WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WCIA) — Bruce Weber was the head coach the last time Illinois won at Mackey Arena. The former Boilermakers assistant and Illini head coach was just three and a half years out from his run to the Final Four.
December 30, 2008 was the last time the Orange and Blue walked out of Mackey with a win, and it took overtime to do it. Tuesday the team has a chance to make some more history and ironically enough, it ties in with that 2004-2005 team. That’s the last time Illinois swept Purdue in a season.
The Boilermakers have a history and tradition that dates back decades. It’s something that Illinois head coach Brad Underwood says he’s trying to copy. Underwood’s philosophy is “everyday guys”, and for Ayo Dosunmu, that means keeping the same mentality regardless of what happens on or off the court.
“Don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” Dosunmu said. “Cause when you’re down, they’re going to say a lot of negative things about you and what you can’t do, this and that. But when you’re winning, everything they said, they act like it never happened before so you’ve just got to take the good with the bad, never get too high, never get too low.”
“There’s a habit that’s formed every single day by working hard and no matter if it’s a practice or it’s a game, you show up and do your very, very best. And that’s all we’re asking,” Underwood said. “Not to get too high, we’ve won some games and beaten some good people. Enjoy the moment, have fun, enjoy those winning locker rooms, but understand that the next day, there’s work to do again.”
And Tuesday that means trying to repeat what the Illini did 16 days ago, holding the Boilermakers to just 37 points and the worst field goal percentage in school history at 25 percent.