After a highly successful trip to the Hawaiian Islands....the Fighting Illini basketball team could probably just "float" back home to Illinois without an airplane.
There were lots of smiles to go around after winning the Maui Invitational....and the Illini looked really strong doing it. The Illini never trailed in 3 days in the tournament. They hit double-digits in 3-point baskets made in all of the games. When they needed to crank it up defensively they completely took USC , Chaminade and Butler out of their offensive sets.
As Jerry Hester and I were doing our radio post-game show last night...both Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery of ESPN came by and shook our hands and said how impressed they were with the Illini effort. You know those two guys will spread the word back east about what they saw from John Groce's team.
We will see where the success in Maui takes the Illini the rest of the year. They dont have a lot of time to get their legs back under them. Gardner-Webb visits on Sunday at 3 pm....then Georgia Tech comes calling on Wedneday in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Talk to you on Saturday from Evanston for Illini football.