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March 23, 2021 @ 12:50 PM

I've been defending our coaches and team to a couple of friends. There is always going to be the debate of is it the coach or is it the talent that gets a team thru tough situations (Coach K, Cal and Izzo are the best to explore in depth on that issue in my opinion).

Sometimes you can explain and explain over and over to your players (kids, spouse, yourself, clients you pick) and they just don’t get it or just can’t execute it the way you hope. Maybe it’s miscommunication on the coach and/or it’s the players not understanding or not capable of mentally and/or physically pulling it off at or during a particular moment.

Loyola did not have to do any prep prior to our game, they played the way they did all year. No change just a different team (albeit a far more talented team then they were used to). We were the ones who basically had to be able to change our entire offense and defense overnight. I can't help but think if the team were allowed to return to Champaign after the big ten tourney they would have spent the majority of the week prepping for Loyola. We didn't need nearly the prep (if any) facing Drexel or if we had faced G Tech; we are used to those offense and defensive schemes. Obvisouly after a loss like this as fans we want to question so many things and bring up so many what if scenarios. However, let's not forget in pretty much the last 30-45 days Illinois beat Iowa twice, Wisconsin twice, at MU, at OSU and was a cheap, intentional foul away from winning at MSU. The future will continue to be bright for us. Of course as I re-read this prior to posting and looking at the sweet 16 teams, maybe that wasn't such a tough and impressive run....

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