Illini Hoops Media Day Notable Quotables (Videos)

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Last season, the Illinois Fighting Illini were one of the most schizophrenic teams in the Big Ten, if not the nation.

They beat Michigan State, a Final Four team in an emotional ESPN College Gameday event, and won at Wisconsin’s Kohl Center, where almost no one beats the Badgers. They also had Ohio State, a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament on the ropes in the conference tournament semis before angering/motivating Evan Turner, the man who swept last year’s national player of the year awards, to extinguish their NCAA hopes in double overtime.

I also watched from press row on my birthday as the Illini lost a “play-in game” of sorts at home to Minnesota, and heard them fumble away early season games to Utah and Bradley on a neutral court.

So this year it’s all about finding consistency and finding a true identity. Especially since expectations are bubbling up in Champaign. They have a loaded senior class in place, a talented sophomore class, and highly nationally ranked incoming freshmen.

If they learn to defend better, it could be a special year.

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Illinois’ Demetri McCamey on Official Wooden Award Watch List

demetri mccamey

As he enters his senior year, Illinois point guard Demetri McCamey has secured his reputation as among the top players not only in the Big Ten, but the nation.

No one has doubted McCamey’s potential, but there have been questions aplenty about his work ethic and maturity. However, he’s made big strides all three years that he’s been in Champaign, and now he finds himself a candidate to join his former high school teammate and friend Evan Turner as a winner of the Wooden Award.

Eleven conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason List. Leading the way is the Big 10 (10), followed by the ACC (8), Big East (7), SEC (3), Big 12 (7), Pac-10 (6), Atlantic 10 (3), Mountain West (2), West Coast (2); and Conference USA, and the Horizon League with one apiece.

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