CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The Rev is back in town. Former Illinois basketball standout Roger Powell returns to State Farm Center Friday night but this time to coach against his alma mater. Powell is in his first season as Valparaiso head coach, his second stop at the school after a run as assistant coach from 2011 to 2016. He spent time at Vanderbilt and Gonzaga before landing his first job with the Beacons earlier this year.
Valpo comes to Champaign with a 2-1 record but the Beacons have yet to play a Power 5 opponent yet this season. Illinois is also 2-1 but coming off a seven-point loss to No. 4 Marquette. The Illini shot 33 times from beyond the arc against the Golden Eagles, making 11.
“I wish we would have shot more,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said about the 3-point attempts. “We shot 33/34 percent and man we had some really good looks. We missed too many layups, we didn’t play with enough pace offensively. Only thing Marquette did is play with great, great pace. That allows them to get their angles. We did that in the Kansas exhibition, played with great pace, we got to get back to that.”
Illinois and Valparaiso tip at 7 p.m. Friday night in a game only seen on BTN+.