WCIA — It has been quite a long layoff for the Illini after they finished runner-up in the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Before taking on Lindenwood on Friday, coaches and players made the short drive up to the Washington Tournament of Champions on Wednesday. Brad Underwood and coaches were there to see St. Rita forward and Illinois commit Morez Johnson, as well as his teammate and Top 50 recruit James Brown.

Illinois will be back at the State Farm Center after an eye-opening experience in Vegas, hanging with some of the best in the country. That was helped in a big way by freshman Sencire Harris performing on both sides of the court.

“Obviously I play with no fear, hearing about a guy who had a big name, Tyger Campbell,” Harris said. “It took a lot in me to overcome it.”

“He changes the game for us. He comes in, plays defense, he plays hard,” said fellow freshman Jayden Epps. “They call him Mr. 94 feet, he picks up full court, he brings energy.”

“He’s very athletic and he’s got a great desire to want to stop the other teams best player,” said Underwood.

Illinois tips off with Lindenwood at 8 p.m. on BTN+.