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Illini Basketball October 19, 2006

Posted by j-dub in College Basketball, Sports.

Here’s an ESPN insider preview on the Illini squad for this year:


Sounds like a lot of “ifs”, “maybes”, and “coulds” at this point; not surprisingly however. I really don’t like the sound of “point guard by committee”, even though it is listed as a temporary setup for the start of the season. Another peculiar moment comes when Weber talks about Warren Carter as the “x-factor” this year….yikes! Nothing against Warren, but he’s a “tweener”. Too small to play forward, and he’s definetely not a guard. Also, it sounded like a lot could hinge on McBride who has punishment coming in some shape or form for his DUI.

Overall, I think the Illini will just be okay this year. Hopefully Jamar Smith will light it up and we can stay near the top of the Big Ten. Weber better start recruiting, with coaches like Sampson and Matta competing in this conference; his work is cut out for him.

Here are my preseason predictions: I’m guessing we finish 3rd in the Big Ten, make the Big Dance as a 6 seed, and are out in Round 2.

What are your thoughts, predictions, etc?



1. Anonymous - October 19, 2006

That sounds about right j. Without proven ‘go to’ players such as Dee and Augie were this squad will take some time to find themselves and Weber will need to find the right combination. We might be pleasantly surprised how this season turns out, but it will be a good one nonetheless.

I agree that Weber needs to step up his recruiting. Matta is a clean recruiter, but an excellent one, and Sampson, well, let’s just say he is going to set new lows in Big Ten recruiting. Weber will need to keep checking his 6 unless his recruits have actually signed on the dotted line.

2. j-dub - October 20, 2006

Yeah, Sampson is a slime ball. Matta is an excellent coach/recruiter.

Michigan and Tommy Amaker are starting to come back around also. Michigan has been a sleeping giant since they got into all the “Fab 4” sanctions. I expect them to continue to improve and to start challenging again in the big ten. Wait until they are back to a level playing field with all the other big ten teams….

I sure hope Illinois ends up better than my predictions, and if they do better than what I’m thinking, it will be a surprisingly good year.

3. College Basketball: Preseason Rankings « j-dub’s universe - October 28, 2006

[…] Here is a link to the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll: Our beloved Illini are not in the top 25.   See my previous post about the Illini to get the latest. […]

4. jmcillini - November 3, 2006

I love the Illini and think that Brian Randle is the key to it all… what an athlete! Weber CAN coach an he CAN recruit… minus the dirty Sampsons, etc

5. j-dub - November 5, 2006


I agree. He can coach with the best. But, talent is king in college. If he were a great recruiter, Gordon wouldn’t be a hoosier; no matter what Samson does.

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