Brad Underwood: The podcast

Brad Underwood: The podcast

CHAMPAIGN — Thursday marks the start of a recruiting dead period that runs the rest of July. That means no in-person contact between coaches and players at any time on or off campus.

Not that coaches won't get another look at their recruiting targets. Three evaluation periods dot the July recruiting landscape, with the first starting July 12 and running through July 16.

That's when Illinois coach Brad Underwood will make a change in his summer workouts.

Underwood has been splitting his 2 hours per week with his team into three, 40-minute sessions. With the Illini coaches on the road Wednesday through Sunday the rest of this month, Underwood is moving to two groups practicing for an hour on Mondays and the whole team getting in an hour's worth of work Tuesdays.

"We'll start to put a few pieces together in that one hour," Underwood said. "Concepts is what we're looking for. July will be a little more defensive."

Illinois began its summer workouts last month with all but two players on campus. Wright State transfer Mark Alstork is completing his graduate requirements, while incoming freshman Matic Vesel went directly from the end of his school year the last week of June to the U20 Slovenian national team.

"I think the one thing I've tried to take into consideration is everything we're going to do is pretty fundamental," Underwood said. "We're not going to get too far ahead where we leave anybody behind."

Underwood said he was "extremely high on" all of Illinois' freshmen. Greg Eboigbodin, in fact, got the nod as the team's best athlete — boasting a 7-foot-4 wingspan and touching 12 feet in a recent test.

The three most veteran Illini, though, have drawn Underwood's attention this spring and summer. The first-year coached praised redshirt junior forward Leron Black as the team's most improved player.

"His commitment to work has been incredible," Underwood said. "I think he's shown me more than just being kind of a junkyard dog guy. Initially, my first perception was he's just a guy that's going to chase rebounds, fly around and do some things. He's got a better skill set. He handles the ball a little better than I thought. He's shot it better than I thought."

Fellow redshirt junior forward Michael Finke and junior guard Aaron Jordan also drew praise from Underwood.

"(Finke's) been exceptional this summer," Underwood said after the Centennial grad sat out in the spring with a foot injury. "I'm really, really excited about the future for him. He fits great into our system.

"Aaron's been very good. Aaron's been a guy that hasn't played a lot, yet has got some tools and can really do some things."

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Moonpie wrote on July 06, 2017 at 8:07 am

Just another golly gee whiz what a swell guy piece from the Lazy Gazoo. It's what they do.

jdstieg wrote on July 06, 2017 at 10:07 am

Mikey, Mikey, Mikey.  You don't have to be so bitter. Just because the N-G let you go that's no reason for all your bitterness.  Loren Tate is getting paid.......your'e not.  Hee Hee Hee.














michael loyd grays conscience wrote on July 07, 2017 at 2:07 pm

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