CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Don’t call Illinois basketball’s upcoming season a rebuild, Illini head coach Brad Underwood says his program is way past that point.
“Our program is at a place where we’re never rebuilding,” Underwood said on Wednesday during a press conference to discuss summer workouts. “Anybody who uses that word, I’m not going to talk to you. We’re not rebuilding, we’re reloading and I think we’re in that place so we’re not going to back down because we lost Kofi (Cockburn). We didn’t back down last year because we lost Ayo (Dosunmu). It’s next man up.”
The Illini have a new look roster this season with seven newcomers set to suit up in Orange and Blue for the first time. Replacing an entire starting lineup is the challenge ahead for Underwood and his staff after key departures of All-American center Kofi Cockburn (turned pro), fifth-year players Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams and Alfonso Plummer, to go along with transfers Jacob Grandison (Duke) and Andre Curbelo (St. Johns), among others.