New leaders stepping up for Groce, Illini

New leaders stepping up for Groce, Illini

If you're looking for returning starters from last year's Illini basketball team, there aren't many. Their two biggest leaders last year, DJ Richardson and Brandon Paul are gone, leaving a gaping hole that some new leaders will have to step in and fill.
CHAMPAIGN -- If you're looking for returning starters from last year's Illini basketball team, there aren't many.  Their two biggest leaders last year, DJ Richardson and Brandon Paul are gone, leaving a gaping hole that some new leaders will have to step in and fill.

That's a role guys like Joseph Bertrand, Tracy Abrams and Nnanna Egwu are excited to fill.  They have all been asked to be more vocal leaders this season, and that is something they have embraced.

"I definitely need to be vocal, with me being one of the older guys," Bertrand said.  "To share my experience since I've been here.  Especially with the new system, they haven't been through anything like this before."

One non-senior leader will be Tracy Abrams, who is using his role on the court to be a mentor to the younger players.

"I'm the point guard," Abrams said.  "That's kind of my duty in my mind.  I definitely have to be a leader, help my teammates out, just get guys going."
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