Adalia McKenzie Talks With The IlliniGuys, Courtesy HX Home Solutions

(Editor's note: IlliniGal Adalia McKenzie appears each week on the IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular radio show courtesy HX Home Solutions, which offers $1,000 off any project - just mention "IlliniGuys" to get your discount!)

February 5, 2024

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

Larry Smith:  Adalia, nice showing the last time out with a 77-64 win over the Wolverines.

Adalia McKenzie:  Yeah, that was a really big win. And it was really fun. And we were locked in. And we wanted that game because that wasn't us on our home court (when they beat us earlier this season). So it was a really big game for us.

LS:  Listening to head coach Shauna Green afterwards on her postgame radio show on WDWS, she was so excited with the defensive effort.  Just how hard you guys have worked all season and I know that you guys are all excited to see this come together on both ends of the court.

AM: Yeah, we take pride on defense as a part of our identity and we want to get stops and we want to lock teams up. So we made sure that was our main focus going into the game and really execute at a high level.

LS:  A couple of players who have really made a difference here lately.  I miss seeing Brynn Shoop-Hill on the court more, but Camille Hobby certainly gives you just a different presence when she is on the court.

AM: She's just strong and tall and she works really hard and her presence on the floor helps us so much because she's a great player and her mindset she always just wants to kill! (laughs) So I love playing with her and she brings a lot to this team.

LS: You've played next to Kendall Bostic for the past three seasons. She's tall, but not the biggest of bigs. But I've always been impressed watching Kendall throughout her Illini career of getting rebounds.

AM: For sure.  I feel like she's mastered the game of rebounding, like she is so good at it. I've never seen anyone be able to get that many rebounds, like consecutive games. I'm proud of Kendall because she has worked hard.

LS: Looking ahead here to Purdue on Monday night.  We've talked about Jada Peebles, a fifth year senior and a three point specialist being lost for the season with an Achilles injury. But that's given a chance for freshman Gretchen Dolan to come in. And she stepped in, in a lot of ways, is played like a veteran. I mean, she's just got great court presence when she's out there.

AM:  Yeah, great. She's a great player. And I'm proud of her for just being confident herself. I tell her like, we need you. And she is a great three point shooter. She plays with a lot of poise. So for her to be a freshman, but just plays with that confidence and just being out there and just doing her game like it helps us a lot.

LS:  What's the feeling like in the locker room right now heading into this next contest?

AM: Yeah, we're excited. We're ready because we remember what they did to us last year on our home court. So you know after this Michigan game, like going in with the same mindset, you know, taking a lot of pride on defense, getting stops and just going in there and get another road kill.  We have been able to overcome a lot of humps and barriers, like just having that dog mentality and still putting in work. And right now we're seeing the fruit come from just working hard and stuff like that. I just feel like we're better this year mentally, like, nothing is easy.  I'm really proud of us because we know we've give our all.

 

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