INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WCIA) — The first big test for Illinois basketball didn’t end with a win after No. 2 Baylor walked out of Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a 82-69 victory. Illinois head coach Brad Underwood pointed to his stars not playing well (Ayo Dosunmu and Adam Miller combined to shoot 8-for-29) and second chance points (24-7) as reasons the Illini lost their first game of the season. He also pointed out a few bright spots.
“It was a frustrating night,” Underwood said. “We’re not going to win many games when Ayo goes 6-for-18 and Adam Miller goes 2-for-11 and Trent has six turnovers. You know that’s a tough night for our guards but I did find out, I love our freshmen. Adam’s going to be just fine and I’m really proud of Andre Curbelo.”
Curbelo scored all 11 of his points in the second half, to go along with four assists and two rebounds. After the game, Underwood revealed the Puerto Rican missed eight days of practice with a concussion. That was prior to an ankle injury in last week’s multi-team event in Champaign.
The other freshman who made a positive impact was Coleman Hawkins. The California native only played five minutes and didn’t score but pulled down three rebounds, including two on the offensive end, and also had a block.