Klee: More home games, please

Klee: More home games, please

College hoops writer Paul Klee's take on the Illini's nonconference schedule, released Wednesday:

If John Groce had the ability to overhaul and redo the Illini's 2012-13 schedule, he would. Next season's nonconference schedule isn't a good example of how the first-year coach prefers to schedule. He wants home games. Lots of home games. As many home games as he can have without being legally obligated to sign a lease-to-own agreement with the Assembly Hall. And this nonconference schedule has only seven home games, a number that stunned the new coaching staff when it arrived at Illinois. But this has been the Illini's M.O. in recent years, and two opportunities are tied up with the Missouri and ACC/Big Ten Challenge games. Illinois had more than eight nonconference home games only once over the final eight seasons of Bruce Weber's tenure. Once Groce has some maneuverability with the schedule, expect Illinois to follow the Ohio State model of scheduling. The Buckeyes annually load up on home games and have hosted at least nine nonconference opponents in each of the past four seasons. Feel free to debate which scheduling approach is better.

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StLIllini11 wrote on August 30, 2012 at 8:08 am

More home games would be great for season ticket holders and would give the program more money. This being said, fans still do not want 10 games against teams like Longwood and Jackson State. As long as they can find quality teams to come into Assembly Hall and play, I would be fine with 10+ non-conference home games a year. I just do not know if this would be possible.


I think this year’s schedule is about right. Play a few top 25 teams and a couple more from power conferences. Then about 5 or 6 cupcakes at home. I would like to see more home games, yes, but it’s hard to do so when you play in a Thanksgiving tournament. Plus you definitely need to keep playing 2 neutral site games a year in St. Louis and Chicago. I hope this staff continues to do so.  

helping wrote on August 30, 2012 at 10:08 am

What makes it even worse is that there isn't a SINGLE Saturday home game on the entire non-conference schedule.  Thomas and the University have sold out the Illini season ticketholders and their souls for a few extra bucks from the Big Ten Network, which they supposedly partly own.  Plus they move these weekend games to Sunday, who nobody I've talked to prefers over a Saturday game, and when nobody will be watching anyway, because anyone at home will be watching NFL football instead.  I don't want to hear any complaining about empty seats when Thomas and the other ADs agree to these schedules that screw the fans that actually attend and provide support for the program and players.  It's a disgrace and Thomas, Delaney and the other ADs should be ashamed!!

CecilColeman wrote on August 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

How can the Illini have more home games and still play more and more games in Chicago (like Thomas wants and like Guenther wanted and like Mackovic wanted and like Stoner wanted................)????