CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Before they take to the air on Sunday, the Illini got one final practice in to prepare for their trip to Italy.
They held and open practice and scrimmage at Ubben for the media to get a look at the new roster. It was our first chance to see Kofi Cockburn play in person, he was a force down low. The other freshman, Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk did not play, he will travel with the team to Italy but will not play in games.
Alan Griffin stole the show. He was all over the court, especially the offensive glass.
Ayo Dosunmu was impressive, hitting nearly every shot he took from close up, mid-range, and behind the arc.
The team feels good with where they are heading into the trip.
“I want us to have fun, and I say that in the sense that for the past two years it hasn’t been a lot of fun. But I want this group to bond together, really through having fun,” Underwood said. “We deserve that, and this group deserves that.”
“It’s a basketball trip, and we’re here to play basketball we’re on scholarship for basketball so we going out there to tell them that we can win as many games as possible, and then when we win as many games as possible, then we can sit back and relax and enjoy our summer,” Dosunmu said.
“We’re setting the tone early for the season, we want to win all those four games, and set the tone that we are a winning team, and that we want to win all the games that we play, and just setting the tone for the season early,” Giorgi Bezhanishvili said.
Their plane leaves on Sunday, and will return on the 14th. They play four games over the ten day trip that includes stops in Milan, Lake Como, Florence, Rome, and Vatican City.