Who's going to win MVP at the Illini's season-ending banquet? What kinda NCAA seed is Illinois going to get? Ask beat writer Marcus Jackson questions of any kind at any time. He's chatting at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Good afternoon. Sorry for the late start, just got back into the office from spending some time working on a story we're going to run this weekend.
I'll be here for the next hour or so answering your questions or whatever else you might throw my way during Illinois' lone week off during Big Ten play.
I had a non-basketball related question but it touches on something you were re-tweeting during last week's Penn State game. It made me think of the many "appearances" of Chief Illiniwek that have been common at IL home games this year, one I personally witnessed at the Ohio St game.
Setting aside for a moment how you feel about The Chief, you almost have to laugh and marvel at the sheer "genius" of the 1/32th Indian descendants who cried and moaned about racism and of the Board of Directors who ultimately banned The Chieff altogether. Their cries of The Chief being racist, of the dance mocking them, of the "mascot" being offensive, etc were all put forth as reasons for banning the one, true symbol of the University. So as what happens with all liberal policies (thanks Nancy Cantor and the 2 Emril Jones’ stooges who sit on the board!!), the very behaviors that they propose to ban or do away with, are the EXACT behaviors that come about after the law/ban is enacted.
Before the ban, do you ever remember fans or students wearing the full Chief ensemble? Do you remember people dressing as The Chief and pretending to be such? The Chief was held up as a symbol by the fans, students and university that was honored during each halftime of the various sporting events. It wasn't the cartoon-caraciture like the Cleverland Indians mascot that they claimed it to be. We didn't stand around and laugh/mock as The Chief danced. Everyone stood and honored the tradition that was "The Chief". But now with the ban, what do you have? Fans/students who are desparate to keep the memory of The Chief alive, resorting to steps that don't necessarily hold that symbol in the same high honor as The Council of the Chiefs did for years and years (althought let it be known that I do not disapprove in any way of those Chief appearances, it is only natural was is occurring).
And of course, those people who cried foul before don't ever learn the lesson of their ways. They only see fit to lash out at the people who dare not be "governed" by hypocrites who claim to hold the high moral ground on these issues. As evidenced by your re-tweet of @pedroloco3, they personally attack the very people they claim to know better than.
It’s just too bad we don’t have an Illini Tribe to pay off like FSU, otherwise problem solved.
We're starting things off with a bang this week.
I wasn't around much when the Chief was allowed to be a part of the halftime festivities, etc., so I can't speak to what was happening in the stands.
I know there are strong feeling on the issue on both sides of the argument and not being an Illinois alum, I don't have strong feelings either way and don't pretend to be smart enough on the subject to engage in debate about it.
If I see a pro-Chief Tweet directed at me, I'll share it and if I get an anti-Cheif Tweet, I'll share that, too. Equal time.
Thanks. I have several questions on statistical determinations.
What is a team rebound? How is a steal determined? Does the player that deflects the ball get credit for the steal or the player that secures the ball? Can a player get credit for an assist for an inbound pass? When a player taps in basket (Egwu had two in the Michigan game) does that player get credit for both an offensive rebound and a field goal? Or does a player actually have to catch the ball (secure it) first to get awarded credit for a rebound?
A team rebound is when the ball either goes out of bounds off the rim or the backboard, or when players tap it around without securing it before it goes out of bounds.
Who gets the steal on a deflected ball is up to the discretion of the official scorer. Whichever player he feels deserves more credit gets the steal. It's usually awarded to the guy who secures the ball, which is why so many teams reward players in their own way for getting deflections, etc.
Yes, you can get an assist on an inbounds pass. Brandon Paul got an assist on Tyler Griffey's bucket at the end of the Indiana game.
Yes, Nnanna got an offensive rebound and a made basket for his tip-ins at Michigan.
When John Groce has a roster made up of the players he recruited, do you think he will go more than the 8 deep he has this season? How many did he play at Ohio University?
Yes, he will. He's said since he arrived here that ideally he'd like to have nine guys in the rotation and even 10 if his team is deep enough. That usually means five perimeter players and four bigs. At Ohio the last two years, the Bobcats went about nine deep.
What time do you suggest getting to the Hall on Satruday in order to see all of the videos, festivities, etc?
They should have Jim Sheppard back to call this game.
The ceremonies honoring Kevin Berardini, Tyler Griffey, Sam McLaurin, Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson and the senior managers with begin with 12 minutes left on the pregame countdown clock, so I'd say get there a little bit before 4 p.m. to be sure you see everything.
I'll get back to you in a few minutes on the Assembly Hall videos, etc.
How has Big Meyers been doing in Portland? Haven't been able to follow the NBA much this year.
Thank you much sir.
Meyers is doing all right. He was slowed by an ankle injury right around the new year and missed 11 straight games to recover. He's averaging four points and three rebounds and about 14 and a half minutes. He's had some flashes, but the injury really set him back. The Trailblazers love his potential and are expecting him to make some leaps the next couple of years.
Today is also his 21st birthday. Happy birthday, Big Guy.
Tell me about Austin Colbert, of the recruits we get updates on his numbers seem to be the weakest. Should I be concerned?
Austin sat the first 10 games of the season after transferring to Gill St. Bernard. Colbert had 20 points, six boards and three blocks in one game and had seven points in another. It's not rare to see big men sometimes not post a lot of points becuse the guards tend to dominate the ball and at times have trouble getting the ball inside.
He's going to take a little bit of time to come along once he gets here, like most freshmen, but the staff really thinks Colbert fits how they want to play. He'll likely have a chance to get into the rotation early with some openings at the 4 spot.
Are they looking at any juco big men for next season
how much do you see the incoming freshman big men being able to contribute next year
If there's anyone out there right now who can help them, they're giving him a look. That could be ball handlers, or another big, particularly a 4 guy. There's also the potential for another fifth-year transfer, but you'd have to wait for the season to end to see who is available.
As the roster stands right now, Colbert and Morgan will be looked at to contribute, though it's going to take some time for them to develop and get acclimated to the college game.
In terms of numbers, not naming names, how many non senior scholarship players do you expect to leaving the program after this year? Just trying to estimate how many schollys Groce will actually have available.
I'd imagine there might be two and potentially up to three guys who might not be back with the team next season.
What are your precictions for rest of the year?
Do we win 2 of the last 3 regular season games?
Are we one and done in the BTT?
What will our seed be in the NCAA?
Right now, I'd guess Illinois wins two of the last three games (Nebraska, at Iowa), though that game at Iowa is really a toss up. Iowa has been tough at home.
Sixth place in the Big Ten likely gets you a game against Northwestern or Nebraska, so the liklihood of going one and done is slim.
So, going 2-3 with one win in the Big Ten tournament probably gets you a six or a seven seed.
With the strong likelihood of the Illini making the NCAA tournament, do you think there are wrinkles to the offense or defensive schemes that Groce is keeping under wraps until the tournament? I'm curious because part of the reason he was an attractive candidate is the success of his teams in the tournament. Are there any clues or hints as to what the secret behind that success is? Anything intriguing we can hope to see out of our Illini when the dance comes?
I don't think any dramatic changes to either scheme will be made once tournament play starts. The reason they've been so successful in tournament is their preparation and the matchups. You saw how well-prepared they were in Maui with three games in three days. Now, it helped that they were making a bunch of shots, but they were as prepared for those games as if they had four days to get ready for them.
Is there an incoming freshman recruit who you actually think will not see the floor next season? I don't see any scenario where any one of them redshirts. We need bodies next year and for better or worse each one of them will be thrown to the wolves.
As the roster is roght now, I think you can expect all of them to see the floor in some capacity next season. That could change if they make any additional moves, but you'll likely need some contirbutions from all of them in some form.
If that's the case, Illinois will probably take some lumps especially early in the season and maybe even further than that.
Colin was asking about the video features for Saturday's game. The proposed renovation video will be played during a timeout and the shoutouts from former players and performers will be at halftime.
Marcus, I know this is more of a statement than a question, but it's shaping up like Illinois could be looking anywhere between a 6 and a 9 seed or so, by my estimation.
I'm betting there are a LOT of potential 1 and 2 seeds that would HATE to see the Illini in a potential second round matchup.
Who would be an equally tough draw for Illinois in the first round?
You're right, there are a lot of potential 1s out there that don't want to see Illinois. Especially Gonzaga, though the Bulldogs would have a chip on their shoulders.
Teams with especially physical dispositions, like a power-conference team on the bubble like a Villanova couls give Illinois some trouble. VCU pressures the heck out of the ball and we saw when Michigan did that on Sunday, it was turnover city for the Illini.
Lots of good stuff today, I appreciate all the questions. We'll have some Senior Day stuff in our coverage this weekend, complete with photos of the guys when they were younger. You won't want to miss those.
Thanks again, I'll talk to you all Saturday from the Assembly Hall.