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#AskTCR: Jamall Walker’s Future, Next Year’s Expectations, and Broadway Musicals


NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

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Onward and upward my friend. Onward and upward.

LOTS of love and concern for Jamall Walker, and the recruits that are associated with him. Word on the street is Walker is going to be given a hefty offer to stay at Illinois, which one would hope is enough to keep him in Champaign. When will conversations and negotiations happen? ASAP now that Illinois is out of the NIT.

For reference, the NIT is testing a rule change that would re-allocate fouls based on segments (or quarters) of a half. After 10 minutes of play, a team’s foul count would reset for the next segment/quarter. Free throws would be awarded as soon as a team commits five fouls (personal + technical) during a segment/quarter. These rules eliminate the “1-and-1” bonus we currently play with in college basketball.

Free throws generally determine the outcome of games that have a 5-point differential or less (not clinically proven), so you have to look at all games in the NCAA Tournament where teams finished within 5 points of each other. In total, there are 14 games. Notables include:

  • (5) Virginia 76 - (12) UNC Wilmington 71
  • (11) USC 66 - (6) SMU 65
  • (8) Northwestern 68 - (9) Vanderbilt 66
  • (5) Notre Dame 60 - (12) Princeton 58
  • (3) Baylor 82 - (11) USC 78
  • (8) Wisconsin 65 - (1) Villanova 62
  • (7) Michigan 92 - (10) Oklahoma State 91
  • (3) Oregon 75 - (11) Rhode Island 72
  • (2) Kentucky 65 - (10) Wichita State 62

(How busted would your brackets be NOW!?)

Realistically, Brad Underwood should AT LEAST win as many games as this season (18). I would like to think that his style of coaching wins the games Illinois lost by 6 points or less, which gives us 4 more wins (22). I’m going to give them one more win in the non-conference at a neutral site tournament (Maul Invitational-esque event), which puts Illinois at 23-9 (11-8) for the season. That record earns Illinois anywhere from a 4 to a 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, and a 5 to a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament.

The optimist in me says Sweet 16, the realist says the second round of the tournament. Let’s set the O/U of wins for next season at 21.5

Shooting guards have become a MAJOR necessity in college basketball. Illinois would LOVE to have four guards on the roster if you consider two of the four will be starting the game. After Smith, Illinois will/should look to add talent in the paint (7’6” guys aren’t required).

Aside from EVERYONE, Jalen Coleman-Lands will benefit most. He can shoot, and having a coach that wants him to shoot is only going to benefit JCL. He should go OFF next season and could easily finish Top 3 in scoring in the Big Ten.

If we land Mark Smith, and a certain transfer graces our presence from’s what you can expect to start the year (starters on the left, bench guys on the right):

1. Lucas/Frazier
2. Coleman/SMITH
3. Carroll/Nichols
4. Finke/Black
5. Tilmon

Malcolm is a 6’6” shooting guard. If anyone knows 6’6” shooting guards, it’s the NBA. Some notable 6’6” shooting guards are Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, and Michael Jordan. While I’m not comparing Malcolm to those guys, Hill’s talent and scoring ability will be on a roster next season. I guarantee it.

Cause they can’t seem to out hustle 6’3” guys wearing Orange...

Springtime for Hitler. Book it right now. The whole month. Look who’s playing Hitler!

Get ready to root on the Illinois Men’s Golf team to an NCAA Championship in Sugar Grove, IL and join our fantasy baseball league!

Something something something, bowl game. Never change, Mike.