“We’re light-years ahead”


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The Illinois men’s basketball team returns nine scholarship players from last season, meaning summer workouts are going a lot smoother this year compared to last.

“We’re light-years ahead and I mean we can actually start thinking about schemes and getting guys up and advancing some things quite simply because guys understand,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “So we move thru things much quicker and we’re able to move on to different things. We’re in a nice spot returning so many guys with so much experience.”

Underwood and his coaching staff get four hours of on-court time with the players a week, per NCAA summer rules.

Illinois signee Bernard Kouma was on campus for the first time on Wednesday, using one of the team’s official visits. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound center committed sight unseen earlier this year, then signed a Financial Aid Tender in May. The 3-star prospect is from Chad and just graduated from high school last week. Kouma and fellow international signee Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk await NCAA clearinghouse approval before officially joining the team on the court. Bosmans-Verdonk is from Belgium and also recently graduated from high school.

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