Podziemski all in on Illini, Underwood looks for ‘different pieces’ with next assistant coach hire


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois basketball signee Brandin Podziemski reaffirmed his commitment and spot on the roster next season on Tuesday, even though the assistant coach that recruited him is no longer with the program. The Wisconsin Mr. Basketball winner tweeted out that he’s “110% committed to Coach Underwood, his staff, the University of Illinois, and my future teammates therin” despite Chin Coleman leaving for Kentucky.

Podziemski signed a National Letter of Intent with the Illini last month, long before both Coleman and Orlando Antigua departed. Often times players will reopen their recruitment when coaches leave but the 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard from Muskego, Wisconsin is sticking to his word.

Meanwhile there’s still no word on who will fill the open vacancy on Underwood’s staff. Former Illini standout Chester Frazier has already been introduced as one assistant coach but with there’s still one opening. Heading into his fifth season in Champaign, Underwood says he wants a guy who isn’t exactly like Frazier or Stephen Gentry.

“I like different players in the recruiting puzzle and I like that in the staff puzzle and you know you’ve got all different pieces and I love that, I love that,” Underwood said. “And then you get them in to mesh and that becomes the beauty I think. I don’t want like pieces, I want guys that are different and we’ll find that with the other guy.”

Underwood didn’t put a hard timeline on when he’d like to announce his next hire but did add he’d like to have staff stability by the time players return or get to campus for the first time early next month.

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