Illinois quarterback Art Sitkowski needs surgery on a broken left arm and also on his right shoulder that will keep him out of spring practice, moving Brandon Peters back in as starter.
"I won't be joining Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon in the backcourt, instead joining him in the press conference room. But again, that's the beauty of dreams and how they change."
Finally eligible and healthy, Austin Hutcherson hardly looked rusty, sparking Illinois to a convincing 101-34 victory.
"Our players know, our coaches know. Everything's been that way since Tuesday's practice forward," Illinois coach Bret Bielema said.
"They've been here since the onset, since it was rough," coach Brad Underwood said.
"I know I only got seven games with him, but the thing I said to him was, 'Thank God I got seven games with you, man,' because he made me better," coach Bret Bielema said.
Illinois has high expectations for the 2021-22 season and the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll reflects that.
"I kind of learned that the first time I went to the Kentucky Derby, right? Nobody was betting on the jockeys. Everybody was betting on the horses."
"It’s kind of to be determined," Illinois coach Bret Bielema said Tuesday.
Illinois guard Andre Curbelo was named the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year last season.
"Instead of trying to get people to give something to me and to get a birthday present for me, I wanted to give people something from me."
"I'm gonna come in and work hard," Payne said, pointing at the slogan on the tongues of his sneakers. "Just try to be the 'Every day guy' like they say."
"I was in four different states (Monday)," Bielema said.
Illinois held a public practice for fans Saturday.
"I found out (about the public) practice and I told him, and he said, 'Yeah! Yeah! Let's go!'" Virg Jacques said, laughing.
Illinois had three yards of total offense at the end of the first quarter Saturday against Wisconsin. It hardly got any better.