CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois basketball is back on the court on a Friday night hosting UMKC in the second game of the season. The Illini (1-0) will honor last year’s regular season Big Ten Championship with a banner raising ceremony pregame, along with receiving rings for the accomplishment. It’s a moment to reflect before taking the court against the Roos (0-2), who are coming off an 11-point loss at LSU on Wednesday.
Illinois hasn’t played since Monday’s season opener, a 30-point blowout win over Eastern Illinois. With so many newcomers, building chemistry on the court is important for now sixth-year head coach Brad Underwood. Eight players suited up in Orange and Blue for the first time against the Panthers.
“I wasn’t sure how we played offensively, and when I got home and I watched it I really liked a lot of the things that we did,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “Our movement, we caused a lot of confusion on the defensive side I thought. Yeah it’s early and we’re going to make some mistakes and that’s the great thing about film is we can go clean them up.”
Illinois and UMKC tip-off at 8 p.m. on Big Ten Network.