Is what went wrong against Minnesota fixable? Brian Barnhart takes questions at 11 a.m. Thursdays. Submit them any time — on any Illinois topic. The radio voice of the Illini is sure to answer.
Good morning...lets get started!
Who were those refs last night and lets hope they never do another Illini game.
The refs for last night were Terry Wymer, Lamont Simpson and Steve McJunkins. Wymer and Simpson I have seen before. I was not familiar with McJunkins.
A lot of fans have really strong opinions on officials and their impact on the game. I tend not to worry about it too much. I am a realist. Like most professions....some people are better at their job than others.
You do great work. I know Groce came out and defended DJs shooting the other day, but i still am concerned about his shooting. Do you have an idea of whats wrong? Or what can be done? Its at a point where Im starting to get worried that he'll never get back to what he was.
Thanks for your comments on the broadcasts! I think so much with DJ is confidence. I know that one thing John Groce has reminded him is not to let poor shooting nights affect other areas of his game. He is still the best on-ball defender on the team. He is essentially leading the team in steals (tied with Brandon Paul recently). He is one of the Illini's leading rebounders. Even though he has not been shooting well lately....he hasnt let that slow him down in other areas...to his credit.
I think the best thing for him is to just keep shooting when he gets a good look. I am confident they will start to go in again.
What has happened to Griffin? His play has fallen off as much as Egwu's has improved.
I think for Tyler it really does come down to confidence when he makes shots. When he struggles on offense...he seems to lose his "edge" on the court in other areas and that in turn affects his confidence on the offensive end. In other words when it is going well....the confidence seems to feed on itself and build and build. When some doubt creeps in...it seems to affect what he does best....which is to take and make outside shots. Tyler is a great kid....and over the 4 years he has played...I have learned to read his body language pretty well. I can tell when he is feeling good about himself...and when he isnt. I hope he can get it turned around because he can be a really valuable member of the team when he is playing with confidence. He can really stretch opposing defenses with his shooting ability.
Hi Brian! How can coach Groce get this team to toughen up and play more aggressively on both ends of the floor in regards to rebounding?
Rebounding is somewhat about positioning under and around the basket...but mostly it is about desire. It is a "mindset" as John Groce calls it. You can try to teach it...but it is really hard to improve on it during the middle of a season. I think the Illini were out "toughed" on the glass by Missouri and Purdue...but have done a much better job in the last two games against 2 really good rebounding teams in Minnesota and Ohio State. John Groce put his team through some really intense rebounding drills after the Purdue loss. The players seemed to have responded well for now. We will see if they can keep up that kind of effort night in and night out through the grind of a Big Ten basketball season.
Hello Brian! Getting rid of Chris Beatty is not enough Illini nation want more people axed from the football staff one in particular that needs to be fired immediately is Tim Banks any word on when or if this is gioing to happen and who might others be on the chopping block real soon?
Dont know what other changes might be in store as of yet. I think one factor on the defensive side of the ball was the number of injuries to key players (Brown, Bates, Hawthorne, Sanni) during the course of the year. By the end of the year the Illini were starting 2 freshman linebackers and had to patch together a secondary. I assume Tim Beckman will factor in some of that if he does or doesnt make a change. If there are going to be changes...now is the time to keep an eye on them. The holidays are over...and so are the bowl games. There will be lots of movement all over the country with assistant coaches.
Not surprised that Luke Butkus took the opportunity with Ron Turner at Florida International.
Have to run....busy busy busy....thanks for the questions! Talk to you Saturday from Madison.