Brad Underwood, Josh Whitman Press Conference

#1
Admin



Whitman: "Interesting times."

Whitman: "Yesterday felt like the day the music died."

Whitman: When I meet with freshmen, I tell them that this is fleeting. That this passes in the blink of an eye. I tell them to enjoy it.

Yesterday, we took a significant piece of that window away.

Whitman: We've had a few moments that have put what we do in perspective: Robert Archibald, Kobe Bryant and now coronavirus.

Whitman: This also has been a powerful reminder of the reach of sports. There's this incredible sense of void and loss that we have to work through.

Whitman: Yesterday was the hardest day.

Whitman: Had a teleconference with student-athletes and parents yesterday. Part of the message is that this is an evolving situation and that we don't have all the answers.

The message was one of appreciation, support and empathy.

"This is bigger than sports."

Whitman: No practices, competition or organized team activities.

Whitman: No planned, scheduled workouts or lifting. Don't want to contradict directives coming from the university.

Whitman: Will make announcements later today on public use of Atkins Tennis Center and the Armory. Want to err on the side of caution.

Whitman: Some students will be able to stay here because they have reason to (international students, recovering from injuries, etc.).

Whitman: Operations will scale down. May use two weight rooms instead of six.

Underwood: "These are hard decisions, but these are interesting times, unprecedented times."

Underwood: "Very valuable lesson to our student-athletes in the game of life."

Underwood: Big thanks to Big Ten leadership, Josh and the leadership of our university at what has been an unprecedented turn of events. I think we all understand this is bigger than a tournament.

Underwood: Practicing at Hinkle Fieldhouse yesterday and there was tremendous excitement. Heard 30 minutes in it was canceled. Showered and came home.

Underwood: You feel for Kipper, Tyler, Sammy, Andrés Feliz.

Underwood: "We were an NCAA Tournament team. There was no doubt about it. You can put an asterisk by it."

Underwood: This team I will always remember. It'll be because of all the fond memories, all the hard work and all the character. I had fun this year. I had a blast coaching this team.

Underwood: It's crushing. It's devastating.

Underwood: We got Illinois back to the NCAA Tournament. We got Illinois back to the national stage.

Underwood: I will have incredibly fond memories of this season

Whitman: Impressed with Kevin Warren's leadership. Talk about being thrown into the fire. I appreciate his open-mind, I appreciate him gathering consensus.

I imagine a lot of amendments, waivers stem through these events. Seems a no-branier, but also have to look at scholarship limits, roster sizes.

Whitman: We've just started to think through seniors getting an extra season. Not as straight-forward as it might seem.

Underwood utters team "had a chance" at national championship in a year with no clear favorite.

Underwood: There's not going to be a Selection Show. It's one of the great, great emotions, hearing your name called.

"We'll wait 'til next year."

Underwood: I'm disappointed for our guys that they don't get to hear their name. That's special.

Underwood: There was a lot of raw, raw, raw emotion. There were more hugs, more tears from coaching staff, players. People forget we invest a lot into these young people. We want for them to have special moments and memories that last a lifetime.

Undewood: There wasn't a dry eye in there.

Underwood: We all were trying to avoid finality. Cancel is final. Yet, there are so many other factors involved. It's way above a basketball tournament.

Underwood: I would have loved to have seen it played, but I also understand there are complications beyond what is normal in trying to postpone or reschedule.

Whitman: Facilities will be made available to student-athletes to work out. Will make plans to give guidance, direction from staffs remotely. All new ground here.

Underwood: All coaches in same boat with recruiting. Yet the transfer portal is filling up as we speak. Can't bring them on campus. Most will be done by phone. Very fluid situation.

Underwood: One thing needed for us is a break. We've been going since June 6. No break in August with trip to Italy. Break will be a good thing. Had planned several weeks away from it.

Whitman: "The ripple effects will be felt for a really long time."

Underwood: We've hit the gamut of all of them (emotions). I probably hit the bottom this morning when my wife told me this morning, 'Now, you have a lot of time to clean out your closet.'

Underwood: If you knew how good yesterday's practice was ... we were off the charts.

Whitman: It's gonna make it's way to Champaign. It's gonna make it's way to campus. I'm happy nobody in our department has presented with symptoms yet. But I think these decisions are minimizing the spread and risk of spread for our population but not eliminating.

Underwood: Ayo was getting ready to perform on the stage he loves most, and that was the big stage. My love for Ayo goes way beyond what you can imagine.

Underwood: I have not had a player as committed to success and work as much as Ayo is, on and off the court.

Underwood: We'll see what his future holds. I think every thing is up in the air with the NBA with their season, the combine, the draft.
https://twitter.com/JWerner247/
 
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#2
Underwood: We've hit the gamut of all of them (emotions). I probably hit the bottom this morning when my wife told me this morning, 'Now, you have a lot of time to clean out your closet.' :LOL:
 
#3
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Felt and thought many things watching that presser. Top of the list: (1) So sad these guys had their season cut short; (2) So grateful we all got to enjoy them this season and, more importantly, that they so obviously enjoyed playing together; (3) So pleased that BU is our coach and that JW brought him here.

BU is a special guy. He belongs here. Am delighted we have him.
 
#4
It sounds like the NCAA is looking at an extra year of eligibility? It would not help a kid like Ayo, but Andres and Kipper? Kipper has been in school a long time maybe he just wants to get on with his life? Andres? Who knows another year might be an option? Strange times lots of questions that would need to be addressed here? Given most schools scholarship utilization, it would probably require an extra spot or two on the roster? I would love to Andres Feliz, and for that matter Kipper, for another year!
 
#5
It sounds like the NCAA is looking at an extra year of eligibility? It would not help a kid like Ayo, but Andres and Kipper? Kipper has been in school a long time maybe he just wants to get on with his life? Andres? Who knows another year might be an option? Strange times lots of questions that would need to be addressed here? Given most schools scholarship utilization, it would probably require an extra spot or two on the roster? I would love to Andres Feliz, and for that matter Kipper, for another year!
Will we be able to put 6 on the floor too? How would BU split up the playing time for 15 quality players? I think that the sports that are just starting might get an extra year of eligibility, but basketball was nearly done. Besides, the other guys would have dudes coming back too...

Don't really want to have to face these guys again: Cassius Winston, Lamar Stevens, Anthony Cowan, Xavier Simpson, Jon Teske, Jordan Bohannan...
 
#6
South Carolina
It sounds like the NCAA is looking at an extra year of eligibility? It would not help a kid like Ayo, but Andres and Kipper? Kipper has been in school a long time maybe he just wants to get on with his life? Andres? Who knows another year might be an option? Strange times lots of questions that would need to be addressed here? Given most schools scholarship utilization, it would probably require an extra spot or two on the roster? I would love to Andres Feliz, and for that matter Kipper, for another year!
I would speculate the potential waivers would pertain to spring sports (i.e. Golf, Baseball) --- and not winter sports such as basketball where our seniors were allowed to play 31 Regular Season games. However, as Josh pointed out, other issues such as the matter of scholarships would complicate things.
 
#8
Another strange thought maybe they treat them as grad students, they can transfer (more than once)?
Making an extreme here obviously! Andreas is a borderline NBA talent, he missed his shot at showcasing his skills in the tournament. So he is disadvantaged (in today’s world). If you offer the option of another year at any school does that help?
 
#9
Underwood: All coaches in same boat with recruiting. Yet the transfer portal is filling up as we speak. Can't bring them on campus. Most will be done by phone. Very fluid situation.

I thought this was just a Loyalty maxim? ;)
 
#10
BU clearly been on Loyalty during his stints at SFA and OSU haha.

IMO, if NCAA doesn't have then sentiment or time to invest in a selection show, then they'll be equally indifferent towards the seniors. I will be shocked if they get an extra year - at least basketball whose regular season had ended.
 
#11
I don't think seniors should get another full year, it just doesn't make sense. They played a full season this year. Would Kipper for example get another full year, but a kid from Nebraska wouldn't? They played the same amount of games but Kipper missed the tournament that Illinois was going to make. Would they both get another full year? Where are these seniors going to play? Teams don't have roster spots left for seniors to come back? They can't all grad transfer because the portal is already full. Do you add roster spots for a year? How many? We had 3 seniors but if Nebraska only had 1 do we get 3 more spots and they get 1? That doesn't work either.
 
#12
I think one real problem would be the effect on other players, including incoming freshmen. They are going to be denied opportunity if we give an entire class another go around. Do we give those players another year because some fifth year senior took their playing time. It is bad enough that this will be the case with spring sports, but there is little reason to create that problem with winter sports when the players had the opportunity to play a full regular season. Just don't see it happening.
 
#15
Winged Warrior
The more I read and learn about BU, the more I love him and hope he becomes a fixture here. The next Lou.

Give BU a section of the Krush.... "Underwood's Thunderhood"....or something.

I hope it's so good, there's something named after him in 20 years.
 
#16
Professional Social Distancer
Virginia
The more I read and learn about BU, the more I love him and hope he becomes a fixture here. The next Lou.

Give BU a section of the Krush.... "Underwood's Thunderhood"....or something.

I hope it's so good, there's something named after him in 20 years.
My fear would be an "Izzone" type thing that could turn into a guy being bigger than the team. I vote for keeping the Crush BU free and focused on the entire team. Make him keep earning it.
 
#18
Winged Warrior
My fear would be an "Izzone" type thing that could turn into a guy being bigger than the team. I vote for keeping the Crush BU free and focused on the entire team. Make him keep earning it.
Yeah, he would probably agree too.

I still hope we're naming something after him in 20 years.