March Madness | 68 burning Illinois basketball questions

March Madness | 68 burning Illinois basketball questions

What are your Illinois basketball questions? Submit them to our beat writer for his weekly chat.

Illinois didn't even make it to March for any Madness this season, and five straight NCAA tourney misses raises several questions for the Illini. From the technical to the totally out there, beat writer SCOTT RICHEY poses 68 questions — one for every team in this year's Big Dance — for Illinois basketball heading into 2018-19. Do you have answers? Email us at

1. How many more current players might leave before the offseason ends?

2 Will Brad Underwood use all of his open scholarships this time around?

3. How many of those scholarships will be used on grad transfers?

4. What are the odds the Illini can lure Jordan Caroline home from Nevada?

5. Is a Josh Cunningham-Chin Coleman reunion a possibility?

6. Did public address announcer Tim Sinclair start practicing his pronunciation of Giorgi Bezhanishvili just in case?

7. Will the Orange Krush shift from chanting "TEETS" to "Samba, Samba, Samba" next season?

8. How terrifying would a Trent Frazier-Ayo Dosunmu-Courtney Ramey backcourt be?

9. Can Ayo Dosunmu flex his recruiting muscles and get Tevian Jones to Illinois?

10. Will Orlando Antigua develop a recruiting pipeline to the East Coast?

11. Who will be the next McDonald's All-American to choose Illinois?

12. Who's making sure a No. 32 Illinois jersey is pressed and ready for E.J. Liddell?

13. And a No. 33 for Francis Okoro?

14. Will there be an Illinois coach at every Brad Beal Elite game this spring and summer?

15. Of these three — Leron Black, Michael Finke and Trent Frazier — who hits 1,000 career points first in an Illinois uniform?

16. After shooting 46.3 percent this past season, can Aaron Jordan break Tom Michael's single-season three-point percentage record (49.3 percent)?

17. Can the Illini drop their number of missed layups per game from the 2017-18 double-digit average?

18. Real talk, who's going to protect the rim next season?

19. Will Trent Frazier make a serious leap and challenge Luther Head's single-season three-point record of 116?

20. Since he was just two off twice, how about Brandon Paul, Trent Meacham and Dee Brown's record of eight threes in one game?

21. What's it going to take for Illinois to shoot better than the 33 percent it did from three-point range this season?

22. Can Illinois snap its 13-game losing streak to Wisconsin?

23. Will Illinois finish in the top half of the Big Ten for the first time since 2012-13?

24. Can Illinois break its eight-year drought and get a player on the All-Big Ten First Team for the first time since Demetri McCamey in 2010?

25. The travel package to Maui costs how much again?

26. What's the chance a certain beat writer gets to Hawaii and decides he's not coming back?

27. What are the odds, in a loaded field that includes Duke, Arizona and Xavier, Illinois repeats its 2012 performance and wins the Maui Invite?

28. Isn't it time to get Kansas, Oklahoma or Kansas State on the schedule?

29. How about Akron in one of those early November games? Too soon?

30. Wouldn't a game between Loyola, the reigning state of Illinois champs, and the Illini be interesting?

31. Can the Illini make it six Braggin' Rights wins in a row?

32. Will Illinois face Jeremiah Tilmon in next year's Braggin' Rights game?

33. Whose St. Louis recruiting takes off first: Brad Underwood or Lovie Smith?

34. Is it true Cuonzo Martin is trying to annex the Metro East to Missouri?

35. Will the first Big Ten win come before Jan. 24 next season?

36. Who's actually in favor of a 20-game Big Ten schedule?

37. How much more challenging does that make going better than .500 in the league for the first time since 2009-10?

38. Can Illinois avoid the first day of the Big Ten tournament?

39. How many Illini fans will show up at the Illini's first Big Ten tournament game in Chicago?

40. Will Illinois miss Mark Smith next season?

41. Can Leron Black make the same improvement in his rebounding and defense as he did offensively this season?

42. Or is the chance to play professionally somewhere enough to lure Leron Black away before next season?

43. How many haircuts will Michael Finke get between now and November?

44. Will Kipper Nichols bring back the headband?

45. How soon do the "Ayo Dosunmu is the best freshman since Trent Frazier" musings start?

46. Will Greg Eboigbodin, who wore No. 11 this season, give it up for Ayo Dosunmu, who currently sports the number Dee Brown made famous at Illinois?

47. What will Ayo Dosunmu have to give Ebo for his No. 11?

48. Is Da'Monte Williams the most likely Illini to put up a triple-double?

49. Will every Kipper Nichols layup that can be a dunk actually be a dunk next season?

50. When does Tyler Underwood score his first points at Illinois?

51. When will the "Too bad Talen Horton-Tucker is killing it at Iowa State" thoughts start?

52. Will Greg Eboigbodin be the next Illini to shatter a backboard with a dunk?

53. Will (enter guard here) and Greg Eboigbodin set a record for most alley oops?

54. When does the nickname "Spicy G" take off nationally?

55. When does Brad Underwood get his next technical foul?

56. How many games will he wear his orange sport coat?

57. Will he ever break out his orange pants from his Oklahoma State days?

58. Will Brad Underwood throw himself in front of any hockey talk to get Ubben updated first?

59. Can he cash in on all of his beat Indiana and Missouri bonuses?

60. How quickly can/will the zig-zag jersey rebrand be discarded?

61. Are more throwback jerseys (2005 for sure, maybe Whiz Kids) a possibility?

62. Will updates at Ubben include the "Malcolm Hill Nap Room" in honor of the former guard?

63. Can Illinois, just once, get Red Panda as halftime entertainment?

64. How about the Jesse White Tumblers jumping over Red Panda?

65. Will someone make sure Deon Thomas gets in the Illinois Hall of Fame?

66. What will Jamall Walker do in his free time if Illinois makes the NCAA tournament since he can't coach the first two games?

67. When will the heat start to turn up on Brad Underwood if the Illini miss out on the postseason again next year?

68. Does next year's Field of 68 include the Illini?

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GLG wrote on March 12, 2018 at 9:03 am

The Fighting Illinois should get out of the Big 10 and go to Div. II !

5 years and no NCAA tournament? It's not like we're not spending enough for a coach, When people stop paying to watch this kind of basketball maybe something will change!