Tate: Take it away, Coach Groce

Tate: Take it away, Coach Groce

Sometimes the coach doesn’t need an interpreter. Sometimes, like today, it’s good to stand back and just let John Groce write your column for you. And you know how hard it is for columnist Loren Tate to keep his mouth closed. Go, John:

Sunday’s rehash
“We weren’t very tough, and we didn’t execute well against Gardner-Webb (a 63-62 win). I felt like we escaped because our older guys made big plays late in the game.”

The seniors
“These older guys have been through adversity and through successes. They’ve played in front of big crowds and on TV. They’ve played at different times in different time zones. There is a huge benefit to having this experience, and they’re beating the same drums as the coaches. Their buy-in factor is at a high level.”

Tonight’s ACC Challenge
“(Georgia Tech coach) Brian Gregory comes from the Tom Izzo coaching family. Coaches in that family do a great job blocking out and rebounding, that’s their niche. They beat a good St. Mary’s team in Anaheim. We need to be ready to fight on the backboards.”

Illinois is ranked No. 22
“It’s nothing but a number. It’s early. People have noticed we’ve played some good basketball in stretches during the seven games. It’s not that we don’t appreciate the recognition, but what does it mean in terms of the long-term mission we’re on? Not a whole lot. We talked about that.”

The crush of games
“Coaches love practice; players love games. Now we’re heading into our sixth game in 13 days. I have a list on a piece of paper that I’m dying to attack in practice, but it’s hard to have a full-contact, two-hour, gettin’-after-it practice because we need to keep players fresh. The benefit is how much we’ve learned about our team.”

ESPN’s Andy Katz named Brandon Paul the National Player of the Week
“It is well-deserved. He has allowed us to coach him at a high level. Now, I was on him in the film session Monday. I mean I was on him! That sends a message to the other guys, ‘Whoa, he’s going after him? Everybody is accountable around here.’ You can say, ‘That’s what the coach should do,’ and you’re right. But Paul handles coaching really well, and it has helped him improve. He can think the game. He has a high ceiling.”

UI guards lead team rebounding
“That can happen. I’ve been with teams where the guards lead because the bigs do such a good job blocking out. I’m not as concerned with who leads as I am in the overall rebounding percentage. That’s what we’re spotlighting.”

Egwu’s defense
“Nnanna’s mobility at 6-11 gives us a chance to do some things defensively that a lot of teams can’t do. He moves so well.”

Griffey’s improvement
“Myke Henry did some good things Sunday, but I thought Tyler Griffey was playing so well that I didn’t want to take him out. I enjoy coaching Tyler. He is playing with a lot of confidence. Tyler was really good against the zone. But his dad keeps reminding me: ‘Tell him to get a rebound.’ We’ll continue to stay on him about the rebounding.”

Concern about Sunday
“I am always concerned when we don’t play well. We had no excuses. We didn’t come out ready so, of course, I’m concerned. Am I alarmed? No, I think we’ll come out strong Wednesday night.”

Tate’s tidbits
— The first of anticipated football staff moves came when head trainer Scott Brooks resigned. Brooks, who previously served at Miami (Florida), arrived here in May.

— After six seasons in the NBA, former Illini Luther Head is listed with the Austin Toros, the Development League quintet supported by the San Antonio Spurs. Mike Davis scored a basket in 19 minutes as his Sioux Falls team opened with a 107-98 win against Iowa.

Loren Tate writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at ltate@news-gazette.com.


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lmaran wrote on November 28, 2012 at 7:11 am

That is the best Tate column I've read. Maybe there is a message here. There is so much talking from Coach Groce that Tate was just relaying them. That is the key.


GO Illini!


Moonpie wrote on November 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

Imaran--agreed. The less we actually hear from Oracle Tate, the better.

Best wishes to this team. They need to come out ready tonight.

Groce seems to be handling them very well.

illinihimeyiswhiney wrote on November 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm

It should by now be apparent that "sleepy gazoo" articles not only send subliminal messages to players to make them play poorly, they also "speak" to moonpie. It is truly humbling to have the great honor of reading the sage advice of the great and wise moonpie. Who else could get onto a newspaper's website and, while the rest of us mere mortals read the articles, actually HEAR Tate talking to him. It is no small wonder why Moonpie has convinced all of us that he and he alone has the great wisdom to guide all of us ignorant "sleepy gazoo" readers (not to mention the writers and editors of the paper) to the path of true enlightenment!!!!!!!!!!  

Please oh please oh wise one, deliver us from this torture and start putting your original pieces up here as comments so we can finally see the light! We are all still desperatly waiting for your investigatory journalist article on how basketball players afford to buy shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JDG613 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I don't think that's what Imaran was saying...  He was actually giving Tate credit for being able to convey Groce's concepts.  You then, not surprisingly, twist it to give you something else to rip on Loren about. 

Stop letting your hatred for the writer taint your perspective for the material.  It's quite juvenile, to say the least.

Moonpie wrote on November 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

JDG--I know what he meant. Was being sarcastic. But, it's not juvenile to dislike something that fails to meet standards.

JDG613 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 pm

That's not sarcasm....that's just juvenile stupidity.

rd1989 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm

No cowpie, the less we actually hear from you the better.

Moonpie wrote on November 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

illinihimey -- you crack me up. Truly! You're tea party folks, right? You know, don't believe in facts or reality. I compliment the team and coach and you jump off a cliff. Funny.

Oh -- you didn't like me refering to the great one as Oracle Tate? I see. After all, Tate is tea party, hates fans, can't write, lives in the 1800s. 

Brownshoe wrote on November 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Moonpie, just because when your mom dropped you off at the school, she got a ticket for littering, does not mean you should not seek psychological help. I'm serious, you have enough indicators to show you could really be helped. Even if you don't see it, everybody else does, trust me on that. Obsessions are not healthy, you know that. Seek help.

illinihimeyiswhiney wrote on November 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Moonpie, does thou speakest directly to me!? Oh day of days!!!!! I am tea party if you say I am. I understand that in the perfect world ONLY YOUR FACTS AND SENSE OF REALITY mean anything. I don't dare think anything is a fact or real unless you say it is lest I be as ignorant as the rest of the world!

Another valuable lesson has been taught to all of us mere mortals today:

When one reads a fellow poster's posting, misunderstands the meaning of that posting and gets called out.... pretend you didnt misunderstand the posting and ridicule anyone that thinks you did!

The word of the Lord,

Thanks be to moonpie!

Finally dear god of gods, the reference to Tate was quite the opposite oh great one. Savior of my sanity, I thought the reference to the great one as Oracle Tate was quite accurate, of course! I wouldnt dare say anything against you or critical of you because I know how much you hate facts and reality and I only seek to join you in the heaven of heavens in which you reign from! Once again you show fantastic ability to bring out the true issues here and share only the truth with us. Who other than you could have seen Tate's voting ballot to know he votes tea party. Who else could know that he hates fans when he generally suggests he likes them and wishes he could see more of them. Who else could possibly know that he cant write and that somone is actually writing for him. And finally only one as omnipotent as yourself could know that he is actually living in the 1800's and sending articles into the future. That Tate truely must hate Illinois by inventing a time machine to allow him to send articles into the future to make the basketball team play poorly. I now understand the "Oracle" part... how else could someone from the 1800's know so much about who is playing basketball in 2012!?!?!?

Please, wise one, use your investagatory journalist skills to fully explain how this horrible person from the 1800's writes (but doesnt write because he cant) articles for the "sleepy gazoo" in 2012?!?!?!?!?! What a great privilage to be a tea partier with you, my many thanks for this blessing today.


arch73 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

What is wrong with you people??  Who gives a sh-t what Moonpie writes--just ignore him if you don't like his posts.  He plainly has gotten in your heads.  I'm sick of reading commentary that consists of bickering between Moonpie and his haters.  Time for the N-G management to do something about this.

illinihimeyiswhiney wrote on November 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Arch, for the record I like his posts they're OBVIOUSLY insightful, well thought out, factually supported statements that in no way shape or form could ever be called, silly, petty, childish, ignorant, foolish, dull, broken recordish, etc. But I couldnt agree more... when you get sick of reading what people are posting and you dont like the posts then just ignore them. No need to respond under those circumstances! 

:) I like Irony as much as I love the Diety known to us only as Moonpie

JDG613 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Excellent retort.  Does seem a bit odd that someone reads something, then posts a message that they don't like what they read, and at the same time tells others not to post if they don't like something they read....  Just a bit puzzling....

Then again....maybe he was talking to some other "you people".....

arch73 wrote on November 29, 2012 at 12:11 am

I acknowledged the irony in a previous post and, yes, you are getting your wish as I no longer want to read the childish drivel here.


SwifferFan wrote on November 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The Trainer?  Was that because of the number of injuries?  What about strength and conditioning?  If the players are well conditioned, they'll have a reduced chance of injury...it won't prevent broken bones or concussions, but it will help from being steam rolled.  Based on what I saw, the players needed to pump a lot more iron.

dogmechanic wrote on November 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

  I don't see why a trainer would quit.  Plenty of injuries but that is his job.  The teams record does not reflect on what he did.  I could see a coach getting out of Dodge, but a trainer!  Next it wil be the equipment manager.

illinigator wrote on November 29, 2012 at 7:11 am

Maybe in football we need to say goodbye to both coordinators and not the equipment man,  Illinois offense and defense were as bad as I have ever seen at Illinois in the 50 years I have followed the Illini.

penniless wrote on November 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Factual ,fiction or opinion,find something to digest.

JDG613 wrote on November 28, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Should be a good game, tonight....hopefully it ends up in the W column...