Asmussen | Finally, Coach can rest easy

CHAMPAIGN — Brad Underwood had been fighting a cold, turning his voice a bit on the raspy side.

He got a lot better Wednesday night.

"Winning really feels really good," Underwood said.

The losses don't go down well for the feisty coach. It impacts his life. Simple things like sleeping.

On Wednesday, the second-year Illinois boss figured to snooze like a newborn.

Underwood: 'A lot of things started to click'

Illinois coach Brad Underwood and freshman guard Ayo Dosunmu and Minnesota coach Richad Pitino break down Wednesday's 95-68 Illini win against the Gophers at State Farm Center.

Illini snap losing streak in emphatic fashion

CHAMPAIGN — Giorgi Bezhanishvili had something important he wanted to share before answering his first question after Wednesday’s game against Minnesota. The Illinois freshman forward eventually hit on what worked well for the Illini rebounding against the Gophers and how it played into their 95-68 victory, but not before …

'I actually deleted it off my phone'

CHAMPAIGN — The national conversation about the Big Ten last season was the conference, long considered a basketball power, was down. Just four NCAA tournament bids — albeit with a run to the national title game by Michigan — was the end result.

LIVE! Minnesota

Illinois 95, Minnesota 68 — FINAL

That's how you snap a five-game losing streak and pick up your first Big Ten win of the season.

Illinois led nearly the entire night, distancing itself from Minnesota early in the first half and continuing the blitz of the Gophers in the second half to give Illinois its first win in a month.

Asmussen | Illini move on from Jeff Thomas

I am an optimist by nature. With a great faith in people.

So, when someone tells me, say, "I'm on my way to play football at Illinois," I tend to believe them.

That's what happened late Monday afternoon, when I talked to receiver Jeff Thomas. He was on his way to Champaign and said he was excited about getting started with Lovie Smith's program.

Until he wasn't.

Underwood: Gophers 'hurt you the old fashioned way'

Illinois coach Brad Underwood and freshman guard Ayo Dosunmu discuss Wednesday's game against Minnesota, while sophomore guard Trent Frazier talks about regaining his confidence.

Oladipo reinstated by Illini

CHAMPAIGN — Lere Oladipo has been reinstated to the Illinois football team by coach Lovie Smith, according to UI athletics spokesman Kent Brown.

Watkins leaving Illinois

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football has managed to avoid the roster churn from a year ago with only a few transfers out of the program this offseason. That number grew Tuesday afternoon, though, when Cameron Watkins announced he would finish is career elsewhere.

Thomas plans on sticking with Illini

Speculation in the last 72 hours centered around whether Jeff Thomas would actually wind up at Illinois or stay at Miami.

The transfer wide receiver cleared up those rumors on Monday afternoon. He's coming to Illinois.

"I'm on my way now," Thomas told The News-Gazette. "I'm really excited to get started at Illinois."