Underwood on players returning: “It’s really good to see familiar faces”


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois freshmen basketball players Andre Curbelo and Coleman Hawkins are both on campus, posting their arrival on Instagram earlier this week. Several returners have been back for more than a week now, including Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams and Giorgi Bezhanishvili. It’s all part of a slow return to campus for the Illini, who were last all together on March 12.

“This has been a unique time,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “They’ve (the players) been away from something that they truly love for a long time and as we spread out as we left here, it was simple things. Guys didn’t even have access to basketballs. To get them back in some semblance of normal and familiar for them is really positive and we’re excited. It’s really good to see familiar faces.”

Upton returning to campus, the players are tested for COVID-19 and put into a quarantine, per school policy. They are allowed to workout with strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher in small groups, but can’t shoot or do other basketball related activity. The coaches are not allowed to do any work with the team on the court until mid-July, per NCAA rules.

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