CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The Illini are getting back on the court after nearly a week without playing a game. Wednesday’s road game against Nebraska was postponed–making it six days between games. After losing to Maryland last week, No. 14 Illinois is ready to bounce back against No. 21 Ohio State on Saturday.
The team didn’t practice on Monday or Wednesday following the 66-63 upset to the Terrapins. It was some much-needed rest for several Illini including Da’Monte Williams who was dealing with a lingering lower-body injury. Trent Frazier was also injured during the Maryland game with an upper-body injury, but will be available against the Buckeyes.
As much as the team needed physical rest, the mental rest was beneficial as well. Illinois guard Andre Curbelo says the mid-week cancelation allowed him to reset.
“I needed that mental break, I needed that game to be canceled I’m really happy it happened,” said Curbelo. “Ever since Northwestern I wasn’t really having my best days in practice, and wasn’t really motivated, and I think now we’re ready mentally ready to go and physically too.”
Curbelo will be going up against his former Lutheran High School teammate, Zed Key. The freshman is averaging 6.9 points per game, and 3.8 rebounds.
The Illini take on the Buckeyes on Saturday at the State Farm Center. Tip-off is at at 11 a.m. CT on FOX.