The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illini start season with exhibition match against St. Francis, welcome fans back to State Farm Center

By Christian Jones, Staff Writer October 23, 2021

It’s been 594 days since the Illini played a game in State Farm Center with fans in attendance. Many students on campus have never had the opportunity to watch Brad Underwood’s squad play in person,...

Andre Curbelo dribbles toward the basket during the game against Nebraska Feb. 25. There are three crucial  questions that the Illinois basketball team has yet to answer as they go into their first preseason game on Saturday.

Three big questions remain as Illinois men’s basketball opens preseason play on Saturday

By Christian Jones, Staff Writer October 21, 2021

The Illini basketball team open their 2021-2022 season this Saturday in an exhibition against the St. Francis Fighting Saints. Following an offseason ripe with change, there are several questions yet to...

The Big Ten logo at the conferences media days on Thursday in Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Some of the biggest talking points at the event were the equity for mens and womens basketball, new opportunities through NIL and transfer rules and Michigan and Illinois basketballs rivalry.

Big Ten aims for more equity between men’s, women’s sports; new transfer, NIL rules change face of college athletics

By Christian Jones, Staff Writer October 12, 2021

Last Thursday, the Big Ten hosted day one of its basketball media days, where players and coaches from seven Big Ten schools, including Illinois, gathered to discuss the upcoming season. After an offseason...

Andre Curbelo and Kofi Cockburn field questions during Big Ten Basketball Media Days at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Thursday. Curbelo will take on a bigger role for Illinois this season.

“We’re gonna be better than last year”: Andre Curbelo steps into prominent role with Illinois men’s basketball

By Christian Jones, Staff Writer October 7, 2021

Andre Curbelo and Kofi Cockburn have a ton of eyes on them, and even more will come once the Illini start their season in three weeks. The duo has been deemed the faces of the program by fans and media...

At Big Ten Media Days on October 7, Illinois womens basketball head coach Nancy Fahey speaks to media about the team and upcoming season.

Illinois women’s basketball gain much needed chemistry during offseason

By Angelle Cortes, Assistant Sports Editor October 7, 2021

In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic restricted a lot of team groupings outside of practice. For Illinois women’s basketball, it caused a dent in the team's chemistry.  A week after the season...

Junior Jada Peebles speaks during Big Ten Basketball Media Days at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Thursday. Despite significant roster and coaching changes this season, the Illini are not concerned with any issues relating to identity or culture.

Illinois women’s basketball maintains culture, identity despite roster, assistant coaching changes

By Jackson Janes, Sports Editor October 7, 2021

Change is in the air for head coach Nancy Fahey and the Illinois women’s basketball team. With two starters gone in Jeanae Terry and Kennedi Myles, who transferred to Purdue and Marquette, respectively,...

Freshman Brandin Podziemski poses during the teams photo day. All three freshmen -- Podziemski, Luke Goode and RJ Melendez -- will look to establish themselves during their first college season.

Versatile Illinois men’s basketball freshmen aim to establish roles in Champaign

By Christian Jones, Staff Writer October 7, 2021

Despite losing one of the best players in school history, the Illini enter this season with a roster that is deep with talent and experience. Hidden in the shadows of fan favorites like sophomore Andre...

Junior Kofi Cockburn tries to dunk a basket against Nebraska Feb. 25. Kofi Cockburn wants to make his mark on Illinois as he prepares for this upcoming season.

Leaving a legacy: Kofi Cockburn sets personal goals for junior season with jersey already set to hang in rafters

By Jackson Janes, Sports Editor October 5, 2021

Only 33 jerseys currently hang in the rafters at State Farm Center. With a narrow set of requirements needed to earn the right to be recognized and honored amongst Illinois legends, the group is exclusive. Ayo...

Alfonso Plummer, one of the incoming transfers, brings a dangerous threat from three, something the Illini desperately need.

Alfonso Plummer legitimizes deep threat for Illinois men’s basketball

By Christian Jones, Staff Writer October 3, 2021

Illinois' infamous loss to Loyola last season left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The Illini struggled throughout, and as head coach Brad Underwood put it at media day on Friday, “They simply outplayed...

Head Coach Nancy Fahey looks from the sidelines at the gameplay as the team plays in the Big Ten Womens Basketball Tournament on March 10. Fahey looks for the team to improve offensively.

Illinois women’s basketball undergoes offseason changes, Fahey looks to be better offensively

By Angelle Cortes, Assistant Sports Editor October 1, 2021

The Illinois women’s basketball team has seen a lot of changes in the offseason, but fifth-year head coach Nancy Fahey is ready to turn things around.  From last year's starting five, the Illini...

Kofi Cockburn celebrates during the game against Nebraska on Feb. 25 at State Farm Center. Cockburn will form a dangerous tandem with fellow big man Florida transfer Omar Payne.

Cockburn, Payne look to establish dominate front court duo for Illinois men’s basketball

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor October 1, 2021

The Illinois men’s basketball team held their media day on Friday, as they look ahead to the beginning of the 2021-2022 campaign. After losing to Loyola Chicago in last year’s NCAA tournament, the...

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