Big Ten Discussion

I’m looking forward to the preseason Top 25 players feature you do every year @umhoops. Feels like it could be way more wide open than usual. I bet Carsten Edwards runs away with player of the year in the conference but other than him and Happ its kind of entering a new era.

I could see an argument for anywhere from just 1 to up to 4 Michigan players.

Fun feature, but I feel like we haven’t been very accurate the last few years. Will have to step it up this year.

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I’m sure your one guy is Matthews, which would be my pick too.

I have a hard time seeing 24 guys in the conference who are better than our next guy (probably Poole or Simpson).

In fact, I think it’s more likely Simpson, Poole, and perhaps Iggy are top 25 guys, along with Matthews.

The only other “locks” to make it, IMO, would be Winston, Carsen Edwards, and Happ. I don’t even know, did Cook come back to Iowa? He’s hot and cold but has some game. Ward, Langford, and Bruno Fernando would also be popular picks, and probably the two kids from Nebraska who withdrew from the draft. Also Langford from Indiana, and maybe Juwan Morgan too. Illinois has a top 25 freshman who will probably get a ton of touches for them and put up some numbers too.

Honestly, I really like our chances of winning the conference next year.


Yeah to me Matthews and Poole are guarantees although I think lots of people are more skeptical on JP than us…I’d put Iggy as a top 25 player in the conference along with every other major incoming freshman from other teams and Z would be very very close.

I keep thinking that we are being underrated, but I have to remember that we are used to JB’s player development and the national writers don’t remember or don’t realize how good it is. None of us would be too shocked to see Poole and Matthews combine for 25+ ppg next season, whereas I would expect the conference and national media to write article after article about how his shot against Houston propelled Poole to all conference caliber in just a year.

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Anecdotal on my end–but I have been consistently surprised by the nearly unanimous high praise people have been giving JP even before his heroic buzzer beater. What I mean to say is regardless of whether or not it is a casual fan, UMhoops junkie, or a fan of some different-non-um team–the consensus seemed to be “wow, that kid has talent.”

I remember watching an early in the season game with middle schoolers, who had no familiarity with stats, and they were like “Poole is our best player”.

I guess he shows well…I feel like most have high expectations…It feels like he is going to deliver too, imo…

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I really like Iggy but we haven’t seen him adjust to Beilein’s offense yet. I always think there is a big learning curve for all freshmen. I’m not saying he couldn’t be a top 25 player in the conference but let’s just pump the brakes before we say he’s an all conference player his freshmen year.

FWIW, going purely by 247’s rankings, not the composite, Iggy (39) is the 5th highest incoming frosh behind Langford (6th, Indiana), Jalen Smith (13, Maryland), Ayo Dosunmu (27, Illinois), and Daniel Oturu (35, Minnesota).

So if we think the premiere frosh are likely to be top players in the conference, then Iggy is a decent bet. Granted, Iggy and Smith are both probably likely to start/spend a decent amount of the season coming off the bench, and Langford, Dosunmu, and Oturu are going to start and Langford/Dosunmu will be given the reigns.

This is three of five members of the 2017 Illini recruiting class transferring. Add in Te’Jon Lucas transferring, Finke grad-transferring, Black leaving for the draft, Alstork graduating, Illinois is losing a LOT.

What is going on with Underwood? Is he in over his head?

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Call it karma…

He seems to just be an enormous asshole and all his players hate him? It’s very strange

He’s definitely a tough coach. He did a great job at Stephen F Austin and did a solid job at Oklahoma State. There just has to be a huge disconnect from the guys Groce recruited and his style. I think he’s a good coach, instant success is difficult especially when the league has really good players and coaches.

In high school I had a coach who was a major yell/scream guy but he never made you feel like a piece of you know what. It was a skill. I watch Underwood and think that he just has to have a certain type of kid and that type of kid is probably totally different than someone who would want to play for Groce.

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3 of the guys who transferred were recruited by Underwood.

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Not sure how people keep saying he needs a type of kid. What evidence do you have of that?

His best player at SFA wasn’t recruited by him and obviously nobody at OK St was recruited by him. He’s never built a program.

Irony is strong in these instances. He abandoned OK St after one year and now Illinois players are deciding to do the same.

@ReegsShannon - Weren’t they from his transition class though? We’ve seen how that can work on the football side.

@MaizeBlue10 - I think it’s a personality type thing. The great majority of kids aren’t going to want to be screamed at like that.

Nothing wrong with tough love. That could be the case.

In any regard, I just think he’s a piece of crap person. My vote is that’s the cause vs. tough love. Obviously, there’s no way to know unless you played for him though.

Any particular reason why or…?

When you say he "abandoned Oklahoma State after one year " you say it as if it was some horrible action, but they had every chance to pay him more after Illinois offered him a huge pay raise and they didn’t do it. I don’t know who wouldn’t have done what he did.

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To me, that is a bad action morally. You can act morally and still get paid, like a Beilein.

Underwood’s actions scream to me he’s all about the money and doesn’t care about the kids he’s coaching. I’d say so far that’s looking to be true with all the Illinois players leaving. Whether that’s not handling legit tough love, or he’s a piece of crap, I understand only they know.

My memory may be alluding me, but from what I recall he never gave Ok St a chance to counter? He spoke to Illinois and accepted without anyone in their administration ever knowing?