CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois basketball is officially underway for the fall. The team held its first practice on Monday at its renovated facility, with crews still working on the finishing touches of the $40 million upgrade.
Seven new players highlight a reconstructed roster, highlighted by transfers Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech) and Matthew Mayer (Baylor), along with a highly touted freshmen class of Skyy Clark, Ty Rodgers, Jayden Epps and Sencire Harris. Finding chemistry on and off the court has been and will continue to be a focus for the defending Big Ten champs, after the Illini won a share of their first regular season title since 2005.
“Typical Day 1, you wish you could bottle some of that energy and enthusiasm and open the jar mid-January,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “Been very, very please with all of our freshmen. And they ask a lot of questions, which is really unique. This group has been way above average in those areas.”
Illinois is set to open the season in exactly six weeks, hosting Eastern Illinois at State Farm Center on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.