Tate: What about next year?

Tate: What about next year?

Columnist Loren Tate's column for Saturday's N-G focuses on Bruce Weber's legacy at Illinois. A sample:

What Illinois has returning is not upper-division talent. In this era of the three-point shot, this team just finished in a virtual dead heat with Penn State for last in the Big Ten in three-point shooting and three-point defense. Illinois gave up 69 more arc points on 55 fewer shots. Alone, those two facts make it nearly impossible to win. Couple that with erratic ballhandling (Brandon Paul ran his turnovers to 109), and help is needed ... and it isn’t yet coming.

The upcoming junior class, once so promising with Jereme Richmond, Crandall Head and Leonard, would be void if Joe Bertrand hadn’t redshirted. Upcoming seniors Tyler Griffey, D.J. Richardson and Paul are best known for their struggles. After three years, we pretty much know what to expect.

More in Saturday's N-G

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SEMOIllini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 6:03 pm

This is the reality of how Bruce Weber leaves the BB program at Illinois---not how he characterizes it in his final press conference:  "He (Weber) said he leaves the program on solid ground."   Solid ground???  The last 15 games sure didn't look like "solid ground".  

Coach Weber, I hope Chris Lowery left SIU on more "solid ground" for you than the ground you left Illinois on for our next coach.  Good luck to you--you will need it, but even more good luck to the next coach of the Fighting Illini, he'll need it more, because of you.

rocko wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Nothing like kicking a man when he's down.  Proud of yourself?

SEMOIllini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm

rocky--sorry the truth hurts.  Weber did this to himself---and I doubt he's had to endure too much sadness when cashing his $1,300,000 checks---it comes with the territory.  Weber's hit a home run with a $3.9 million buyout and a chance to go back to SIU---don't cry for him, he's hit the ground running thanks to Ron Guenther's incompetence.  What again was that famous Harry Truman quote?  Oh, yes "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."   

Dan Bloeme wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Huh? If Weber's down what with $13.75 Mil in the bank and $3.9 Million coming shortly, I would love to be in his shoes. Heck I'd even be willing to say forget the $3.9M buyout if Weber wants to switch lives. It must be absolute torture to be a multi-millionaire several times over. Anyone would gladly endure his suffering if they get all the money Illinois will have paid him. At a time millions are jobless, starving and homeless.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I guess I didnt realize that having money and being treated decently are mutually exclusive. The poster's comment had nothing to do with money, it had to do with treating someone decently and giving him the respect due to a former coach of the Illini, a guy who did his best and following the rules.

And if folks want to earn money like Bruce, well hey go out there and earn it. Except that being rude on the internet probably doesnt pay well.

Dan Bloeme wrote on March 10, 2012 at 12:03 am

Illini fans, media, whomever have the right to be critical of Weber and discuss him. Poster stated that he didn't think Weber left the program in good shape and he may be right. Other posters don't have the right to squelch any discussion or critique of Weber. That's not your right to censor anything other posters say or judge other posters harshly if they aren't adoring enough towards Weber as you are. Doesn't matter if he's now departed or not, the discussion and debate concerning Weber will rage on for years and years to come. No one should stifle anything that's said without malice and ill intent. Forcing affection of Weber is like the same intolerant, ungiving fervor the Taliban or Muslims have towards their prophet Muhammad. That extreme reverence is unhealthy  especially towards a mere coach of just a game. Talk about distorted perspective and misplaced adoration. Weber fired for poor performance, get over it.

SEMOIllini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 pm

He's gotten rich at Illinois

SEMOIllini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 pm


Ha ha ha ha--Stop, stop, please stop---you're killing me. Telling the truth is now considered rude?  Weber got fired for not winning--he was kept 3 years too long because he followed the rules--Guenther's rules--- now he has to leave with 3.9 million dollars in his pocket, and we're supposed to congratulate him for running the program into the ground?   

You need to read Tate's column again---was he being rude too by stating the reasons Weber was fired?  The frustration is with Weber the coach, not Weber the person--being a good guy and playing by the rules doesn't give you a pass when you lose 13 of your final 15 games and your team misses the NCAA Tournament 3 of the last 5 years and you win just 2 NCAA Tournament games in 7 years.  Weber's failure as a coach can't be defended no matter how nice a man he is.  


houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 10:03 pm

uh, I have been reading comments from people all year about how talented this team is, if only Bruce would do this or that. Now all of a sudden, there's no talent on the team. Really? I thought all that was needed was a good coach and we were a sure thing for the top 25? I wonder if the folks that wanted Bruce gone will hold the new coach to the same standard they held Bruce.

Bear8287 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm

It's sad to see Bruce Weber leave but I hope that this will be better for all involved.

It's quite clear that Coach Weber is not leaving the program in the same condition that it was handed to him.

In the four year's before Coach Weber started as the head coach, the team was a combined (100-34) vs (82-53) for the last 4 years. 

Combined B1G season records are (46-18) (average 7 games over .500) vs. (36-36) (average 0 games over .500). 

The teams before finished ranked in the final AP Rankings all 4 years (21, 4, 13, 11) versus not being ranked for the past 4 years.

B1G finishes before (4th, 1st(t), 1st(t), 2nd) (average 2nd) versus (2nd(t), 5th, 4th(t), 9th(t)) (average 5th) for the last 4 seasons.

The year before Coach Weber arrived, the Illini finished the season (25-7, 11-5) and 2nd place in the B1G versus (17-15, 6-12) and tied for 9th place in the B1G.

Note that if you take only the three years before and the last three years, the comparison looks even worse with B1G finishes moving to an average of 1st place (+) for before to 6th place for the last three.

My best wishes to Bruce Weber with his career going forward.

crackerman wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Thanks for that update Loren. It should be perfectly clear now, why Weber was relieved of his coaching job!

Bear8287 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm