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As a fan, it’s really easy to fall into a love affair with a key player from in state that has expressed interest in your program. He’ll be there on signing day with a Block I hat on the table, and that player will reach forward and put that hat on and Illini twitter will rejoice and everything will be right with the world.
But you asked for a realistic crystal ball prediction, and my crystal ball says Smith will end up at either Michigan State or Illinois.
Absolutely. Recruits will come and go throughout the process, and the biggest priority for the program moving forward was to bring in a head coach that would change the character of the team. Coach Underwood’s philosophy is going to be a welcomed change of pace from Coach Groce’s “Toughness and Togetherness” mantra. If long term success means sacrificing a few recruits this upcoming season, so be it.
@Champaign_Room Will Illinois have interest in MiKyle McIntosh as a graduate transfer? (As an ISU graduate and fan I'm hoping he takes the Jon Ekey route)— Eldon Yeakel (@EldonYeakel) April 18, 2017
(+5 Gamer Score for a Jon Ekey reference)
McIntosh is headed to the NBA draft (without an agent) mostly to experience the process. Unless he gets drafted, McIntosh will be a graduate transfer and will be looking to join a power 5 conference team to build his draft stock. If I’m the Illini coaching staff, I would already be talking with McIntosh about playing in Champaign next season. There is a MAJOR need for anything resembling a tall body, and MiKyle’s 6-foot-7, 234-pound frame would be a much needed solution to an empty roster spot.
@Champaign_Room Who will be the first commit of the Underwood Illini dynasty?— Benjamin (@Booeeeeee) April 18, 2017
Hopefully Mark Smith? If not, Illinois will almost surely land another high school senior considering they’ve got four available roster slots. But what about Underwood’s first ‘full’ class? If we’re not counting transfers, Tim Finke is a strong candidate for “first commit” in the class-of-2018.
If you’re allowing former players in this question, Jeff Cumberland would’ve been a GREAT athlete on the basketball court. He won the Big Ten Network Slam Dunk Contest held during the taping of BTN Hoops on Campus back in 2010:
If you’re limiting me to players currently on the roster, Mike Dudek would make a great point guard (as if we need more guards). Sure he is coming off two consecutive knee injuries, but he’s explosive enough to push the floor in transition. His athleticism would equate to solid defense as well, as Dudek would handle a man-to-man assignment well.
Playoff hockey. Even if your team is facing a 3-0 deficit.
@Champaign_Room Why don't NHL teams just hire an extraordinarily fat dude to play goalie?— Steve Watts (@stevelwatts) April 18, 2017
Goalie pads have a restriction on how big they can be, so no sensible human would want to block shots with pads that don’t fully protect them. Thus, a big fat guy with limited padding is out of the option. Also, goaltenders have to be incredibly agile as they only cover around 60% of the goal mouth. The heavier the player, the tougher it is to cover the crease. With the league shrinking goalie pads, it’s better to have a quick an agile guy that can cover as much ground as possible than to have one big dude that can’t close his five hole.
Outside of Breanna Wonderly’s no hitter, Illinois softball has been under the radar this season. But with Dan Hartleb’s baseball team making the NCAA tournament two of the last three seasons, lots of attention has been directed towards Illinois Field. With baseball struggling this season, this might be the year Softball jumps into the limelight of spring athletics.
Can’t say it does to me Mike, but I’ll ask around...
Since we’re just talking about straight trumpet, Clifford Brown all day. I know Miles Davis was one of the best pioneers of Jazz and Bebop in our history, but Clifford Brown was a better overall trumpet player that could play the pants off a horn. Davis had FAR more influences around him (Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, etc) whereas Brown was raw talent. I’m more of a fan on Brown’s range AND soloing capabilities than Davis’s sound, and that is NOT a jab at Brown’s sound at all. Davis was a better overall musician with his composing capabilities and his ability to assemble a group (have you SEEN the guys he’s played with?), but we’re talking trumpet...so Brown. Just imagine how much more we would talk about him if he wasn’t killed at 25.
Now go practice.
@Champaign_Room Legends: still great. Not a question, but a statement, really— Alex Quigley (@alexquigley) April 19, 2017
No counterargument from us. You’re not wrong.