Illini Basketball Press Conference (3/31)


Brad Underwood on no extra eligibility for seniors: As sympathetic as you are for seniors who didn't get to experience the postseason, we played our season. It's a teaching moment. It's a tough moment. It's hard. But I get it and totally understand it.

Brad Underwood on NBA Draft uncertainty and Ayo Dosunmu: There are a lot of factor that are unknown. Don't know what the draft process is. Unless you're a pretty surefire top-10 pick, it's challenging to know what that process is.

Brad Underwood: Ayo's in a position to examine all those things. It's not about pressuring anybody. It's always about trying to be in a position of support and help. We've always got a home. I want our guys to know that.

Brad Underwood on number of transfers: We don't worry about class balance because of it. Those times are pretty much gone.

Brad Underwood on recruiting remotely: You're trying to get as much information to these prospects as you can digitally. We've got some guys in the '21 class we've had on campus. We're conducting some official-like visits online.

Brad Underwood: Could see 2021 prospects commit earlier with no AAU events this spring and summer.

Brad Underwood: We feel like we're in a good position at every roster spot. You start getting very detailed. We could potentially use a stretch four. A lot depends on if one-time transfer rule passes. If we had a sit-out guy, it could be anywhere from a big to a PG.

Underwood: Grandison and Hutcherson the same size. But they bring different things to the table in what they do. To have those guys go through a year of practice was huge. They were a handful on the scout team.

Underwood on scouting via video: "I hate highlight tapes. ...I want to see a game. I want to see if you jump to the ball, if you back-cut when you need to."

Underwood: Kofi Cockburn and Trent Frazier "are in pretty tight quarantine" being in NYC and Florida.

Underwood: Very few of our guys are finding access to gyms or even parks. Asking them to be creative. Everything's body-weight. Encouraging guys to go run on their own, if they can.

Kipper still on campus too.

Twice a week we do Zoom together as a group. Fletch has an app and puts them through a workout every day the best we can through bodyweight stuff.

Underwood: Giorgi is on campus. Bosmans-Verdonk is with a friend in Bloomington. Everyone else is home.

Underwood said Giorgi is doing well by himself. Can entertain himself pretty easily. Trying to learn to walk on his hands. My daughter shows me his Tik Toks every day.

Underwood declines to get into personnel decision with Alan Griffin.

"I'm never surprised by anything today. There's nothing that's shocking anymore. You've almost become numb to it. He's made his decision for what his reasons are. You wish him nothing but the best."

Underwood: Recruit response has been great. Get a bump with Tournament “but every one is pretty dialed into the succes we’ve had this year, the fans.”

Brad Underwood ends teleconference wanting to make a public statement, saying that if we all do our part, the faster we can get back to normalcy.
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Haven't listened to Giorgi yet, but enjoyed the Underwood interview.
Comment about a stretch 4 mean anything about the readiness of BBV or Hawkins? Would seem to imply that he feels that it his biggest roster weakness although not a huge concern.
I'm sure things are crazy at that level, but to not be surprised anymore when asked his reaction to AG leaving...that's hard to believe. Maybe not as surprised as we, the fans outside of the inner circle, were, but still had to come as a bit of a disappointment. I get it...coachspeak and all, but wish there was a little more to that. GB was a bit more authentic in his response in terms of still dealing with coming to terms with AG's decision. But good to hear he can be selective.