Letter to the basketball team


Austin Yattoni

Illinois forward Michael Finke gives Illinois guard Trent Frazier a pat on the back after the game against Indiana at State Farm Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24. The Illini won 73-71.

By Tatiania Perry, Assistant sports editor

Dearest Illinois basketball team,

How are you guys? Are you good?

I know sometimes Underwood yells in your face and that can be a little intimidating, but I’m sure it’s because he cares.

He sees the potential in the team, he knows you guys have what it takes but you have to believe that too.

Sometimes it looks like you guys have just given up. In the first half of most games the team is playing on the same level as its competitors. But something happens in that locker room that changes you all after halftime.

I need you to do better. I need you guys to keep that first half energy.

Frazier, you are on fire young man. We saw the struggle to transition to the faster paced game in the beginning, but you shook the criticism and fired back with impressive results. Please don’t fizzle out and don’t let this success go to your head. Stay humble, your skills will speak loud enough on their own.

Aaron, that crazy waking-up-before-the-sun-to-work-out thing has really paid off. We’ve seen your improvement throughout this time. Working hard to be the player that you are and continuing that grind, inspirational.

Mr. Eboigbodin, I don’t know much about your eating habits but I’m going to need you to eat more spicy foods if we are to continue to refer to you as “Spicy G.” I’m talking paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin and red pepper flakes, Greg. Although your style of play is spicy enough on its own.

I don’t know what happened recently, but Kipper, you’ve found your groove. Game after game is just an improvement over the last. “Keep up the good work” is an incredible cliche but, like, keep that energy. Side note: your hair, fantastic. Please don’t ever do those twist again, it’s just not your look.

Mark Smith, I’m going to need you to breath kid. Take some deep breaths, in your nose and out of your mouth. You are a good player but I think you are overwhelmed. You’ve got this.

Mark Alstork, fans were excited for you, now meh. I would take this time to prove them wrong. You don’t to fade into obscurity.

Da’Monte, whats poppin’? I feel like you’re a cool guy, the best friend type. Basketball wise we know you can be better than your pops. Fill those shoes, then outgrow them.   

Finke, at the time of my writing this you have a concussion. Get better buddy.

Leron, basically all I have to say is keep doing you kid. Go ahead and continue living your best life. Also, a late congrats on the love, future wedding and impending marriage thing.

Matis, everyone loves you. I think you know that but I thought I should tell you again. We are all rooting for your success.

This is a complex team with more than enough talent and not the record to show for it. I can list a whole bunch of lame excuses for you guys, but my favorite phrase is “do better,” so that’s all that I need from you guys.

I believe in you!

But hey what do I know, I’m just a journalist with the privilege of publishing my thoughts.


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