CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Slow starts have hurt the Illinois basketball team several games this season, including a loss to Ohio State over the weekend. Following a team meeting Sunday, Illini head coach Brad Underwood made a change in his first four for the first time this season, inserting Jacob Grandison for Da’Monte Williams. It worked, with Illinois opening up its game against Penn St. on Tuesday night on a 13-5 run, on its way to a 14-point win.
“You’re always searching and I guess you hit a little bit of a valley and you know that something’s not quite right and you’ve got figure out exactly what that is,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “Jake’s been playing great and he was very, very good tonight.”
“It’s just elevating each other, playing for each other, sharing the ball,” Illinois sophomore center Kofi Cockburn said. “You know coming back on defense and playing for the guy besides you and we did that really well.”
“Everybody you know contributed tonight, everybody did their role, everybody came in with some sort of energy and played their butts off for 40 minutes,” Illinois senior guard Trent Frazier said.