CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois basketball officially wrapped up summer workouts on Tuesday and Illini head coach Brad Underwood is happy with his team’s gains. Sophomore RJ Melendez is up to 210 pounds after arriving on campus last year at 180. On the other end of the spectrum, Baylor transfer Dain Dainja is down to 260 pounds, he got to Champaign in January at 290. Both guys are projected to be key pieces for a new look Illini team that only returns four players after winning a share of the Big Ten title.
“A good summer and I thought we touched on a lot of things team wise, especially on the defensive side,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “The biggest thing is getting those guys in the weight room but right now it’s about catching your breath, getting a little time away and that’s good for the coaches as well.”
Underwood added fellow Baylor transfer Matthew Mayer was dealing with minor back issues during the summer, after arriving in mid-July. The 6-foot-9 wing had to finish his classwork in Waco before making the move to Champaign. Skyy Clark is also fully healthy and cleared for all workouts after knee surgery last summer. Other than Mayer and Clark, Underwood said his team is good to go health wise.