TUSCON, Ariz. (WCIA) — If we learned one thing from the first true road test for the Illini this season, it’s that they are a long way away from from where they need to be if they want to compete in the Big Ten.
The Illini had 22 turnovers on Sunday night against Arizona, where they fell in a 90-69 loss. That adds to the 40 turnovers from the first two games, for a total of 62 turnovers in just the first three games.
“You’re not going to win on the road having 22 turnovers,” says senior guard Andres Feliz. “We’re gonna be fine. I trust the coaching staff that we’re going to work on it on we’re going to get better at it.”
“Us three guards on the court together it shouldn’t be over ten,” says junior Trent Frazier. “Right now it’s unacceptable.”
The No. 21 Wildcats are more similar to the teams Illinois is going to be facing this season, meaning they can learn a lot from the film.
“We knew we were going to have some growth here early and go on the road and two great, great environments and then you get a top-15 program, or wherever Arizona is at and you knew you were going to get challenged.” says head coach Brad Underwood. “I thought for 30 of the 40 minutes we were pretty good, it’s just that other ten that we’ve got to get through and now we’ve got a lot of film and we’re not gonna let one game on the road at Arizona define our season.”
“He wanted to see how we would react, and obviously it wasn’t great,” says Frazier. “Still learning, like I’m gonna tell ya. It’s early, man. We’ve got to take care of the ball, we’ll do that, we just got to continue to get better.”
The Illini now have more than a week to prepare for their next game. They return on November, 18th when they host Hawaii at the State Farm Center at 7 p.m. CT.