Illini pushing through early season adversity


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Injuries, suspensions, and turnovers have all been a part of Illinois’ early-season struggles this year. The Illini have been far from their championship expectations, with 18 turnovers per game, and in their two losses this season they shot less than 40% from the field.

The Illini suffered their worst offensive performance since 2018, going 16-57 against Cincinnati in a loss, but were able to get back on track with a win over Kansas State. Head coach Brad Underwood says the challenges of the non-conference schedule are all part of the growing pains.

“My teams usually don’t play very well early, and I don’t mean that in a bad way,” says Underwood. “Injuries are obviously the circumstance this year, but we’re trying to figure things out, ad we’re trying to get it right, and I do that choosing to play a really tough schedule, and challenging games.” m

Underwood says they are still in a good spot, and can overcome some of their challenges by continuing to play tough defensively. The Illini also rank 7th in the country in offensive rebounds.

Illinois takes on UT Rio Grande Valley at 7 p.m. at the State Farm Center. A subscription to Big Ten Network+ is required to be able to stream the game. The Illini will face Notre Dame on Monday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, before their first Big Ten game of the season.

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