April 17 Illinois basketball chat

April 17 Illinois basketball chat

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 12:30pm

The spring signing period starts Wednesday — just in time for this week's chat with beat writer Scott Richey. The main question, of course, is whether Kofi Cockburn and Bernard Kouma (and somebody else?) will sign on the first possible day. The somebody else part is interesting. Will the Illini avoid offseason losses that have hit so many teams across the country? Is there a graduate transfer out there that can be a success at Illinois? How might Brad Underwood ultimately fill out his 2019-20 roster? Richey will answer these questions — or any else you might have about Illini hoops — starting at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday (unless there's a signing day press conference that interferes).

Scott Richey wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm
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Good afternoon everybody. Just a few questions waiting for me in this week's chat, so as soon as I get them answered I'm going to close up shop. I've got more Illinois men's gymnastics coverage to work on, plus the latest College Basketball Extra that will run this Sunday (including a centerpiece story based on my conversation with Frank Martin last night in Gordyville).

As always, there's lots of Illini coverage coming in the N-G the rest of this week from Bob Asmussen tackling football and men's gymnastics (really looking forward to his column on Illini Hall of Famer Justin Spring) and myself with basketball and men's gymnastics.

Anyway, onward with the chat ...

Nj Alum of Grainger wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Scott, Thanks for that article on Andres Feliz. If it's not too personal, what is the academic status of his wife, is she enrolled in school in the area?

Scott Richey wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm
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NJ alum,

Glad you enjoyed the story. Was a fun one to write.

Andres Feliz told me his wife, Lisa, is currently completing her associate's degree from Northwest Florida State online. They were both getting plenty of congratulations Monday night at the basketball banquet. 

IllinoisFanSinceTheSpoon wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Hey Scott,

So allegedly, BU blows a gasket in the CU, some player or his camp complains, investigation finds nothing but others still have concerns. BU's rep takes a hit but yet the accuser(s) remain anonymous! Is this because of the protection of the student athelete? These "grown men" do not have to stand behind their accusations? I'm sure you and others in the CU know who it was! I guess BU is softening his approach, but time to move on.

Scott Richey wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm
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IlliniFanSinceTheSpoon,

I'm not sure if the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the names of the players and/or families that brought the allegations against Brad Underwood. The names were redacted the report Illinois released and both Josh Whitman and Brad Underwood when asked by our Julie Wurth declined to say who they were as well. Take all of those things combined, and the anonymous nature of all that was reported late last week remains.

Anonymous User wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm

 

   Scott:  The sooner Illinois gets rid of Underwood the better.  This guy is a junior college coach.  He refuses to make any adjustments.  Sixty to 70% of games, the Illini are either winning or within five or six points going into halftime and end up lossing the game by 16 points.  I don't see him making any adjustments to his coaching philosophies or in-game adjustments.  He's saying the right things to the press to continue to buy time.  I hope Tevian Jones transfers- he deserves better.     

Scott Richey wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm
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Anonymous,

You didn't actually ask a question.

Khan al-Sanderz wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm


Any signing day surprises to expect?

 

Has the coaching staff now had time to meet with all the players and discuss options - like what to improve on for more playing time or perhaps going to a program that's a better fit?

Scott Richey wrote on April 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm
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Khan al-Sanderz,

If there is a signing day surprise, then I will be surprised myself. While neither Kofi Cockburn nor Bernard Kouma will sign today (unless plans change in a hurry), that shouldn't be considered a red flag. They have until May 15 to sign, and they're going to.

I do believe the individual player meetings are done (or at least nearly so) now that the Illini are a couple weeks into their spring workouts. Brad Underwood mentioned both Monday night at the team banquet and last night at the Coaches vs. Cancer event that the whole team is still here and working toward the 2019-20 season.

So even with Cockburn and Kouma signing at some point, that still leaves a scholarship open (no Antwan January remains likely), so that could either go to a grad transfer like T.J. Holyfield or a JUCO transfer like Tomas Woldetensae or maybe even another 2019 recruit like Olivier Robinson-Nkamhoua.

Scott Richey wrote on April 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm
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Looks like that's it for this week's chat. As always, thanks to everyone that submitted an actual question or followed along. The chat will be back next week for another round of offseason discussion. Maybe the Illini will have signed someone in the 2019 class by then (which I do expect).

Until then, though, enjoy the week!

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