ILLINOIS BASKETBALL 2008-2009
This year we’re going to present an up close and personal look at Illinois basketball from one of Our long time members who goes by the name ” Carpet”. He’s provided his take on Illinois Football and Hoops for several years in Our forums and has provided Our visitors with many a winning day as a result. Look for Carpets take on all the key Illinois hoops Games this year!
A LOOK AT ILLINOIS MENS BASKETBALL FOR 2008 Last year Illinois basketball was very hard to watch them slip to 16-19 for the year, a long fall from the 2005 NCAA Championship Game. This years team is already 100% better than last years team. I call it Improvement thru Subtraction. Gone is 6-11 Warren Carter and his Stone cold hands and attitude.
UP FRONT 6-9 PF Mike Davis, a gifted athletic player who has 2 double doubles in his first two Games this year. This kid will be fun to watch this year. 6-9 F Billy Cole, a young player who has found the hardwood for the fist time this year, has talent is work in progress 6-10 Richard Semaru, This kid works the glass very hard, his weakness his the put back shot within 2 feet, he just isn’t good at the quick put backs. 6-9 Stan Simpson C A Big young bruiser from Chicago Simeon HS…This is Stan’s first year but he has a great street ball awareness. 7-1 Mike Tisdale C This tall tree has been busy putting on the weight as Coach Weber has strapped a feed bag around his neck to put some weight on the big fella. He lacks solid rebounding skills. He seems some what lost down low.
Illinois strength is not the inside Game, they do play well in the offense, much improved over last year. While they will improve over time, Any team they play that has a dominating Center down low will dominate this young tall line. A LOOK AT THE GUARDS 6-3 Trent Meechum Guard, this 5th year senior can really shoot the rock from long range, a real sharp shooter, His Game has evolved from last year, he now can create a shot off dribble drive penetration. A deadly spot up shooter. 6-3 Chester Fraizer PG Chester is the lone player left on this squad that played on Illinois 2005 team. Chester is known for his clamp down defense. This year fraizer supports a new look, gone are the dreadlocks as he looks to sharpen his image as a leader. He is not the most talented on the team but he gives it 1000% all the time. 6-5 Calvin Brock G This kid is so on and off I don’t know who will show up and when, flashed of brilliance and then silence for many minutes. Best known for his defense 6-2 Jeff Jordan G, Michael Jordan’s son a walk on for Illinois, starting to see some minutes this year and is improving as he sees more time.
6-5 Demetri McCamey G , Remember this kids name as he is cast into the starting role as a leader. This Kid can shoot lights out, give him 6 inches and its bombs away Good. Coach Weber is leaning on this young Sophomore to play at the level he knows he is capable of which is NBA level 6-5 Alex Legion G Oak Hill Academy grad in high school, signed and went to Kentucky for one year, a transfer to Illinois eligible to play January of this year. Alex is attending classes at Illinois and has been allowed to practice with the team as he awaits the NCAA time ban of January. When this kid gets to play, you are going to see a very dangerous Illinois team, that will be back to the 3 guard offense of Old. Alex Legion is the real deal. In practice they say this kid could be their best player immediately.
FINAL THOUGHTS This team for 2008 will still exhibit Bruce Webers CLAMP DOWN DEFENSE. The motion offense appears to be working very well, something you did not see last year. Illinois can attack a Zone Defense with many weapons. A Zone Defense will not beat Illinois this year as it did last year. This Illinois team also seems to have a great chemistry in sticking together, a sense of a band of brothers. They are a much more athletic team than last year, while they are young and eager to learn. A Solid Free Throw Shooting Team ……..Did I just say Illinois is a solid free throw shooting team ? Yes, and they are, again another night and day difference. I see a scrappy young bunch of players, talented with a great head Coach Illinois should finish about the middle of the pack in the Big 10, this team will continue to get better as the season progresses. This is a program that is rising from the ashes and should hit the 20 win mark this year in Games
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