A Proposal For The ‘Barnstorming Illini’ In 2015

GroceToday’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) Come the fall of 2016, the University of Illinois men’s basketball team will have a snazzy new home thanks to the State Farm Center renovations.

But come the fall of 2015, the Illini won’t have a home at all – for a few games, at least – also thanks to the State Farm Center renovations.

As a result, I think the Illini should look to have several homes during that time.

On Monday, the Champaign News-Gazette reported that John Groce’s Illini will play five home games – one exhibition and four nonconference – away from State Farm Center during the start of the 2015-’16 season because a phase of construction at the arena won’t be finished until Dec. 1, 2015. So where should they be held?

Senior associate athletic director Jason Lerner said that playing games at historic Huff Hall – where Illinois played its basketball before Assembly Hall opened in 1963 – isn’t an option because its seating capacity is too small. He didn’t disclose what other alternate sites the university is considering, saying only that, “We’re looking for different venues throughout the state.”

To that, I say the Illini should play in as many of them as possible.

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