Saturday, October 31, 2009

B-B-B-Bubba and the Bench

Although the Illini looked sloppier than expected in their 95-67 trouncing of Missouri Southern State and seemed to have some trouble with MoSo State's man press and ball defense, this is not even worth addressing since the Illini could hardly take a team seriously who started a six-foot carbon copy of me with messier hair and the name Skyler (I couldn't have come up with a better name for him myself). Due to the general lack of surprise with the starting five, I would rather provide you with my half-baked, under-researched opinion of this year's bench through an irrelevant, self-developed depth chart. 

Depth Chart:

Brandon Paul: While the hype seemed to point to Richardson as most anticipated freshman, Paul came out and, in my opinion, outplayed the Peoria native. Paul showed the smoothness to the basket and ability to finish that I heard of him. I was also impressed with his defense--having heard nothing of his D prior--and was impressed with his composure on the floor. With all the questions concerning Alex Legion, Paul may be needed to step up early on in the season. 

D.J. Richardson:  Coming in with comparisons to Chester Frazier and hope as the future ball-handler, Richardson wasn't exactly what I expected. "Richard"--as a middle-aged man sitting behind me, sporting a scraggly soprano voice, referred to him throughout the game (e.g. "Work harder Richard" and "Play defense Richard")--drew attention with his strong takes to the hoop and ability to adjust in midair and finish more than anything else. His defense wasn't bad; it just didn't draw my attention, which was probably a just product of expectations. His ball-handling was surprisingly erratic and his three turnovers don't quite tell the tale. However, a lot of that could be written up to nerves, so we'll have to see how he progresses. 

Rich Semrau: With minimal depth in the frontcourt, Illini fans will hopefully see a lot of Semrau this year. I say hopefully not because Semrau will produce as well as any other FBOB (First Big Off the Bench) in the league, but because he is still by far our best option, and Weber seems to have something against him. I didn't see much from him last night, but in the first few games of the season last year--before Weber inexplicably stopped playing him altogether--Semrau proved a good defensive counterpart to both Davis and Tisdale, who utterly fail in that department. 

Tyler Griffey: "The Forgotten One" should also see minutes more as a product of lack of depth in the frontcourt. He showed some good stuff on the court Friday night but will most likely need time to develop (e.g. spending 20 seconds trying to figure out how Bruce was telling him to stand before an inbounds pass, only to have the pass fly right behind him into the corner and finally turn to watch a three sail over his UNstretched arms and into the hoop).

Joseph Bertrand: Didn't look bad, didn't look good. The positive was that he took care of the ball better than Richardson. The negative is that this was mostly because he stayed away from the ball. He did show some of his touted athleticism, though. I heard rumors about a redshirt, so we'll see. 

Jeff Jordan: Sporting a fresh goatee and a newfound distinguished look, JJ is looking more and more like MJ everyday. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see how that translated on the court, since he only rejoined the team a few weeks ago. Hopefully he doesn't lose any stock with Weber for his brow-scratching, Farve-like indecision. He could definitely build on his growing role as solid defensive specialist, and assuming he didn't lose any stock, he will get more playing time than Bertrand. 

Bill Cole: Was in the right place at the right time a couple times last night. He won't play. 

Bubba Chisholm: With Trent gone, it's up to Chizz to hold it down for the 'Paign. Unfortunately he doesn't have C.J. Jackson to throw sweet dimes to this year. 

Stan Simpson: I hear he's got a great attitude. Unfortunately, my friends and I were not only able to shut him down completely (he was trying too) at IMPE, but actually rattle him mentally as well. He does seem like a nice guy, though, so hopefully I'm wrong. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

[Valid Atom 1.0]