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LINKS: Hoyas Look at the Illinois Fighting Illini

Hoyas’ face a challenge in Champaign, Ill. on Tues, Nov 13 at 8:30PM on FS1

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Georgetown University’s men’s basketball team will play at Illinois on Tuesday, November 13 as part of the fourth annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, as previously announced by Casual Hoya, as well as the BIG EAST and Big Ten Conferences.

With talented-yet-unproven guards, second year head coaches, and very, very strong non-conference schedules, these two teams look very similar coming together! Well... never mind.

Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt is a founder of the BIG EAST Conference. According to a GUHoyas press release, Patrick Ewing said, “Georgetown is proud to be a part of the Gavitt Tipoff games,” and that “Mr. Gavitt was a great man who helped make the BIG EAST what it is today.”

Hoya-fans cannot wait to see how James Akinjo and Mac McClung match up against the Illini’s highly ranked incoming guard Ayo Dosunmu, second-year scorer Trent Frazier, and junior college transfer Andres Feliz in the backcourt. Illinois freshman bigs Giorgi Bezhanishvili and Samba Kane (injured?), perhaps along with the day-to-day (ACL) grad transfer 7-footer Adonis De La Rosa, look to present a challenge to Jessie Govan, Trey Mourning, and Josh LeBlanc in the frontcourt.

Here are some links for the (1-0) Fighting Illini (roster):

The Illinois Basketball Preview: Make Us Feel Alive Again | SB Nation | The Champaign Room

Brad Underwood is entering his second season at the helm of the Illinois Basketball program, and he’s already left his mark. There are only two (2) scholarship players left on the roster who played under John Groce...

It’s imperative that we see progress and growth this year and that all 10 players expected to return next year get better and stay with the program. Underwood used up his margin for error in his first two offseasons at Illinois. These guys need to stick.

That’s especially true since the staff has failed to pick up a commitment for the class of 2019.

Illinois Basketball: Illini fan confidence is high entering the season | Fansided | WritingIllini

Some of the old faces are returning for this Illini team. No one should underestimate the power of Trent Frazier. This kid can ball out and is willing to do whatever it takes on the floor to get a win. His ability to shoot the three and still get to the bucket is legendary.

Kipper Nichols, Da’Monte Williams and Aaron Jordan should all be able to put up some serious point this season as well. These three return for another season of Illinois basketball and are ready to finally go dancing. Let’s take a look at the new additions who will help this team.

Ayo Dosunmu is coming in as a top 30 player in the class of 2018. He looked good in the scrimmage and should be a huge part of the winning ways for this Illini bunch. Tevian Jones, Alan Griffin and Giorgi Bezhanishvili will all be big parts of this team as well. All three of these players will be needed, sometimes to start and sometimes to come off the bench.

Trent Frazier stuck with Illinois when others didn’t. Now, he has ‘a big job’ in his sophomore season | Chicago Tribune

Frazier ranked second on the Illini with 12.5 points per game and led them with 3.1 assists per game. He said he “found my groove” in Big Ten play, when he made 15 starts and averaged 14.1 points.

He led conference freshmen in scoring, assists and steals. His career-high 32 points against Wisconsin in February were the third-most by an Illini freshman...

Coach Brad Underwood wants Frazier to be even better. It’s vital for the Illini, who have eight newcomers, including six freshmen, and only four returning scholarship players.

Illinois routs Evansville, 99-60, in season opener | SB Nation | The Champaign Room

“There were a lot of things to like tonight,” said head coach Brad Underwood. “Very pleased with 22 assists. I think that’s something this team is capable of on a lot of nights... They’re unselfish.”

It was an all-around complete effort by the Illini (1-0). Five players finished in double figures, Giorgi Bezhanishvili pulled down 10 boards, Trent Frazier dished out seven assists, and Ayo Dosunmu finished with three steals. The defense forced 25 turnovers and held the Purple Aces to just 38 percent shooting from the field.

“I liked our defense in the first half and parts of the second half,” Underwood said. “I think our turning point was the three-quarter court 1-2-2.”


The backcourt of Andres Feliz, Ayo Dosunmu, Trent Frazier and Aaron Jordan combined for 40 of the team’s 53 first-half points, as well as having 10 assists, nine rebounds, and six steals in the first frame. Feliz shredded the Evansville 2-3 zone by getting in gaps, drawing fouls at the rim, and finding the open guys on the wing. On the other side of that, Jordan took advantage of Feliz’s playmaking ability by cashing in on 4-of-7 three-point attempts.

Box score.

Illinois Basketball: 5 observations from the Illini win over Evansville | Fansided | WritingIllini

The starters, of course, were [guards] Trent Frazier, Ayo Dosunmu, Aaron Jordan, [forward] Kipper Nichols and [center] Giorgi Bezhanishvili. This should be the starting lineup for the rest of the season, even when Adonis De La Rosa gets up and going at full speed.

Illinois played with this lineup for the first few minutes. Brad Underwood then went with his first substitution of the night. Andres Feliz, Tevian Jones and Da’Monte Williams were the first three players to come in the game. They replaced Dosunmu, Jordan and Bezhanishvili. I also believe Alan Griffin and Samba Kane would have come in as well around that time period but neither player was available.

...Illinois doesn’t lose much when they go to their bench. We actually have depth this season.

Illinois basketball on guard in exhibition win over Illinois Wesleyan | Herald & Review

There were turnovers, missed defensive rotations leading to a barrage of Wesleyan 3-pointers and missed shots from nearly the whole Illinois team — except junior college transfer Andres Feliz...

Feliz drove to the lane with ease and finished through traffic on the way to 20 points and five rebounds off the bench...

Feliz scored in a variety of ways, including off and running in transition. He controlled his body in the paint for a variety of layups and floaters.

He’s a steady presence after a long career of international play and two years of junior college basketball.

How two-a-days and a refined jumper helped Ayo Dosunmu make the USA Basketball U18 team | NBCSports

“It seems he’s really changed his shot, that’s really the biggest thing with him. He used to have such a low release. I think he’s still working through that, in-game, from a release standpoint. But from an NBA perspective, he has the tools. I think it’s just continuing to slow down and being a point guard.”

Dosunmu’s jumper used to have the low release and often didn’t feature a refined follow through. While he could get by at the high school level because of his natural scoring acumen, high skill level and athleticism, Dosunmu’s jumper was streaky.

Quam noticed a breakthrough right before Ayo left for Philadelphia and the Iverson Roundball Classic in late April.

FLASHBACK (2005): Georgetown Drops Match to No. 10 Illinois | The Hoya

Tenth-ranked Illinois rushed out to a 10-point lead, and that turned out to be the difference in the game.

With a sputtering offense that only scored 13 first-half points, the Georgetown men’s basketball squad succumbed to its second loss of the season, 58-48, Thursday night in Champaign, Ill.

Making its first-ever trip to Champaign, Georgetown could not find a rhythm early on in its first game this year against a ranked opponent. The Hoyas missed their first six shots of the game before sophomore center Roy Hibbert got on the scoreboard with a layup at 5:21 into the contest.

“You just have to pressure them and take them out of their rhythm,” Illinois senior forward Dee Brown told ESPN after the game. “[The Princeton offense] is all rhythm, all timing. I think our pressure disrupted them a little bit.”