Illini Basketball Bouncing Back From Bad Weekend

GroceTuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) When it comes to weekends, Illini Nation’s was about on par with Bernie’s.

On Friday morning, basketball commitment Quentin Snider turned tails for Louisville. On Friday afternoon, Chicago Curie’s Cliff Alexander did everything but say he was “taking his talents to Lawrence” during his nationally televised dis of his home state school. And by Saturday afternoon, fans of defense were again grossly offended as the Illini football team was stomped by Ohio State for its 20th consecutive Big Ten loss.

By the time tornadoes had raked large swaths of Central Illinois on Sunday afternoon, the entire state needed a weekend from its weekend.

And probably another weekend on top of that.

But come Sunday night, John Groce’s current basketball players showed that all is not lost in Champaign. By impressively routing I-74 rival Bradley 86-51 at the State Farm Center, the Illini quieted a small group of BU students in attendance who had been chanting “We want Cliff” and “Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk.” The victory featured 19 assists on 28 baskets and a breakout shooting game from transfer Jon Ekey (5-of-7 on three-pointers for 19 points) allowing Illinois fans to head into Monday morning with their chins still bruised, but up.

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