NEW YORK (WCIA) — The Illinois Men’s Basketball season came to an end when the Illini fell to Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
It was the first time since 1946 that Illinois did not play in March. It also marked the fourth-straight year that the Illini did not make the NCAA Tournament. It’s a tough pill to swallow for fans that had hoped first-year head coach Brad Underwood could turn things around, but the season wasn’t without it’s bright spots.
The Illini took the Braggin’ Rights trophy for the fifth year in a row. Plus, three of the Illini’s conference losses came in overtime. Still, a 4-14 record is not what Underwood or his team expects.
So, with time to reflect on the 2017-18 season, the Illini say they’re ready for the work ahead.
“Just looking back on it, there were so many games that one or two plays here or there would have been a W instead of in the L column,” junior forward Michael Finke said. “If we could’ve focused on that we’d be in a different situation right now, but we can’t change the past.”
“We’ll have a very, very productive spring in the weight room,” Underwood said. “That’s when guys get better. Getting in the weight room, getting with coaches individually, working on their game, studying film. We’ll do a lot of that this offseason.”
The Illini lose just one senior in graduate transfer Mark Alstork.