Thursday, February 21, 2008

Men's Basketball Is In Trouble

Illinois is going to have its first losing record since 1998-99. At least in that season, the future looked bright as the team consisted of mostly freshmen who eventually led Illinois to the Elite 8 in 2001. Here, I don't see things getting better next year, and we are told by the Merrymen to wait for the recruits of 2009 and 2010 to arrive on campus.

How did Illinois get to this point? Well, Coach Guenther hired a guy who would be "loyal" over recruiting. UGH!! As Greg Couch notes, Weber may simply not be cut out for big-time recruting.

Weber always seems to blame the players and not himself. Heck, look what he said about Brian Carlwell, who is transferring:

"He has gone through a lot in his life, and obviously the accident and the recovery was probably longer than anticipated," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "We told him if he is here, he has to put in the time, lose weight, get some explosion. I guess he made the decision he did not want to do that."

Bruce Weber is a PR nightmare!!!! Ok, the kid is transferring. No need to throw him under the bus on his way out the door. Heck, can you blame him? He nearly dies in a car crash caused by the drunk driving of his teammate Jamar Smith. Smith is convicted of a felony and keeps his scholarship? Plus, who has Weber developed? Shaun Pruitt & Brian Randle have not really improved over their 4 years. Heck Pruitt was seen yelling at Bruce during the game! You have players ignoring their coach in time out huddles.

It's been over 1 year now since the University scalped Chief Illiniwek. Maybe his death is the reason the basketball program is in disarray?


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