CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Fans finally got a chance to see the new Illini men’s basketball team as they faced off against Quincy at the State Farm Center for an exhibition game. Illinois finished the game winning 87-52.
Sluggish wasn’t the word Brad Underwood wanted to use for the first half of Illinois’s exhibition with Quincy, but the fresh faced Illini came out of the box slow as the Hawks jumped out to an 8-2 lead before the first timeout. The returners came to the rescue, as Coleman Hawkins and RJ Melendez each had 15 points and led Illinois to victory. It was the first time for many on the roster playing at the State Farm Center and for some it’s the first time playing in front of a crowd this size, but working out all the bugs is what preseason is about.
“We got in a better rhythm in the second half,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. I thought we moved the ball, we took shots in the first half that were really out of rhythm and hard.
“It was different. I’m used to the environment in Lubbock,” Illinois forward Terrence Shannon Jr. said. “I made the decision to come here and this is my new home. It’s just me getting comfortable with it.”
Just over a week until they do it again for real as the Illini host Eastern Illinois on Monday, Nov. 8 to kick start the season.