Underwood updates summer workouts; Illini rise in Katz national, B1G rankings

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There’s a lot of news each day. Illini Inquirer will try to make it easier to digest each weekday morning with the Daily Digest. Today, get up to speed on Illini basketball offseason workouts, where one college basketball insider ranks Illinois following Kofi Cockburn’s return, College GameDay’s Week One destination, an Illini golfer’s early hype for next season and Kendrick Green’s contract.


Alfonso Plummer (Photo: courtesy Illinois athletics)

While the Illinois basketball coaching staff is crisscrossing the country as recruiters, the Illinois basketball players have been swamped this summer with offseason strength and skill workouts. The team has only had three group workouts so far, but strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher has put the players through intense workouts and the staff also has put the players through skill workouts. Last week, Brad Underwood spoke to the media at the Kendall Gill Golf Benefit about the offseason workouts.

  • Overall on workouts: “I feel very pleased,” Underwood said. “We’ve taken it very slow. They’re full-fledged with Fletch in the weight room. That’s the biggest key right now is getting some guys stronger. We did not have an offseason last year in the weight room, so guys like [Andre] Curbelo, Coleman Hawkins, it’s a huge offseason for them in terms of that, along with the freshmen. …But I’ve been very, very pleased.”
  • On the impact of transfers Omar Payne and Alfonso Plummer: “Omar coming from Florida, and Alfonso coming from Utah to go along with our three freshmen, you see the maturity of our transfers. They both come from very successful programs, so that transition’s been great. They fit us character-wise. I’ve been really excited about how they’ve dove into our culture of work. They both spend a lot of time in the gym.”
  • On the three true freshmen Brandin Podziemski, RJ Melendez and Luke Goode: “And I’m excited as heck about our freshmen. They all offer something a little bit different talent-wise. But in terms of getting in the gym and working and diving right in, they’ve been both feet into the work mode. …They’ve all handled the workload great. I think the biggest challenge is I always say it starts when I step on the floor and start coaching them. Everything right now has been very positive, very individualized in terms of getting shots, ball-handling and fundamental things of the game. We’ve had just two group workouts. We’ll have a third this week. But it’s been very positive. They’re great listeners. They pay attention, and that’s all I can ask for at this point.”
  • On the impact of super senior guards Trent Frazier and Da’Monte Williams: “One of the reasons they’ve been here four years is they believe in our culture. You’re talking about great leaders, you’re talking about guys that have 100-plus games … of experience. They’re older. They’ve been in the weight room. They’ve both been for the…

Read More: Underwood updates summer workouts; Illini rise in Katz national, B1G rankings 2021-07-21 07:51:39

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