So, How We Doin'? Cincinnati

Nov 22, 2021

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I still haven't decided how I'm going to do with this tomorrow night. Write just one post? "Here's what I thought of the Cincinnati game and here's what I think of the Arkansas game"? I guess this game is early (5:30 Central), so I'll have time to write an article about the game and then a preview of the Arkansas/Kansas State game. I don't know why I'm telling you any of this. Except to say that I'll probably not pin the previews to the top of the page for these games. You'll have to check down below to find the preview.

OK, so, a week off after that debacle at Marquette. Kofi is back. Hutcherson might play. Brad Underwood's golf bag has a full set of clubs for the first time this season. Tyler had borrowed the 3-wood as well as his 56-degree wedge and his putter. And he didn't put them back. So Underwood went down to play Ironhorse in Tuscola, he hits a nice drive on the first right over the corner of the water, he only has 61 yards in, he goes to grab his 56-degree, and it's not there. So he has to use his 52-degree (which he doesn't like for these 60-yard shots). He gives it a little too much and it's on the back of the green with a front pin.

That's OK. Lag it up there close, tap it in, and get out with par. Underwood goes to grab his putter and... it's not there either. Tyler has it. This is 10 times more frustrating than not having his 56. Now he has to putt with a wedge all day (and not even his 56). He decides to go through his full bag to see what else he's missing and yep - no 3-wood. Tyler has that too.

Now he starts thinking through his round. He basically has to go for the green on 9, right? If he tries to hit driver down the fairway, he'll hit it through the end of that tiny little fairway into the houses back there. He'd normally hit the 3-wood and leave himself a perfect number to that green but that's not an option. It's either hit the hybrid and leave himself 160 or take the big stick, aim directly over the water, and go for that 235 carry up to the green. He's never going to let Tyler hear the end of this.

(I'll stop.)

That's likely how frustrating it was for Underwood to play without these injured players. Especially Kofi. Kofi isn't the driver - Kofi is the putter. You just can't play a round of golf without a putter. You can play without a driver, hit your 3-wood, and simply leave yourself longer shots into greens. Heck, sometimes it might even improve your game to hit the 3-wood all day and stay away from OB. But without a putter, man, it's tough. There's just nothing else you can do when you're in close. You have to either take a hybrid and close the face (so the ball doesn't hop) or you have to take the wedge and try to strike the ball halfway up with the blade of the wedge. Really hard to do.

Playing the last three games without Kofi was golfing without a putter. Sure, there are other clubs that might work in a pinch (like, say, if you broke your putter). But it's a completely different part of the game. You can hit a hard eight or a soft six if you forgot your 7-iron. You can't hit anything else when standing on the green if you don't have your Kofi.

(I guess I didn't stop.)

So tomorrow is golf with the 3-wood, 56-degree, and putter back in the bag. After putting with the hybrid for the last three rounds, it just feels like every putt is going to roll in on the first few holes as we remember what it's like to have your old putter back. The old "I'm trying to scrape the rest of this peanut butter out of the bottom of the jar with this knife and it's a disaster." But then I grab a spatula and holy crap why did I not use a spatula in the first place?

THAT'S WHAT THIS GAME IS. We're trying to get the last of the peanut butter out of the jar. And the last three games all we had was a knife. And so we're doing that scraping thing where we're just leaving a lot of lines in the peanut butter on the bottom. Then, we grab the Kofi spatula. And in one swipe we grab ten times the peanut butter of the last 50 knife scrapes. Heck, there's probably enough here for two PB&J's.

That's how I see tomorrow. Kofi changes absolutely everything. Yes, the turnovers are a concern and yes, the three point shooting is a big concern. Here's an un-fun stat:

3-point percentage, 2020-21: 37.2%, 30th nationally.
3-point percentage, 2021-22: 32.86%, 196th nationally.

I know it's early, so the sample size is too small. But normally your pecentages are much higher during the non-conference and then they start to fade during Big Ten slugfests. This one is starting out less than 33% after three games, and that needs to get back on track ASAP.

So I'm hoping to see everything back on track tomorrow. A solid win with less turnovers, better shooting, and Kofi dominating. A true bounce-back.

Kofi's ready to make his PB&J and then head to the practice green to drain some 35-footers. Watch out, Cincinnati.

Illinois 83, Cincinnati 67


ktcesw on November 22, 2021 @ 07:15 AM

Love this!

Ellisrt1031 on November 22, 2021 @ 09:05 AM

Kofi will open the court up for better threes if the ball moves. on November 22, 2021 @ 09:50 AM

Be VERY careful of Cincy and they should not be overlooked: They have a deep team that seems to be playing very well as a team (I saw their win over Georgia.....

Lou-a-villini on November 22, 2021 @ 10:32 AM

A spatula for the bottom of the peanut butter jar…..BRILLIANT!

BanTheCharge on November 22, 2021 @ 11:32 AM

This made me really sad that it's currently in the 30s and I'm not gonna be golfing for quite a while

HOWEVER, excited to see Kofi hit the floor tonight!

HiggsBoson on November 22, 2021 @ 08:38 PM

What an excruciatingly bad loss. This is not a good team. Lose again tomorrow and they should drop out of the rankings.

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