Illinois Men’s Basketball on BTN Live | B1G Media Day 10/2/19

Illinois Men’s Basketball on BTN Live | B1G Media Day 10/2/19
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LOTS OF EXCITEMENT IN SCHAMPAIG
AND FOR GOOD REASON. AND FOR GOOD REASON.
WON 6 OF THE LAST 12. WON 6 OF THE LAST 12.
THEY BRING BACK A STAR. THEY BRING BACK A STAR.
AYO DOUGH SUN MU. AYO DOUGH SUN MU.
THE TOP FOUR SCORERS IN ALL BACK THE TOP FOUR SCORERS IN ALL BACK
FROM LAST SEASON AS THE ILLINI FROM LAST SEASON AS THE ILLINI
MOVE FORWARD UNDER HEAD COACH MOVE FORWARD UNDER HEAD COACH
BRAD UNDERWOOD WITH US RIGHT NOW BRAD UNDERWOOD WITH US RIGHT NOW
ALONGSIDE THE TWO PLAYERS I ALONGSIDE THE TWO PLAYERS I
MENTIONED. MENTIONED.
I TALKED ABOUT. I TALKED ABOUT.
GOT BETTER AS LAST YEAR WENT ON. GOT BETTER AS LAST YEAR WENT ON.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING DOWN THE WHAT WERE YOU DOING DOWN THE
STRETCH? STRETCH?
>>I THINK BEING COMFORTABLE >>I THINK BEING COMFORTABLE
WITH EACH OTHER. WITH EACH OTHER.
SO MANY NEW FACES AND WE HAD A SO MANY NEW FACES AND WE HAD A
STEEP LEARNING CURVE EARLY STEEP LEARNING CURVE EARLY
BECAUSE OF BOTH OF THESE GUYS BECAUSE OF BOTH OF THESE GUYS
BEING FRESHMEN. BEING FRESHMEN.
AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT
COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS ALL ABOUT. COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS ALL ABOUT.
WE HAD A DEMANDING EARLY SEASON WE HAD A DEMANDING EARLY SEASON
SCHEDULE BEING IN MAUI EARLY AND SCHEDULE BEING IN MAUI EARLY AND
SOME ROAD GAMES. SOME ROAD GAMES.
AND THEN WE CONTINUED TO GROW AND THEN WE CONTINUED TO GROW
BECAUSE OF OUR WORK ETHIC AND BECAUSE OF OUR WORK ETHIC AND
THEN WE BECAME COMFORTABLE. THEN WE BECAME COMFORTABLE.
TRENTON AND ANDRES — TRENTON AND ANDRES —
DEFENSIVELY, WE BECAME BETTER. DEFENSIVELY, WE BECAME BETTER.
THAT ALLOWED US TO DEFLATE THAT ALLOWED US TO DEFLATE
BETTER. BETTER.
THE CHARACTER OF OUR GUYS, THEY THE CHARACTER OF OUR GUYS, THEY
COULD HAVE EASILY FOLDED EARLY. COULD HAVE EASILY FOLDED EARLY.
WE KEPT GRINDING AND GETTING WE KEPT GRINDING AND GETTING
BETTER AND BETTER. BETTER AND BETTER.
THAT LEADS TO WHAT I’M HOPING IS THAT LEADS TO WHAT I’M HOPING IS
A PROMISING SEASON THIS YEAR A PROMISING SEASON THIS YEAR
WITH THESE GUYS BACK. WITH THESE GUYS BACK.
GEORGI, WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN THE GEORGI, WHERE HAVE YOU SEEN THE
MOST PROGRESS? MOST PROGRESS?
>>THE PRACTICE. >>THE PRACTICE.
ALL THE NEW GUYS CAME IN. ALL THE NEW GUYS CAME IN.
WE HAD SIX, SEVEN NEW GUYS. WE HAD SIX, SEVEN NEW GUYS.
WE DIDN’T KNOW ALL THIS STUFF WE DIDN’T KNOW ALL THIS STUFF
THAT COACH WANTS TO RUN AND HOW THAT COACH WANTS TO RUN AND HOW
JUST EVERYBODY IS. JUST EVERYBODY IS.
PLAYERS, COACHES AND NOW THAT WE PLAYERS, COACHES AND NOW THAT WE
HAVE EVERYBODY COMING — ALMOST HAVE EVERYBODY COMING — ALMOST
EVERYBODY IS COMING BACK, WE’RE EVERYBODY IS COMING BACK, WE’RE
SO COMFORTABLE WITH EACH OTHER SO COMFORTABLE WITH EACH OTHER
AND WEWE CAN PUT IN REALLY, REAY AND WEWE CAN PUT IN REALLY, REAY
GOOD QUALITY WORK. GOOD QUALITY WORK.
>>YOU MENTIONED EVERYONE COMING>>YOU MENTIONED EVERYONE COMING
BACK. BACK.
THERE WAS QUESTION FROM OUTSIDE, THERE WAS QUESTION FROM OUTSIDE,
AYO, WHETHER YOU WOULD COME BACK AYO, WHETHER YOU WOULD COME BACK
OR GO TO THE NBA. OR GO TO THE NBA.
WHAT SWAYED YOUR DECISION? WHAT SWAYED YOUR DECISION?
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GO WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GO
ANOTHER YEAR? ANOTHER YEAR?
>>I TALKED TO MY FAMILY. >>I TALKED TO MY FAMILY.
WEIGHED MY PROS AND CONS. WEIGHED MY PROS AND CONS.
I TALKED TO COACH UNDERWOOD. I TALKED TO COACH UNDERWOOD.
WE SAT DOWN AND WE THOUGHT THAT WE SAT DOWN AND WE THOUGHT THAT
WOULD BE THE BEST DECISION FOR WOULD BE THE BEST DECISION FOR
MYSELF. MYSELF.
I FELT LIKE COMING BACK AND I FELT LIKE COMING BACK AND
HELPING THIS TEAM WIN, HELPING HELPING THIS TEAM WIN, HELPING
THIS TEAM GET BACK TO THE NCAA THIS TEAM GET BACK TO THE NCAA
TOURNAMENT WAS BEST FOR ME. TOURNAMENT WAS BEST FOR ME.
>>YOU TALKED ABOUT THE NCAA >>YOU TALKED ABOUT THE NCAA
TOURNAMENT. TOURNAMENT.
HOW MUCH DO YOU GUYS DISCUSS HOW MUCH DO YOU GUYS DISCUSS
THAT GOAL? THAT GOAL?
SIX YEARS SINCE ILLINOIS HAS SIX YEARS SINCE ILLINOIS HAS
BEEN THERE. BEEN THERE.
FOR A PROGRAM OF THIS STATURE, FOR A PROGRAM OF THIS STATURE,
IT’S AN AWFULLY LONG TIME. IT’S AN AWFULLY LONG TIME.
HOW MUCH IS THAT DISCUSSED HOW MUCH IS THAT DISCUSSED
OPENLY AMONGST YOU GUYS? OPENLY AMONGST YOU GUYS?
>>AYO? >>AYO?
>>EVERYONE IN THE LOCKER ROOM >>EVERYONE IN THE LOCKER ROOM
KNOWS THE MAIN GOAL. KNOWS THE MAIN GOAL.
COACH UNDERWOOD SAYS WE HAVE TO COACH UNDERWOOD SAYS WE HAVE TO
MAKE THE TOURNAMENT. MAKE THE TOURNAMENT.
HE TELL US TO PLAY HARD EACH AND HE TELL US TO PLAY HARD EACH AND
EVERY GAME. EVERY GAME.
HE TELLS US TO GIVE IT ALL WE HE TELLS US TO GIVE IT ALL WE
HAVE. HAVE.
THAT’S ALL WE REALLY CAN DO. THAT’S ALL WE REALLY CAN DO.
PLAY HARD EACH AND EVERY GAME. PLAY HARD EACH AND EVERY GAME.
AT THE END OF THE YEERKS WE’LL AT THE END OF THE YEERKS WE’LL
BE REWARDED. BE REWARDED.
>>GIORGI, AS YOU HEAR HIM TALK >>GIORGI, AS YOU HEAR HIM TALK
ABOUT THAT GOAL, WHAT DO YOU ABOUT THAT GOAL, WHAT DO YOU
THINK NEEDS TO HAPPEN? THINK NEEDS TO HAPPEN?
>>WIN AS MANY GAMES AS WE CAN. >>WIN AS MANY GAMES AS WE CAN.
OUR MIND-SET AS A TEAM WE GO IN OUR MIND-SET AS A TEAM WE GO IN
EVERY SINGLE GAME AS IF IT’S OUR EVERY SINGLE GAME AS IF IT’S OUR
LAST GAME. LAST GAME.
WE TRY TO WIN EVERY SINGLE GAME. WE TRY TO WIN EVERY SINGLE GAME.
I WILL REPEAT WHAT AYO SAID NEXT I WILL REPEAT WHAT AYO SAID NEXT
TO ME. TO ME.
THE RESULT WILL SHOW. THE RESULT WILL SHOW.
WE HAVE THE SCRIMMAGE IN — WE WE HAVE THE SCRIMMAGE IN — WE
TRY TO WIN IT. TRY TO WIN IT.
THE MAIN GOAL, WE WANT TO WIN THE MAIN GOAL, WE WANT TO WIN
THAT SCRIMMAGE. THAT SCRIMMAGE.
FROM THERE, NOVEMBER 1st, WE FROM THERE, NOVEMBER 1st, WE
HAVE OUR FIRST EXHIBITION GAME. HAVE OUR FIRST EXHIBITION GAME.
TRY TO WIN THAT GAME. TRY TO WIN THAT GAME.
EACH GAME AFTER THAT, WE WANT TO EACH GAME AFTER THAT, WE WANT TO
WIN. WIN.
AS HE SAID, AT THE END OF THE AS HE SAID, AT THE END OF THE
SEASON, THE RESULT WILL SHOW. SEASON, THE RESULT WILL SHOW.
>>WHERE IS THIS TEAM TAKEN THE >>WHERE IS THIS TEAM TAKEN THE
BIGGEST STEPS, COACH? BIGGEST STEPS, COACH?
>>MATURITY. >>MATURITY.
PHYSICALLY, WE’VE CHANGED OUR PHYSICALLY, WE’VE CHANGED OUR
BODIES IN THE OFF-SEASON. BODIES IN THE OFF-SEASON.
I THINK EVERY GUY, AYO ADDED 20 I THINK EVERY GUY, AYO ADDED 20
POUNDS. POUNDS.
WE’VE SEEN IMPROVEMENTS WE’VE SEEN IMPROVEMENTS
THROUGHOUT. THROUGHOUT.
IT’S A MORE MATURE, CONFIDENT IT’S A MORE MATURE, CONFIDENT
TEAM. TEAM.
JUST SIMPLY BECAUSE OF JUST SIMPLY BECAUSE OF
EXPERIENCE. EXPERIENCE.
NOW THAT HAS TO TRANSLATE TO THE NOW THAT HAS TO TRANSLATE TO THE
COURT EVERY SINGLE DAY. COURT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
WE’VE GOT A VERY CHALLENGING WE’VE GOT A VERY CHALLENGING
SCHEDULE AGAIN. SCHEDULE AGAIN.
WE’VE GOT TWO EARLY ROAD WE’VE GOT TWO EARLY ROAD
CONTESTS. CONTESTS.
WE’VE GOT TO DEVELOP SOME WE’VE GOT TO DEVELOP SOME
INCREASED TOUGHNESS AND GRIT. INCREASED TOUGHNESS AND GRIT.
BUT THAT COMES WITH LEADERSHIP BUT THAT COMES WITH LEADERSHIP
AND NOW YOU HAVE VETERANS WHO AND NOW YOU HAVE VETERANS WHO
CAN HELP THE YOUNG GUYS AND THEY CAN HELP THE YOUNG GUYS AND THEY
KNOW WHAT’S EXPECTED NOW. KNOW WHAT’S EXPECTED NOW.
I THINK THERE’S A DIFFERENT I THINK THERE’S A DIFFERENT
SWAGGER ABOUT IT. SWAGGER ABOUT IT.
THERE’S A DIFFERENT AIR ABOUT US THERE’S A DIFFERENT AIR ABOUT US
BECAUSE OF THAT EXPERIENCE AND BECAUSE OF THAT EXPERIENCE AND
THEY KNOW THEY CAN PLAY AND BE THEY KNOW THEY CAN PLAY AND BE
SUCCESSFUL IN THIS LEAGUE. SUCCESSFUL IN THIS LEAGUE.
YOU KNOW, NOW WE HAVE TO SET YOU KNOW, NOW WE HAVE TO SET
ABOUT TO DO THAT EVERY DAY AND ABOUT TO DO THAT EVERY DAY AND
HELP THESE YOUNG FRESHMEN WHO HELP THESE YOUNG FRESHMEN WHO
HAVE TO HELP US. HAVE TO HELP US.
WE’VE GOT TO GET THEM ON THE WE’VE GOT TO GET THEM ON THE
SAME PAGE THEY ARE. SAME PAGE THEY ARE.
>>YOU MENTIONEDS THE FRESHMEN. >>YOU MENTIONEDS THE FRESHMEN.
WE SPENT SOME TIME TOGETHER THIS WE SPENT SOME TIME TOGETHER THIS
SUMMER AND YOU TALKED ABOUT KOFI SUMMER AND YOU TALKED ABOUT KOFI
DOCK BURN. DOCK BURN.
>>THERE’S NOT MANY 7 FOOT GUYS.>>THERE’S NOT MANY 7 FOOT GUYS.
HE WAS 288 POUNDS YESTERDAY. HE WAS 288 POUNDS YESTERDAY.
HE HAS A 7’6″ WINGSPAN. HE HAS A 7’6″ WINGSPAN.
HE’S EXTREMELY ATHLETIC. HE’S EXTREMELY ATHLETIC.
HE’S A GIFTED RUNNER, PLAYS HE’S A GIFTED RUNNER, PLAYS
ABOVE THE RIM. ABOVE THE RIM.
HAVING A GUY LIKE THAT, ALLOWS HAVING A GUY LIKE THAT, ALLOWS
OTHERS TO PLAY DOWN THE FLOOR. OTHERS TO PLAY DOWN THE FLOOR.
ONE THING WE HAVE TO DO BETTER ONE THING WE HAVE TO DO BETTER
IS REBOUNDING. IS REBOUNDING.
THAT SHOULD BE SOMETHING HE THAT SHOULD BE SOMETHING HE
GIVES US. GIVES US.
HE’S AN INTELLYENT PLAYER. HE’S AN INTELLYENT PLAYER.
HE’S PICKED THINGS UPP EXTREMEL HE’S PICKED THINGS UPP EXTREMEL
WELL. WELL.
JUST ADDED SIZE IN THE BIG TEN JUST ADDED SIZE IN THE BIG TEN
IS IMPORTANT. IS IMPORTANT.
THAT WILL BE SOMETHING THAT HE THAT WILL BE SOMETHING THAT HE
OBVIOUSLY GIVES US.

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