So, How We Doin'? Jackson State
I'm on fumes at this point. Just posted the preview, and I was writing sections for that from 8:00 am to 10:30 pm yesterday and then 9 more hours today (carving out some time to attend the basketball press conferences). So now I sit down to write about Jackson State and I have absolutely nothing left in the tank. This one will be super short.
The story for this one, of course, is winning a game without key players. At the press conference today, Underwood said that both Trent Frazier and Austin Hutcherson are day-to-day. And with Kofi Cockburn having to sit out the first three games, that's three of the top eight players in the rotation missing the first game (if Trent and Hutch are out).
So if the entire focus tomorrow becomes the depth. If Trent Frazier and Austin Hutcherson are the two main ballhandlers behind Andre Curbelo, who is the backup PG? Brandin Podziemski I guess? Perhaps Alfonso Plummer?
And with Kofi out, is it a lot of Coleman Hawkins inside? I've been picturing Hawkins in the Tevian Jones role from a few years ago, but he's added a lot of weight so maybe he will play the Giorgi role. And that might mean 32 minutes tomorrow night with Kofi out.
(I just got up and walked around to keep myself awake. Remember that time I fell asleep while writing the SOC and my finger was stuck on the s and I just typed sssssssssssssssssss for about 12 lines so I just left it? There's a 31$ chance that happens in the next 10 minutes.)
It's interesting. With Kofi out (plus possibly Trent), this is a picture of the team we thought we'd see before Trent announced he was returning for one more year. We were discussing how we'd replace Kofi, Trent, and Da'Monte (in addition to Ayo and Giorgi) and projecting a lot of minutes for the freshmen. Then Trent, Da'Monte, and Kofi announced they're returning. And now Kofi is definintely out and Trent might be out tomorrow night.
It shouldn't matter against Jackson State, but it will be interesting to see what this team looks like without them. It's kind of an It's A Wonderful Life game. We get to see what this season would be like if Kofi and Trent hadn't returned. HARRY WASN'T THERE TO SAVE THEM BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T THERE TO SAVE HARRY.
OK now that's pretty good. This game is It's A Wonderful Life. Clarence is giving us a chance to see what life would be like without Kofi. And then, in Kansas City, Clarence will bring Kofi back and we'll all sing Auld Lang Syne around the Christmas tree. Attaboy, Clarence.
I've gotta go to bed. And I have to make sure this post doesn't cost anyone a click because it's a disaster. I see this as a low scoring game (Brad Underwood said today that they love to hold the ball until the end of the shot clock, toss up any kind of shot, and then chase the rebound). So without Kofi and Trent, this game could be a bit of a slog. I'll go with...
Illinois 71, Jackson State 55