Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your every day dose of faculty basketball information from Illini beat author and AP High 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll supply up insights each morning on Brad Underwood’s workforce:
One factor Illinois coach Brad Underwood has loved discussing all through his time in Champaign is the guard battles his workforce has gotten into in follow. Simple to do when guys like Trent Frazier, Ayo Dosunmu and Andre Curbelo are within the gymnasium at Ubben Basketball Complicated.
That hasn’t modified this season. Frazier remains to be round. Da’Monte Williams, too. So is Curbelo. And guys like Alfonso Plummer and a wholesome Austin Hutcherson have solely added to that.
“Trent, we all the time know, does nothing however compete each single day, so he’s going to push,” Underwood mentioned. “Trent’s a kind of guys who tries to embarrass you. Should you’re guarding him, he tries to embarrass you, and if he’s guarding you he tries to embarrass you. These battles can be enjoyable to look at, and finally it does nothing however make these guys higher.”
Hutcherson can affirm the competitors in follow helps. Particularly since he did not/could not play all final season.
“The stuff you neglect whenever you’re out or don’t play for some time is that competitiveness the place you may have the ball and guys are simply reaching at it and clawing at you,” Hutcherson mentioned. “That’s been actually good for me in follow. I feel now we have the most effective defensive backcourts within the nation, so going up in opposition to that each day in follow will make it simpler within the video games.”