awful" to "halfway respectable."
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:03 PM   #13
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Ive always heard that we have had great running backs, yet we dont hear much about their accomplishments. I think its cuz our offensive line is pretty horrible. I was joking about beating ohio state lol. Oh, and werent we big ten champs in 2000-2001...it seems like such a long time ago now.
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Old 08-24-2006, 05:08 PM   #14
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Pierre's actually put up pretty good numbers in his career at 5.6 yards a carry, it's just that he doesn't get the ball 20 times a game like he should because not one, but two coaching staffs inexplicably have decided that E.B. Halsey needs to have the ball as many times as Pierre.

As far as our O-line...should be the best it's been in five years. Akim Millington's a stud who was a starter on Oklahoma before transferring, and Charles Myles, who moved to offense late last year, is just as big and athletic as Akim, just not experienced. If Martin O'Donnell ever starts living up to his high school hype (he was a Parade All-American), it could be a quality line.
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:59 PM   #15
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Its not the offense that im worried about really. Our defense has been horrible...We always get down by 40 and teams start putting in their backups on offense. Its really embarassing. I actually got excited when we won our first 2 games but that quickly faded when we lost the rest. I think one of teams we beat was good. Rutgers? i dont know.
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