Basketball

Izzo & Underwood Praise Da’Monte Williams’ Effort & Leadership in Illini Win

Izzo & Underwood Praise Da’Monte Williams’ Effort & Leadership in Illini Win

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer

January 27, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Joe Clark/IlliniGuys)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- It would be hard to imagine two coaches more philosophically and stylistically similar than Tom Izzo and Brad Underwood. 

So it should come as very little surprise to name the player on the court who the Michigan State head coach and Illinois head coach both thought were the keys to Illinois picking up its signature win of the 2021-22 season. 

In a 56-55 victory over No. 10 Michigan State on Tuesday night, one of the main players both coaches pointed to as a difference maker was a fifth-year senior who didn’t score a point in 27 minutes of action. Neither leader of a program near the top of the Big Ten Conference cares. Not one little bit. 

Read
Sturdy's 3 Takeaways - Michigan State Edition

Sturdy's 3 Takeaways - Michigan State Edition

By Brad Sturdy - IlliniGuys Insider/Analyst

January 26, 2022

Illini Survive Spartans

Winning ugly is always better than losing pretty. Despite a long dry spell that saw the Illini scoreless for the final 5:32, Illinois held on for a 56-55 win over the #10 Michigan State Spartans on Tuesday night behind 16 points from Trent Frazier. The Illini played without start center Kofi Cockburn and Guard Andre Curbelo and finally got their signature win and bolstered their NCAA resume. 

Here’s a look at what we learned. 

These 3 Things

Numbers Lie? - Michigan State dominated the glass and won the second chance points battle 11-0. When was the last time Illinois had 0 2nd chance points?

Read
Heat Checks and Hail Marys - Illini Defeat #10 MSU sans Cockburn & Curbelo

Heat Checks and Hail Marys - Illini Defeat #10 MSU sans Cockburn & Curbelo

Mike Cagley, IlliniGuy January 26, 2022 The Illini needed […]

Read
Short-Handed Illini Shock Spartans 56-55 To Regain First Place In The Big Ten

Short-Handed Illini Shock Spartans 56-55 To Regain First Place In The Big Ten

IlliniGuys Staff January 25, 2022 (Cover photo courtesy Joe […]

Read
Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Illinois Basketball Shifts Focus to 2023

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Illinois Basketball Shifts Focus to 2023

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting 

January 25, 2022

Barring a transfer at the end of the season, which is always possible, Brad Underwood and his staff will shift their focus to the class of 2023.

Read
Illini Basketball Preview - Illini vs Michigan State

Illini Basketball Preview - Illini vs Michigan State

Connor Cagley, IlliniGuys Basketball Writer January 25, 2022 Essentials […]

Read
Take Two - Underwood ‘Over my damn dead body will that happen again.’

Take Two - Underwood ‘Over my damn dead body will that happen again.’

Take 1 - Illinois head coach Brad Underwood’s message […]

Read
Around The Rim

Around The Rim

January 24, 2022

Seven weeks until Selection Sunday.  Let's take care of a few things:

Resetting The Illini

Last week wasn't what Illinois fans were expecting a week ago.  A chance to prove they are the best team in the Big Ten followed up by another conference road win at lowly Maryland.  Neither happened.

Get over it.

Step back and look at the big picture.  With everything that's happened this season, Illinois enters the week one game out of first place in the Big Ten and that can be rectified with a home win Tuesday night over frontrunner Michigan State.  That's incredible and beating the Spartans is very doable.

Maybe you no longer believe that the Illini should be in the conversation as a national championship contender and maybe you're right.  But for me, it's far too early to write them off.  Few teams find extreme success without their two All-American caliber players getting the chance to play together.  AND potentially the nation's top defensive player gutting it out through a shoulder that needs surgery

Read
Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Chicago's Rich Barron Talked About His Visit

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Chicago's Rich Barron Talked About His Visit

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

January 22, 2022

Getting student-athletes on campus to see what you have to sell is a big part in recruiting—Monday's instant classic between Purdue and Illinois

Read
Fighting Illini Announce 28 All-Time Greats for Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame

Fighting Illini Announce 28 All-Time Greats for Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame

2021 Hall-of-Fame Class Honors Pre-1950s Legends DIA Press Release […]

Read
Heat Checks and Hail Marys - Illini Still Winless at College Park in B1G Play

Heat Checks and Hail Marys - Illini Still Winless at College Park in B1G Play

Mike Cagley, IlliniGuy January 22, 2022 The Illini went […]

Read
Kofi-less Illini suffer 81-65 upset at Maryland

Kofi-less Illini suffer 81-65 upset at Maryland

IlliniGuys Staff January 21, 2022 COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- […]

Read
Illini Basketball Preview - Illini at Maryland

Illini Basketball Preview - Illini at Maryland

Connor Cagley, IlliniGuys Basketball Writer January 21, 2022 Essentials: […]

Read
‘I just couldn’t be myself’: Curbelo Describes His Return From Concussion-Related Symptoms

‘I just couldn’t be myself’: Curbelo Describes His Return From Concussion-Related Symptoms

For the first time since returning to action, Illinois sophomore guard Andre Curbelo described the feelings of his two-month absence that included physical, mental and emotional pain. 

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Football Writer/Analyst

January 20, 2022

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- While several people around him speculate and have questions about the difficulty of what he’s attempting on the basketball court now, Andre Curbelo believes the hard part is over. 

The sophomore point guard returned to the active lineup Monday in a 25-minute session during the double-overtime loss to Purdue but nothing he did in that afternoon was as taxing to his mind and body as trying to figure out the recovery from a long list of consistent symptoms from a severe head injury. 

“It’s scary when you don’t really have a lot of answers and you don’t have a lot of knowledge of what’s going on,” Curbelo said. “There was a time where I was like, ‘This seems like it’s going to be forever. This seems like I’m never going to be back.’ Typical college athlete mindset when you get an injury like this, you start thinking about the worst because you don’t want to be in shock when you get the news that either you can’t play or you can’t do this, you can’t do that for this long.”

Read
Breaking: Chicago-based Illini Guardians Kickstarts Major NIL Initiative

Breaking: Chicago-based Illini Guardians Kickstarts Major NIL Initiative

By Larry Smith - IlliniGuys Staff January 20, 2022 […]

Read