CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Confidence is high among the Illinois women’s basketball team and it should be. The Illini (7-1) have already matched last year’s win total less than a month into the season under first year head coach Shauna Green, who has the team believing they have what it takes to compete just a few months into her tenure.

“When you can get some wins, it kind of gives them confidence in the process of it all,” Green said. “I keep telling them to trust the process and I think when you have some rewards from that and see the fruits of your labor, I think it’s easier to buy in to.”

Green has turned a new look Illinois roster into success on the court, mixing eight newcomers (four transfers and four freshmen) together with five returners. Learning Green’s system has been a work in progress for the players, who have flipped the Illini from one of the worst statistical teams in the Big Ten under Nancy Fahey, to one of the best under Green. The Illini scoring average is up more than 20 points per game (currently 3rd in the league at 85.5 points per game), while the scoring defense is down 19 points per game (2nd in the league at 54.4 points allowed per game). Seeing those tangible differences has helped bring the team together.

“I feel like it just makes it a reality,” Illinois junior guard Genesis Bryant said. “Like Coach Green was kind of telling us these things at the beginning but once we started getting those big wins and really playing as a team, it really just made us think, ‘We can really be good.'”

Illinois gets its toughest test yet this weekend taking on No. 5 Indiana in Bloomington in the Big Ten opener on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.