"You have to walk before you can run"

Losers of three-straight games, Illinois still finding its new identity

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) -- What's the bigger story for the Illinois men's basketball team the last week? The fact that they lost three-straight games in which they had a chance to win? Or the fact that they came back from a 22-point second half deficit to nearly take down Maryland? Illinois teams in the past few years have lost numerous double-digit games.

"Sometimes you have to walk before you can run and we could very easily be 9-0 but we're not," Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. "We're 6-3 and along with that we've got to grow."

"These coaches they want the best out of us and they're pushing us to do that everyday and they want us to keep fighting," Illinois junior forward Michael Finke said. "We were in the huddle and they said, 'Your jersey says Fighting Illini and to represent that' and come out with that edge and show them what we're about.

"I think that's what we showed in the second half. We're not going to get blown out, we're better than that."

Illinois is back on the court Wednesday night hosting Austin Peay for a 7 p.m. tip at State Farm Center.


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