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Old 12-08-2009, 11:00 PM   #1576
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

Yep, pretty much kept them at bay throughout. I think 18-13 was the closest it got. I hate the missed FTs and turnovers, but I love the fact that Mike Davis can score 4 points, we can miss most of our FTs, turn the ball over too much and still comfortably beat a Top 25 team. Too many weapons.

What was with the idiot play-by-play guy repeatedly referring to it as an "upset" late in the game? Was he trying to needle Altenberger, forget that it's the Big Ten Network who signs his paycheck, or is he just a dumbass? Illinois was 4-point favorites in this game. A team just outside the Top 25 playing at home beating the No. 24 team isn't an upset.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:08 PM   #1577
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

Yeah, I heard that too. He just saw a ranking by one team, no ranking by the other, and saw upset.

Quote:
They had guys making shots that hadn't made shots all year

This is a quote from Stallings their head coach. I guess he's talking about Jeff Jordan, because other than him, it isn't out of the ordinary to see any of our guys hitting shots. Not sure who else he's referring to.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:57 PM   #1578
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

so as some of you may know, i live in waukegan. i've been to 2 waukegan games this year. are you guys SURE about jereme richmond? ALL his points come from alley-oops. i've only seen him create 2-3 shots in the last 2 games he's played.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #1579
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

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Originally Posted by emsteez forreal
so as some of you may know, i live in waukegan. i've been to 2 waukegan games this year. are you guys SURE about jereme richmond? ALL his points come from alley-oops. i've only seen him create 2-3 shots in the last 2 games he's played.
I haven't seen him play any full games because all you can find online is highlights (which he looks pretty damn good in), but just about every scouting website there is has him in the top 25 of his class. I'm taking their word for it. And I trust Bruce Weber's talent evaluation skills as well. I should be able to see a full game when Waukegan plays Ames (Harrison Barne's team) on ESPN next week.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:40 PM   #1580
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

So you've seen a game or two and have surmised that all he does is score on alley-oops?

I've seen him play about 10 times over the last few years and I can't even recall that many alley-oops he scored on. Check out the supersectional game against Warren (and Brandon Paul) last year. The whole thing's on Youtube. He made four three-pointers, took people off the dribble, got to the FT line, scored on putbacks, midrange fadeaways/turnarounds, everything. It's like a how-to video in small forward scoring. He put the ball in the hoop every way you'd ask a guy to do.

But what makes him one of the best players in the country isn't being a lethal scorer, though he certainly is a very good scorer. It's his versatility and all-around game. You don't see many 6'8" kids who can pass like Richmond. He can legitimately run the point. And you don't see that many guys with those perimeter skills who average 10 rebounds and 3 blocks a game like he did last year.

He's one of the most versatile prospects in the country and the best forward from llinois since Darius Miles. Yes, I'm sure about him.

I'll actually see him play again tomorrow at Assembly Hall against Champaign Centennial (do I cheer for my high school or for my college team's star recruit?), the No. 1 team in 3A and one of the best teams Waukegan will play this year, if not THE best. There's a good chance he'll have the ball in his hands and be asked to create something in meaningful situations, which probably wasn't the case in the games you saw.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:54 AM   #1581
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

yeah, because a friend of mine who's his teammate, aaron johnson, has like 18 points at the half when jereme had like 6. he must just be conserving his actual skill for big games. and i'm from waukegan, of course i've seen him more than twice.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:56 PM   #1582
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

I think you can be more than certain that he's doing just that.

He's more than willing to get other guys going offensively. One thing about him, even though he's had some turmoil in his high school career, attitude problems, clashes with the coach, questions about whether he plays hard enough (which I think are going away; from what I've read he's making a concerted effort to be a defensive stopper this year)....on the court he's never been a selfish player or a ball hog. He's a wonderful passer and takes pride in it.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:31 AM   #1583
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

Good day of hoops at the Shootout at the Hall. Thoughts on guys I saw:

Tracy Abrams

Definitely could tell he was bothered by the ankle injury that he says has him playing about about 70 percent, but at the same time you can tell just how fast he is when healthy. Opened the game with three straight three-pointers and had four nifty layups in the second and third quarters, but kinda disappeared at times. Again, he's not 100% so that needs to be kept in mind.

Not a pure point guard. He can be your lead guard; Abrams will push the ball and make things happen, but not a true point guard.

He kind of reminds me of Kyle Lowry: same size, strong, quick and tough, not a brilliant distributor/playmaker but can make things happen offensively one way or another. He does need to work much harder at moving without the ball and staying involved when he isn't scoring, but considering he's not at full strength I liked more than I disliked from him.

Meyers Leonard

It was striking to see Mike Tisdale sitting just a few feet away from Leonard, how different their bodies are. The two are nothing alike aside from being white and seven feet tall. Leonard has a very athletic frame; he reportedly already weighs 231 pounds and looks like he could easily go over 250 without gaining an ounce of fat. Combine that with his athleticism and footwork, and whatever his ceiling is has the words "NBA" and possibly "lottery" in it somewhere.

He is a tremendous passer for a seven-footer. He more or less runs their offense from the high post, always hitting the open guy when the double comes, and had an outlet pass- if it can even be called that- where he literally flicked the ball from basket to basket like a baseball, hitting a teammate right on the money. It was maybe my favorite play of the day.

When given the chance he tries to rip the damn rim off, which is a beautiful thing to see. Even though he needs to be more aggressive on the glass there's otherwise not an ounce of softness in his game. He's athletic and plays with a bit of a mean streak. Also has a very nice touch in the midrange, both on the catch-and-shoot/pick-and-pop and on the turnaround out of the post. He may not be totally consistent with it, but skillwise he's more advanced than most centers his age.

He has a ways to go but I think he contributes a good deal next year, maybe playing 15-20 minutes a game. He definitely needs to work on his positioning and aggressiveness when it comes to rebounding and needs to work on his timing on blocked shots. But it's hard to gauge big men in this regard when they're surrounded by a bunch of little pests that are a foot shorter than them.

Chasson Randle

Absolutely born to score. I really hope we get him; he and Abrams are both scoring guards and neither is much taller than 6'0" (Randle miiiight be close to the 6'2" he's listed at) but they can both handle the ball well enough to trade off running the point together in the backcourt along with D.J. Richardson, sort of like how Russell Robinson, Mario Chalmers and Sherron Collins did it on the '08 Kansas team despite none of them being pure point guards.

He scored the quietest 28 points of the day, and I mean that as a compliment. I was definitely paying attention to him but he didn't grab my attention by the throat. Granted, part of that was because I was watching everything Meyers Leonard was doing, but it was also because he's so good at letting the offense come to him.

He gets his points in the flow of the game. He's a wonderful shooter, will mix it up around the basket and has an advanced midrange game. Randle can put the ball in the basket any way you'd ask a guard his size to do. He even punctuated Rock Island's win with a strong tomahawk dunk at the end of the game.

All that said, his scoring ability is most of what stands out about him. Don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing, but his all-around game needs improvement. Still, I really hope Illinois gets him as he wouldn't be much of a dropoff from losing Brad Beal in terms of the scoring guard we need in this class (considering that Brandon Paul almost certainly won't see his senior year here).

Jereme Richmond

A typical day for the franchise player. Even though his team got their ass kicked and Rayvonte Rice scored 32 points for the opposition, Richmond was, like always, clearly the best player on the floor. Finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and about 4-5 blocks, and made several beautiful passes that weren't converted.

He just does it all for them. He picked up an early foul and because they literally can't afford to take him out of the game for a minute, had to play tentatively on defense as the safety of their sloppy full-court press, and as a result Centennial ran out to a big first-half lead from which they never looked back. By the end of the half- and for most of the second half- he got back to challenging shots, picking up a few impressive blocks. He still doesn't always play as hard as he should and it can be bothersome, however.

While not surprising, I was again pleased with the variety of his offensive game. By my count he scored in the following ways:

-Backdoor lob to start the game for a highlight-reel dunk
-A pair of three-pointers
-Pullup jumper on the baseline
-Drive from the top of the key for a three-point play
-Tough catch and finish on a high-low feed for a three-point play
-17-foot fadeaway with a hand in his face
-Offensive board/putback dunk

So much for scoring only on alley-oops, I guess. Wait, that never was true to begin with.

I admit I've treated Richmond with kid gloves in my assessment of him over the last three years, but I don't hold him accountable for his team getting killed when he's surrounded by average talent with Colin Nickerson now in college, when there's no other size to speak of on that team, when he's accountable for most of the rebounding AND being the primary ballhandler. He's asked to do it all and he usually does. That's why he's one of the best players in the country.

Rayvonte Rice/Champaign Centennial

And if this guy was three inches taller, he'd be considered one of the best players in the country, too. As it is, Drake may have a future MVC POY on their hands with Rice. He has a funny build for a basketball player and probably always will; he's built like a tall tailback, because that's exactly what he was until giving up football this year. But he can flat-out score, putting up 32 points today.

I offer no pretense of objectivity about Centennial in general because that's my high school, but the defending 3A champs were, in my opinion, the best team on the floor today. Including Quincy Miller's Quality Education squad loaded with amazing athletes and future D-I players. They have a pair of D-I players themselves in Rice and center Jeff Johnson. They can legitimately throw out a frontcourt with three guys 6'7" or taller at one time. Even with James Kinney now at Ohio, they move the ball extremely well and are very well-coached. Despite not really reloaded with any additional future D-I talent in the wake of Kinney's graduation, they seem to be playing even more aggressive and faster than last year. They ripped Waukegan's silly-ass press to shreds, giving Jereme Richmond no chance as he was on the receiving end of countless 3-on-1 fast breaks.

If judged strictly as how good of a high school team they are and now how much future college talent they have, they were the best team on the floor today. And they might be the best team in the state regardless of class. And if judged strictly by high school performance and not Top 100 rankings or college choices, Rayvonte Rice should be in the running for Mr. Basketball right behind Richmond, Wayne Blackshear and no one else.

Quincy Miller/Quality Education

I'll admit my brain was pretty much toast by the end of the day and I was kind of in a daze staring out onto the court but I didn't think Miller was any more impressive than any other of Quality Education's high-caliber athletes whose names are currently not coming to mind.

Don't get me wrong, I can see why Miller's considered one of the top 5-10 players in the 2011 class. He's nearly 6'10" and very athletic, but I didn't think he was half as skilled as Jereme Richmond. He has an ugly shot and a bad attitude on the court.

This might be my subconscious hedging its bets emotionally because Illinois probably won't get him, even though I hope we do. He's a big-time prospect and a fantastic shotblocker/rebounder if nothing else (and I do think he's more than that, but his offensive game doesn't go past the immediate area of the rim at this point in time).

Last edited by TheGame414 : 12-13-2009 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:59 AM   #1584
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

Quote:
So much for scoring only on alley-oops, I guess. Wait, that never was true to begin with.

whoa, calm down there jereme richmond superfan! any regular season games at the dawg pound consist of him catching regular oops. anyway, are you going to ames for that game?
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:10 AM   #1585
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

Not a superfan. Just a regular fan. I'm sure you saw a game or two where he scored mostly off lobs; if the other team doesn't stop it, why stop doing it? But every game I've seen he has no problem creating for himself in almost every way: off the dribble, catch-and-shoot, pull-ups, in the post, offensive rebounds.

And no, I'm not making a 12-hour round trip for a high school game. I wouldn't even if I could, because I don't enter the state of Iowa unless forced by gunpoint. There's really no other good reason to.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:42 PM   #1586
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

i'll probably be going only because i can party in iowa state or augustana after. and hopefully JR does more than catch lobs.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:45 PM   #1587
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

dunno if yall remember but i was never a fan of richmond, at one point last yr he was ranked as the 2nd best sf in the country... i don't know where he's ranked now but he's like 4th or 5th best now.

i've seen him play about 5-6 times, and last yrs championship game vs wy

richmond is a good shooter not great, not a tremendous athlete, he's long, but not fast or explosive, he's kinda smooth, scores most of his points by 3 pointers and alot of put backs, he reminds me ALOT of brandon rush, hey if he winds up havin a career like brandon rush that would be awesome!

i do think he is over rated tho, in last yrs championship game marcus jordan was CLEARLY the best player on the floor

hopefully brandon paul doesn't leave this year so he can play with richmond, but i seriously think brandon paul is going to go down as the best illinois bball play EVER! *if he stays till his jr year*
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:54 PM   #1588
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DwadeOverLebron
dunno if yall remember but i was never a fan of richmond, at one point last yr he was ranked as the 2nd best sf in the country... i don't know where he's ranked now but he's like 4th or 5th best now.

i've seen him play about 5-6 times, and last yrs championship game vs wy

richmond is a good shooter not great, not a tremendous athlete, he's long, but not fast or explosive, he's kinda smooth, scores most of his points by 3 pointers and alot of put backs, he reminds me ALOT of brandon rush, hey if he winds up havin a career like brandon rush that would be awesome!

i do think he is over rated tho, in last yrs championship game marcus jordan was CLEARLY the best player on the floor

hopefully brandon paul doesn't leave this year so he can play with richmond, but i seriously think brandon paul is going to go down as the best illinois bball play EVER! *if he stays till his jr year*
Yes, I remember. You've said it several times before and it hasn't gotten any more correct since the last time you said it. You keep comparing him to Brandon Rush as if that's a backhanded compliment or a bad thing; Rush was a Top 15 recruit, the leading scorer on a national champion and a lottery pick. If Jereme Richmond turns out to be those things I'd be thrilled. But still, Richmond is a more versatile player than Rush. Not only is he a more versatile all-around player, but he's a more versatile scorer in and of itself. I don't know where you guys are getting these ideas, one of you saying he scores most of his points on lobs, one of you saying he scores most of his points on threes. Neither thing is true nor has it ever been. Of all the major prospects at the Assembly Hall yesterday, no one scored their points in a more varied way than Richmond, not by a long shot.

Marcus Jordan was not the best player on the floor in that title game any more than Rayvonte Rice was yesterday. Jordan made a few jumpers because everyone else on the floor on his team was also a Division I talent. Richmond is asked to do everything for his team. Get double-doubles. Block shots. Run the offense. Score 20-30 points. Everything.

Jordan wasn't asked to do 20 percent for his team of what Richmond has to do for his. Saying he was the best player on the floor is factually incorrect. This isn't reasonably debatable.

I've told you this before and I'll tell you again: if you continue to make this same incorrect argument over and over, I'll delete it on sight without reading more than two words of your posts. Differing opinions are welcome and encouraged, but not when we've had the same discussion time and again and you fail to get it correct after I've tried to explain it to you time and again. I'm tired of this lame argument and it won't continue.

As good as Brandon Paul is, I'm not sure he's going to go down as the best guard in the 2009 Illinois recruiting class, much less the best Illinois player ever. D.J. Richardson is better than BP3 at the moment. He's shooting better, scoring more, is a better ballhandler and a better defender. Brandon has a higher ceiling because of his offensive ability, size and explosiveness but none of that guarantees he'll be better than D.J. Granted, I think they're both playing very well and have a chance to go down as one of the two or three best backcourts in school history.

Have a little perspective. If you can't tell me who Nick Weatherspoon or Don Freeman is or what they did, you can't have a discussion about best Illinois basketball players. You're putting Paul in a class with Weatherspoon, Freeman, Derek Harper, Eddie Johnson, Ken Norman, Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill, Deon Thomas, Frank Williams and Deron Williams? Really? I wouldn't rule it out, I guess, but I'd wait for him to do more than average 10 ppg over his first 10 college games before I'd even let the thought enter my mind.

Of any Illini players/recruits over the next few years, Richmond is the only one that I'd say has even a small chance to be the best player in Illinois history because Illinois has never really had an NBA-sized small forward with JRich's versatility and all-around game; Eddie Johnson was a pure scorer; Nick Anderson was a brute force of an athlete; neither had the versatility to play several positions that Richmond has. That isn't to say he'll be better than either, but I can see it being possible.

But I'll wait for him to be an All-American in college before I'd even think about that. Paul? I can't see him being better than Kendall Gill, the most similar player to Paul in Illinois history, and Kendall's not the best player in Illinois history and maybe not even in the top five.

Last edited by TheGame414 : 12-13-2009 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:52 PM   #1589
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

A random thought, since the headache-inducing Jereme Richmond argument is over with:

While it's early in the year and the competition picks up big-time from here on out for the most part, Illinois' efficiency numbers are much better than last year if they can keep up at a relatively close pace. We're averaging 114.6 points per 100 possessions and giving up 91.7 points; last year's team averaged 102.3 points per 100 and gave up 90.2.

Like I said, even though the numbers are likely to flatten out in Big Ten play..let's say our offensive efficiency drops to 110 and the defensive efficiency drops to 95, which sounds reasonable. That's still a significantly better margin than last season.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:10 PM   #1590
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Default Re: Illinois Fan Thread.

So it's looking pretty good for us with Chasson Randle. Paul Klee says in today's News-Gazette that at least one rival assistant says they're going to keep recruiting Randle but thinks he'll end up at Illinois. And from Illinihq today:




Quote:
Chasson Randle has kept his recruitment close to the vest for more than a year. But the Rock Island junior may have let a button burst when talking to reporters at the Deron Williams Shootout at the Hall on Saturday.

Randle scored 28 points to lead Rock Island to a 58-53 win over Robinson and UI recruit Meyers Leonard. The Class of 2011 prospect struggled to hide his excitement for playing at the Assembly Hall for the second consecutive year.

"I love playing here," the 6-foot-2 guard said. "I think I had like 22 (points) last year and 28 last year. I guess I'm shooting pretty well, so it's looking good for the Illini."

Quick-thinking Rock Island coach Thom Sigel immediately tried to downplay Randle's pro-Illini vibe to the intrigued press.

"Don't try to read (too much) into what he's saying there," Sigel said.


Randle - ranked the No. 56 junior prospect by Scout.com - said he's considering Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Iowa State and Stanford along with several other high-majors that have extended scholarship offers. He said he has no timetable for a decision and wants to take more college visits during the winter and spring.

When asked where the Illini stand, Randle said: "They're pretty high. I'm still open. I'm looking forward to cutting the list down a little bit, come out and see a little bit more of the schools that are recruiting me."

Randle is also superior student - he's tied with several junior classmates for the No. 1 academic ranking - and said he wants to major in engineering or "something medical" though his father wants him to pursue a teaching career.

"My mom is really tough on me on (academics)," Randle said. "She's tough on me. I see academics as a game. I try to do my best. An A is a win, and a B you did OK. But I'm a competitive."

Illinois has had Randle high on its wish list for quite some time in what is a highly touted Class of 2011 in the state. The Rock Island guard said he is "comfortable" with the coaching staff and current Illini players.

Illinois will likely have a stable of young guards on the roster when Randle enrolls at a college in two years. But Randle said that won't count as a negative for the Illini when considering a college decision.

"I look at it as playing against such good guards if Brandon Paul or DJ Richardson are still here, they'll make me better," Randle said. "That's what I'm looking forward to if I choose to come to Illinois."

But Randle admitted he paid close attention to another guard's recruitment: St. Louis Chaminade junior Bradley Beal. Teammates with Randle on the USA Basketball U-16 National Team this summer, ABeal committed to Florida over Kansas and Illinois two weeks ago.

"I actually got the call from my dad in school," Randle said. "I'm happy for him ...It would have been nice for him to be (at Illinois) with me."

Randle - a media-savvy teen-ager - paused, realizing the slip.

"That's if I make a (commitment to Illinois)," Randle said with a laugh. "But best of luck to him
."

I mean....his coach can say to not read anything into it all he wants, but it's kind of hard not to when he's saying everything short of committing to Illinois.
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