Only a few more days folks. Just a few more days until we finally know whether or not Cliff Alexander is coming to Illinois. But you know what we do know is going to happen before Friday afternoon?
We know that today we will see Michael Finke, Leron Black and Quentin Snider officially sign with the Illini. We know that tonight the Illini will play against Valparaiso.
And we know that we've got some questions to answer, but before we get to answering your questions, here's a refresher on how you can submit your questions for next week.
There are two ways to ask The Champaign Room your questions. You can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTCR -- it just makes it easier to keep track -- or you can email them to us at TheChampaignRoom@gmail.com. And if you've got a personal question and you're worried about your privacy, just tell us. Well change your name to Tom Crean when we publish it on the site. And remember, you can ask us ANYTHING. It doesn't have to be about Illinois or even sports.
Let's get to it.
#AskTCR: Do you think we'll see refs ease up on the new D/contact rules as the season goes on, or are games still gonna be as choppy as now?— Paige Millburg (@someonepaigeme) November 12, 2013
I complained about this following the Jacksonville State game, but I've done a lot more reading about it since then. You see, before these games started this season, I didn't know about these rule changes. I only knew about the changes with the way blocks and charges being called.
Why didn't I know about these other rules changes? Well, because they weren't rule changes. They were rules that already existed, it's just these refs are being told to emphasize these rules right now. And now that I understand the intent behind the changes better, I've actually come around on them. I like them, even though, as we've seen, it could be ugly for a while.
But the long term of a more free-flowing game will be better for the sport and for us in the long run. And, also, it should be beneficial for the Illini as well, while possibly hurting teams like Michigan State and Purdue, and a few other Big Ten foes.
These new rules will benefit offensive systems like the one John Groce runs, and cause problems for teams that essentially believe fouling is the best form of defense.
But, as for your question, no. I no longer think the refs are going to lighten up as we go along. It's not going to be on the refs, but the coaches and players to adjust to what the refs are doing. We're going to see a lot of free throws for the first few weeks, and probably the first month, but it will all pay off with a better product come conference play and tournament time.
We'll all just have to deal with the annoyance for now.
WE'RE GONNA BEAT EM BY A BILLION POINTS AND THEN WERE GONNA SHIT IN URBAN MEYER'S MOUTH RICHIE INCOGNITO STYLE AND THEN AFTER WE GO ON OUR WINNING STREAK THE BCS IS GOING TO BE LIKE "OH MY GOD IF WE DON'T LET ILLINOIS PLAY ALABAMA IN THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME THEY MIGHT SHIT IN OUR MOUTHS TOO, AND I DON'T WANT SHIT IN MY MOUTH THAT'S NOT SANITARY NOR DOES IT TASTE VERY GOOD, NOT EVEN WITH HOT SAUCE, AND I REALLY LIKE HOT SAUCE" AND THEN THE ILLINI WILL KICK ALABAMA'S ASS BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT ANYBODY SHITTING IN THEIR MOUTHS INCOGNITO STYLE EITHER AND THEN WE'LL BE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AND THEN SOMEBODY WILL COME ON HERE AND SAY TIM BECKMAN NEEDS TO BE FIRED FOR SHITTING IN PEOPLE'S MOUTHS RON ZOOK WOULDN'T HAVE SHIT IN ANYBODY'S MOUTH.
Honestly, I would hope I'm still getting questions about bowl games after this weekend because it would mean the Illini would have won. Now, I don't know that I'd answer any of them, but I'd be fine with receiving them.
As for Cliff, yeah, I'm ready for it to be over. Though, truth be told, all of this Cliff stuff has been pretty damn good for the site as far as the numbers are concerned. But the numbers are nice and all, it's just my sanity is better, and I've spent way too much time thinking about a 17-year old kid that I don't even know in recent months.
I'd like to be done with that...until the next one comes along.
Oh I'm leading by example my friend. As a matter of fact, Tuesday was my day off from work. So I got up in the morning, wrote the B1G Power Rankings, sent the boys the lines for this week's You Bet Your Ass and then I got the hell off the computer for the rest of the day.
I drove out to the suburbs and spent the day playing with my 3-year old niece and my 3-month old nephew. That included sitting down at a table meant for children as my niece served me fake food and tried on princess dresses, and watching cartoons that made absolutely no sense at all.
It was great.
Then when I got home I watched Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas and Duke all play before watching Sons of Anarchy and The Daily Show before going to bed.
So I guess that qualifies as doing something with my kids, even if they aren't my kids.
I also talked to my significant other quite a bit. Okay, so I mostly listened.
Driving out to the burbs and back in rush hour kind of qualifies as a road trip, no?
I showered, though I haven't shaved in November and I'm really starting to get to that point where I need to shave or people will hand me change while I'm walking down the street.
And tonight I'll watch the Illini.
But the key was that on Tuesday I basically lived an internet-free existence for 24 hours, and you know what I missed in the Cliff Alexander saga? Nothing. We're in the exact same spot we were on Monday, and the day before that, and the day before that, and the day before that.....
With the 2014-15 Illini basketball team already one over the scholarship count, what are the possible solutions to this problem? Furthermore does the solution to the problem change if Alexander decides to sign with Illinois? - jgkcardinals5
Ah, the scholarship question. I can't wait to get this question a million more times before next season if Cliff does commit here on Friday, because if he does, we'll have two more players than available scholarships on the roster next season.
So what will happen?
Well, I don't actually know. Nobody really does at this point, but the likely scenario is that players will transfer. It's just a part of the game these days, as every year there are hundreds of players who transfer from one school to another. We lost four of our own to transfer just before this season.
Now, there's a possibility that somebody on the roster will decide to pay his own way next year, but I wouldn't count on that being the likely scenario. If it does happen, it'd be great, but it's kind of hard to just give up free tuition just to make room on the bench for somebody.
Want my jersey number? Okay, we can talk about it. Want me to give up this free ride? Nnnnooope.
So I do believe the most likely scenario is that if Cliff commits to the Illini we'll see two players currently on the roster no longer on the roster next season, and I'm not just talking about John Ekey and Joseph Bertrand. As for who those players will be, it's way too hard to tell right now.
Ha! Yeah, we don't want Ken Norman running into Stephen Bardo when he's not in "Grandpa Mode" or things could go down.
If you don't know what this pertains to, former Illini Ken Norman is upset with former Illini Stephen Bardo for what Bardo wrote about him in his new book, and he went on 670 The Score in Chicago to air his grievances with Bardo, essentially saying Bardo made shit up about him for his book.
Personally I'm hoping it's all an elaborate ploy to help book sales, but it didn't sound like one.
As for who would win in the fight if it did come to that, well, I really wouldn't want to fight Ken Norman. But, at the same time, Ken Norman has never done a Q&A with us like Stephen Bardo has, so I have to give Bardo the edge.
Plus Bardo would probably have Kendall Gill in his corner, and that's advantage Bardo.
Ken Norman and Stephen Bardo move into an apartment together with a sassy young girl that for some crazy reason they have both been legally named guardian of.
I fully expect to see Alexander make his decision on ESPNU, and then 15 minutes afterward there will be a tweet form Taylor Rooks that says "just talked to @humblekid11, he says that wasn't him on television BUT AN IMPOSTOR."
How do I get into YBYA next year? Does a 7th place finish in the TCR yahoo pick em get me in? #AskTCR— Kaleb Harrison (@illiniharrison) November 13, 2013
I don't know, though I will say that I've been trying to think of a way to involve readers in it next season. If I come up with one, you'll all hear about when I do.
What is the line for hazing? Can anyone define it or police it? If you were Martin or Incognito how would you handle this situation which makes both look bad in different circles? - bakes1412
I'm going to answer your question, but first, can I just mention how fucking tired I am of this story? Even on sports radio in Chicago they've spent hours talking about this, and we've got the Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks all in season. Meanwhile the Cubs had a managerial search, and the White Sox could see big changes this winter, yet CHICAGO RADIO HAS SPENT HOURS TALKING ABOUT A COUPLE OF DOLPHINS WHO DON'T GET ALONG OR MAYBE THEY DO GET ALONG NOBODY KNOWS LET'S TALK ABOUT SHITTING IN MOUTHS SOME MORE.
As for the line for hazing, I'm all for good-natured hazing. You know, if you want to make somebody carry your bags, or make them wear a Hello Kitty backpack. You know, harmless shit. I know when I played football in high school during my freshman and sophomore seasons the varsity players made us carry their pads before and after practice, but that's as far as it went aside from your typical high school behavior of talking shit.
See, there's a difference between talking shit and talking shit in your mouth.
Honestly, if I were Martin I probably would have hit Incognito after some of that shit. In my entire life growing up, I was only ever "bullied" by one person. This is because I was bigger than everybody else in my class growing up, but in junior high there was one kid who tried to bully me. At first I just let it slide because that's what my parents would have told me to do.
But then one day during gym we were playing basketball, and when I'm playing sports, I'm competitive. Doesn't matter what. That's the one place you probably don't want to fuck with me. Well, this guy basically just shoved me to the ground for no reason during a break. And that's when I decided no more.
I got up, shoved him into the bleachers and punched him right in the face. Was it the right response? I don't know, I'm not here to moralize. But it was very effective. He never messed with me again, and by the time we both got to high school we actually became friends.
What are the chances Jahlil, Cliff and Tyus all commit to Kansas Friday? @Champaign_Room— Tony Gallo (@firet92) November 12, 2013
The odds are none. None odds.
What are the odds that STEVEHULL gets drafted in April? I think he could be a solid slot receiver. #AskTCR— Gary Guidi (@BisonGary) November 9, 2013
Less than the odds Jahlil, Cliff and Tyus all commit to Kansas on Friday.
Listen, I know Steve Hull has played well this season, especially since Ryan Lankford went down, but making a catch when you're this wide open...
...doesn't necessarily mean you have NFL talent. And Hull's a good player, but he's not going to the NFL.
Thanks for the questions! If you submitted a question that didn't get answered, don't worry, it's possible that I'm just saving it for the next mailbag. It's also possible the question sucked and you need to ask better questions next time. I guess you'll just have to wait to find out.