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Illinois Basketball “Has to be Tougher”

Illinois Basketball coach Brad Underwood had a handful of interesting comments in his pre-game presser on Monday

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Illinois Basketball "Has to be Tougher"
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball “Has to be Tougher”

Illinois Basketball coach Brad Underwood had a handful of interesting comments in his pre-game presser on Monday (2/12). Coach addressed the media in good spirits, as the Kansas native witnessed his Chiefs win their 3rd Lombardi trophy of the Andy Reid era, on Sunday. Through all the “Good chili and Buffalo chicken dip”, Brad took some key thoughts away. “Winners win” and “Defense wins championships.”  Underwood then quickly transitioned into his thoughts ahead of Tuesday’s Matchup vs the Michigan Wolverines. Brad says “It feels like we let one get away” vs the Spartans of Michigan State. He says this team “Has to be tougher” and not get so “soft” from fouls.

Underwoods Comments Ahead of Michigan

As the 24-hour rule goes, the Spartans are gone for now, and the Illini make their focus on the other team from the Great Lakes State. Dug McDaniel and the Wolverines make the trip to Champaign 8-16 overall and 3-10 in Big Ten play. It certainly is a rough year for Juwan Howard’s Wolverines. The maize and blue took down the 11th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers last Wednesday 72-68 as a highlight. Then, the Wolverines turned around and lost by 2o to Nebraska. This seems to be the tale of 2024 for the Wolverines, however, coach Underwood is prepared for a tough game. “Now we turn to a Michigan team that beat Wisconsin at home.” says Underwood. “They’re coming off a game that wasn’t their best, and ran into a buzzsaw at Nebraska.” says the Illini coach. “We’re going to have to be much tougher than the other night.”

A notable scouting report mention for Underwood

Llewellen has played great.” says Brad. “Has been a guy who has fit right in and hasn’t missed a beat in my opinion.”  says Underwood. With leading scorer Dug McDaniel out for Michigan, the Wolverines will have to turn elsewhere for productivity vs the Illini.  “Nimari Burnett has been really really solid.” as the backup to Llewellen in Dug’s absence.

Comments on Shannon

When asked about star Terrance Shannon Jr, coach Underwood says “I think he’s up to full speed. I had no idea he had that many points” says the Illini coach in reference to Shannon’s 28 points scored vs MSU. “The one thing I’m ecstatic about with him is he got on the offensive glass and points from offensive rebounds. There’s a whole nother’ level of offensive production for Terrance on the glass.” says Underwood. ” I think he’s in a great place, and the opportunity will be there.”



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Kirkland Chappell is your go-to source for Illinois athletics news with over 4 years of writing and radio experience. His work has been featured on IlliniGuys, Illini Now, Bleacher Report and YardBarker

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