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Brad Underwood has Revived Illinois Basketball



Illinois Basketball Hunting For Another Road Upset
Dec 2, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Underwood has Revived Illinois Basketball

Yes, Illinois Basketball has not yet reached a Sweet 16 since the Bush era. Yes, Brad Underwood has let some talented guards fall through his grasp. I realize that Brad Underwood has his faults and has some work to do. However, I think it is safe to say that Brad Underwood has revived Illinois Basketball. In a recent AP poll, Illinois Basketball was ranked 25th. Though it may not seem like much, Derek Piper of 247 brought up a pretty cool point. This is the fourth straight year that Illinois Basketball will start the season as a ranked team. A feat that has not been achieved since the 1950’s.

Despite the postseason woes and losing some talented guards to the portal, Brad Underwood deserves lots of credit.

Utilizing Momentum

Just look at the Illinois Football program. Winning is difficult, and Illinois athletics has made that known. Brad Underwood has put together four straight 20-win seasons at Illinois. His 55-25 Big Ten record over the past four years is insanely impressive. Though no one should ever use the John Groce years as a benchmark, think about how many times that Illinois was not competitive in a Big Ten road game. Though Underwood may have squandered a huge opportunity by not making the second weekend with two program greats on his team, Brad continues to build momentum for Illinois Basketball.

Since landing Dosunmu, Illinois Basketball has consistently brought in high-major players. As many flecks he gets for Brandin Podziemski and Jayden Epps, Coleman Hawkins and Terrence Shannon Jr both decided to return for an additional year due to their belief in Coach Underwood. For additional perspective, look at the image below


Does Brad Underwood have some flaws? Absolutely, however he deserve some credit for bringing Illinois Basketball in the conversation for top half of the Big Ten consistently. Though he has yet to reach a second weekend in the NCAA tournament, he looks well on his way to giving this program another shot at trying to do so.

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Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.