Freshman center Tisdale bulks up for upcoming season

By Stefan Jellicoe

Basketball season officially got underway Friday night with Illini Madness at Assembly Hall. It was the public’s first chance to see this year’s edition of the Illinois Men’s Basketball team. Between the slam dunk contest and the informal scrimmage it was evident that this years team has added a new dose of athleticism. Fast breaks and alley-oop passes were flying all over the floor during the scrimmage with freshman Mike Davis and senior Shaun Pruitt both throwing down several dunks.

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    In the run up to the season the players are looking to refine their skills as well as their bodies. For seven-foot-one freshman center Mike Tisdale that means adding bulk to his 215 pound frame. To help Tisdale gain weight the team’s training staff has put him on a six-thousand calorie per day diet. This has meant that since the school year began Tisdale’s days have largely revolved around food.

    “I wake up, obviously I eat breakfast,” Tisdale said. “I have some cereal, granola, some yogurt and a thing of milk, then at any time in between that and lunch I get as much food as I can, at lunch I eat whatever they’ve got, a couple of plates, then I get a snack in between that, then for dinner I spend about an hour over at the varsity table trying to eat all I can then at night I get another snack, so its not bad.”

    The Illini’s season will get underway when they take on Quincy at the Assembly Hall on Halloween.