Talk It Out

Feb 09, 2018

I just couldn't stay. What was I supposed to write about? A 14th different angle on "we might finish in last place in the conference in both football and basketball?" No. So I left. And I called Tyler. And I recorded our conversation. And this is that recording.

A few notes:

  1. I spliced together a few different recordings. But this is just raw audio with the front part clipped off. So it starts with incredulous me and then we just launch into it.
  2. About five minutes into the conversation - I'm driving with my earbuds in and recording the call - I get pulled over by a very nice officer in Tolono who gives me a speeding ticket. As I was pulling over, the phone cuts off. So you'll hear Tyler cut off mid-sentence, followed by a pause, followed by our second call after the officer gave me my ticket and sent me on my way.
  3. Even with all of that, I thought the discussion was good. The audio sucks, but it's me - you expect the audio to suck. You want raw emotion? I give you raw emotion (and raw audio).

Without further introduction, here's those two phone calls:


ATOillini on February 09 @ 09:09 AM CST

I've promised myself that I'm going to follow some advice I read a few months ago. That is....Praise by name. Criticize by category.

With that in mind:

1) Frazier is the real deal. He's going to have a great career at Illinois.

2) I cringe when you mention adding grad transfers in the future. Has that course of action ever really helped us?

3) I just get the sense that the better Frazier plays the worse others play. Seems like somewhat of a psychological problem.

4) Just as in football, I long ago came to the conclusion that talking about how good player so-and-so looks in practice (or even against early season tomato cans) is absolutely meaningless.

5) Recruit, recruit, recruit.

6) Sorry about the ticket. One would think if you told the officer the truth, that out of sympathy he should have let you off the hook with just a warning.

Joe Edge on February 09 @ 12:29 PM CST

I tend to agree with your analysis. I also think your point 3) is particularly troubling. As with some of our other teams, when we have only 1 truly outstanding player, the others seem to defer to that player - WAY too much. Which in my view is really bad. It's only when we have multiple players with that kind of 'swagger' or pinache or whatever, do we have real success. We clearly need your point 5) more than ever... It's OK to have Brandon Paul, Malcolm Hill, or Trent Frazier get their 20+ a night, but without a 'STRONG' supporting cast, the TEAM will NOT succeed.

My final thought is about our coach. I'm a watcher of pressers. I watch body language, I see eye motions, arm and hand motions, and general body language. Brad Underwood is truly frustrated with this team... He's very, very, very (did I mention VERY), FRUSTRATED....

Norcal Illini on February 09 @ 11:55 PM CST

I'm also in agreement with 3. It started not long after Trent had his first good game. Other than Leron, no one else seems to want to shoot down the stretch. They just wait for Trent to do something. So many guys with 0 fers and 1 fers in the box score (Alstork was 1-9 after scoring 19 at tOSU). I have to believe it's a confidence issue.

Same for point 5. We have no one who can play post defense without help. I said it before in a reply but this would be a much different team with Tilmon.

LosAngellini on February 10 @ 12:44 AM CST

JCL would’ve also radically improved this offense. Open things up for interior and driving to hoop.

Joe Edge on February 09 @ 12:50 PM CST


mrmill on February 09 @ 11:41 AM CST

I don’t think I have much left in me. I propose we treat the next 12 months as an all-in, last gasp poker hand. Either we take major steps forward in both programs (bowl + tourney) or we shut it all down. To be terrible year in and year out is exhausting and seems like everyone’s time and money can be better spent elsewhere.

LosAngellini on February 10 @ 12:47 AM CST

Crowdsource your ticket. I’m in for $20. Venmo?

LosAngellini on February 10 @ 01:43 AM CST

It’s not all a talent deficit problems. That’s too simplistic. Does OSU or Neb have significantly better talent?

There are some system problems as well.

Offense - the ball does not move well. Alstork and TJL are so sticky with the ball that the defense is rarely uncomfortable, and we can’t cut towards the basket to open the floor. This is baffling because we were better earlier (albeit against worse teams sometimes).

Defense - Gambling for the steal all the time, especially for our bigs, is questionable. If you don’t get the steal, then it’s layup drill time and even worse our guys are out of position to rebound. We’re already challenged to rebound because of size, why force our guys to do it in scramble recovery mode. Happ is good, but a lot of his first half points were just because nobody was between him and the hoop. Curious what nerd stats say about us allowing Orebs. We have to be among the worst, and that’s not all size. A team like Wisky exposes BU’s defensive scheme because they pass well. Not some superior talent level.

I am concerned about what Tyler alluded to. We don’t do anything well. Still optimistic that Brad can get us there. We’re not that far away from having 5-6 wins.

Robert, enough wallowing about being in the “bottom of the barrel.” It’s not productive. Focus on why we are losing and how to improve. Try some armchair analysis. It’s fun!

orangejulius on February 10 @ 07:25 PM CST

I don't see the charisma with Brad that Henson, Self, and even John Groce had. I'm not sure that Brad will pull in a lot of highly rated recruits, although he did get Ayo and Mark Smith. What I hope Brad can do well is build a cohesive roster with under the radar guys who play their guts out. Like Huggins. Like Frank Martin. The idea that many people had that Brad would somehow turn us into a good team with his coaching skills alone has been proven wrong. If anything Brad's coaching has been a real disappointment so far.

I like the idea of adding Cunningham as a 5th year transfer, and this kid Demarius Jacobs could be one of those overlooked gems, but man are we desperate for shooters. We need to add at least 2 guys who can shoot the ball, and I'm not seeing anyone on the current radar who would fill that hole.

HiggsBoson on February 11 @ 08:23 PM CST

John Groce, charisma? Snort, chuckle, guffaw. And arguably the worst basketball coach in Division 1.

Bear8287 on February 11 @ 08:35 PM CST

Yeah, well you know the standards have really slipped lately...

orangejulius on February 11 @ 10:57 PM CST

How ridiculous. Did John sleep with your wife? He made the Sweet sixteen with Ohio University. Whens the next time Brad will make it.

Bear8287 on February 12 @ 01:32 AM CST

Underwood will be back in the NCAA Tourney before Groce.

(Groce ain't exactly lighting it up at Akron either...)

HiggsBoson on February 11 @ 08:28 PM CST

Time to shut this mess down for the season. They are getting worse rather than better. Frazier and Spicy-G have improved. Black has been steady. The rest have either been inconsistent (Nichols) or have regressed. Underwood looks like he's about to pop a gasket in trying to get them to do anything. Ugh.

Bear8287 on February 11 @ 08:42 PM CST

Yeah, well you know the standards have really slipped lately... ;-)

HiggsBoson on February 11 @ 10:15 PM CST

I feel sorry for Underwood. Unlike Groce, I think he can coach and has a system that can win. I wonder if he might be a better fit somewhere that has a basketball team that wants to win.

Joe Edge on February 13 @ 04:45 PM CST

It does seem that we have lost that desire to win.... Lost it with Weber's last year, and really threw it in the trash during JG's tenure.... We just don't WANT to win anymore...

Bear8287 on February 11 @ 08:41 PM CST

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