Defense wins championships, new Illinois head coach Shauna Green builds defensive strength before season


Logan Hodson

Forward junior Kendall Bostic goes for the layup against Purdue on Jan. 20. Bostic, junior Makira Cook and Illinois women’s basketball head coach Shauna Green represented Illinois at the Big Ten Conference Media Day in Minnesota on Tuesday.

By Rachel Oh, Contributing Writer

Illinois women’s basketball head coach Shauna Green, junior Kendall Bostic and junior Makira Cook represented Illinois at the Big Ten Conference Media Day on Tuesday, at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Green excitedly attended her very first Big Ten Media Day this past Tuesday as the new head coach of Illinois just six months into claiming the position. 

Green already has many accomplishments under her belt. Coming from the University of Dayton, Green has won five Atlantic 10 regular season championships in six years, won 26 games last year and was a three-time conference Coach of the Year. 

Despite these impressive accomplishments, Green stays humble and gives credit to her players. 

“You get really good players and they make you look like a lot better coach,” Green said. “You know, the credit goes to them.”

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After finishing dead last in the Big Ten last year, Illinois has a new game plan in 2022. Green heads into the season prioritizing one thing and one thing only: Defense. 

“We gotta be able to defend. That’s going to put us into the position to at least be in a position to win games,” Green said. “You can’t run and play fast if you’re playing off of a dead ball to make — so gotta make stops.” 

So what exactly are Green’s practices like? Bostic gave fans a sneak peak on what it’s like practicing under Green after just a few months with her new coach. 

“Very detail oriented — we have a big emphasis on defense. And as I mentioned before, we do a lot of drills on defense that sometimes 60 to 70% of practice is just defense,” Bostic said. “I think that’s something that’s really good for us and that we need to work on.” 

Knowing she has a task ahead, Green pushes her players to play their best and believes in a process-driven mindset. Inheriting an underachieving program doesn’t seem to be daunting to her.

We’ll be good when we’re good. As long as we’re continuing to get better day by day, drill by drill, then the outcome takes care of itself.”  


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