CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois Basketball is looking to get it’s identity back. After disappointing back-to-back losses, Brad Underwood met with his team first thing on Sunday morning to hash out the issues. After their 87-81 loss to Ohio State, Underwood didn’t shy away from expressing his frustration, attributing their performance to a lack of toughness.
The Buckeyes took 7 three pointers in the second half, Illinois also allowing them to shoot 53% from the field. Underwood says that was out of character, especially for the Illini, who still rank among the top teams in the league in defensive categories. Inconsistency has seemed to be the biggest issue plaguing their team, as they haven’t been able to string together two halves of good basketball.
“We have to quit riding the emotional rollercoaster that is this team right now,” says Underwood. “It’s frustrating, I wish I had the exact answer, we’ve got to get this figured out. We’re excellent, we’re one of the best teams in the country, when we play, and when we don’t, it’s time to put a stop to the don’ts.”
Underwood did praise some of the Illini after Sunday’s performance, crediting Trent Frazier energy and complimenting Adam Miller. Miller had 14 points and 7 rebounds, and feels confident the team can turn things around.
“A loss is a lesson, so we’re going to come back in practice and we’re going to go hard,” says Miller. “Every time when we put our hard caps on, people feel that presence, so when we do that for 40 minutes were unstoppable.”
Illinois has a chance to bounce-back with a home date against Penn State. Tip-off is a 7:30 on Tuesday.