Bertrand (knee), Tate (foot) slowed by injury

Bertrand (knee), Tate (foot) slowed by injury

Illinois might not be at full strength when they finish the regular season at Iowa Saturday night. Senior guard Joseph Bertrand left Tuesday's game early with a knee injury. Head coach John Groce said on a teleconference Friday that Bertrand practiced Thursday and will hopefully be ready. Meanwhile freshman point guard Jaylon Tate will be closer to a game-time deicision as he nurses a foot injury.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois might not be at full strength when they finish the regular season at Iowa Saturday night.  Senior guard Joseph Bertrand left Tuesday's game early with a knee injury.  Head coach John Groce said on a teleconference Friday that Bertrand practiced Thursday and will hopefully be ready.  Meanwhile freshman point guard Jaylon Tate will be closer to a game-time deicision as he nurses a foot injury.

Illinois will try to get some revenge against Iowa after the Hawkeyes won in Champaign last month.  More than that, this game is about confidence and seeding for the Big Ten Tournament.

"Seeding is always in the back of our minds, but there's playing well - getting ready to go into postseason of the [Big Ten] Tournament and hopefully more after that," said senior Jon Ekey.  "It's good to just try to get rolling again."

In the first meeting between these two teams, Iowa raced out to a 21-point first half lead, only for Illinois to storm back to take the lead back.  Iowa pulled away late to win 81-74.  Illinois is putting some added emphasis on the rematch.

"I think it's pretty important personally," said junior Nnanna Egwu, who was held to only six points and three rebounds in their first meeting.  "It's good for us to come out - and whether we win or lose - I think it's really important for us to play well - for us to show ourselves and other teams how we're playing."
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