Blame Brad Underwood for the Illinois comeback

Reports of the death of Illinois Basketball Association and head coach Brad Underwood have been greatly exaggerated.

Two weeks ago, half of Twitter and all of Facebook wanted to put BU aside and put it on the heap, along with Jon Gross and Bruce Weber.

After all, he yells at the players and gets angry. How dare he do such a thing? Who does he think he is? What year do you think he coaches?

Underwood is blown in the head. Dain Dainja is freaky and Matthew Meyer is a prima donna. Coleman Hawkins sucks.

Continental Tires Main Event - Virginia vs. Illinois

Little Underwood yells at Scholarship to do his thing in front of a whole bunch of strangers. What a pathetic show.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Well, are you going to look at this? Now, our furious coach has run the biggest recruit since he got here, into Sky Clark. Players these days hate being yelled at and treated with respect. This is the proof.

Want to know what all these skits and plays got Underwood into? I even questioned him sometimes. That’s what he got.

Terrence Shannon, Jr. He is a proven first-team All-Big Ten performer. When he caught his breath at 11:00 of the second half, Illinois went on a massive run.

Shannon told Underwood “Take me out. They are cooking.”

He seems to be “becoming about me” after “being about me” fairly quickly. Maybe it was addition by subtraction, or maybe it was something else.

Take a few minutes and listen to the post-game press conferences by both head coaches.

Izzo detailed complaints about the shortened schedule by the Big Ten and expressed regret for injuries during the game. He gives Underwood some credit, and refers to the “addition by subtraction” of the newly departed Clark, though he does not name or blame anyone for the public row.

The other thing that Iso discussed is not having “a lot of open jump shots” that they usually do. Michigan State did not make a single three-pointer, attempting only seven in the game.

Three of those came on one possession in the second half.

Underwood made it clear that he was completely satisfied with all of the jump shots Sparti took and noted that Illinois had not held a team without a three-pointer in 15 seasons.

Underwood mentioned playing the same play “about 15 times in a row”. Keep going, so keep going at it. Simplicity at its best.

Underwood also changed the way they guarded ISO actions by Michigan State in the last 12 minutes or so of the game. They showed early and didn’t allow a drive in the straights, as they did in the first half.

Dain Dainja has also done a much better job of covering falls on ball screens by keeping his body more squared off to move and force shots away from the hoop.

Dainja also had his best offensive night against legitimate competition, scoring 20 points and going 4-of-5 in the charity strip. He also added eight rebounds.

Dainja grabs a late game board. Significant improvement since the start of the season.

Underwood said at the press conference that was the focus during the break.

Another thing you may have noticed is Underwood’s behavior for the vast majority of the game. This is a departure from what we saw when the team was struggling. It’s like he just screams and gets angry when he needs to scream and go crazy.


The visual atmosphere inside State Farm Center when college basketball’s best cheerleaders are on show is unparalleled.

for example:

Packed like orange sardines, State Farm becomes visually and audibly intimidating.
TCR // Brandt Dolce

What a sight for sore eyes causing sore ears. The fans were a big part of the victory over Michigan State until they achieved the conference record at 3-3. Illinois (12-5) has back-to-back wins over Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan State.

The second recommendation is for the fans themselves.

When Underwood yells, yells, and shakes his fist at a player, the visual isn’t appealing, especially when the player’s bad body language is a direct result of public shaming.

Most coaches don’t do that anymore. BU has to engage in some degree of hostility and aggressiveness because that is what he is as a coach. It can be scary. I’m sure every player he’s played with has hated him at some point.

When you’ve beaten Greg Gard, Fred Hoiberg, and Tom Izzo in seven days by a combined 45 points, perhaps the positivity of those speeches is starting to show a little. But wait. Don’t just take my word for it.

I’m a 40-year-old columnist who’s only had one interaction with Underwood.

The original poster boy for the “Real Housewives of Champaign” logo to internet troll Matthew Meyer would like to share his thoughts. Here’s Meyer at the Michigan State Game.

“I felt great. I just got a good little bucket, and then Coach Underwood started running plays for me. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve seen running plays for attractive people. We’d run the same play every time for 15 straight possessions.” Meyer said.

Meyer hits a hat-trick in the second half to propel the Illini to a much-needed conference victory. Meyer dominated the second half, after Terrence Shannon dominated the first.
Fighting Illini website

This doesn’t sound like a guy who has given up on the season or been frowning. Meyer admitted that he “probably shouldn’t have” made his comments in public with a wry smile. Meyer even admitted that Underwood is controlling and demanding. good.

These are men who build relationships and discover each other. This is not your local nursery. Eliminate the constant need to pamper players and make sure their feelings aren’t affected. You’d be surprised how much criticism a person can take when they know it’s coming from the right place.

Illinois has started the past three seasons (2021, 2022, and 2023) with a record of 9-5. The previous two campaigns had ended with an overall record of 29-7. This season started 3-0.

Underwood has been improving his teams throughout the season. Now, it’s about improving the length of time on Big Dance.

This is a legitimate concern no matter where you find it. Even if it’s Twitter or Facebook.

This is basketball from Illinois.

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