Michael Finke

Illinois' Michael Finke (43) reacts on the bench in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Minnesota at the Big Ten Conference tournament, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Indianapolis. Illinois won 85-52.

Listen to this article

Michael Finke’s run in The Basketball Tournament might have been a short one given Illinois BC’s first-round exit Friday to the Ohio State alumni-heavy Carmen’s Crew, but the former Centennial and Illinois forward still has a pro career ahead of him. He discusses his training back in Champaign, his pending nuptials and his expanding rooting interests in college hoops:

How have you spent your time since the season ended at Grand Canyon?

I’ve been training a lot, really hard, on the court and in the weight room. I’ve been working with (Centennial and Illinois grad) Trent Meacham. I’ve gone to a couple showcases — one in Chicago and one out in Las Vegas this past weekend. I got a lot of interest from teams around Europe and in South America. I’m waiting to see what kind of offers I can get. Trent, he’s been a mentor for me through the whole process. I’ve known him since I was young. Now, obviously with me trying to go play pro ball and him having that experience, he knows more about the game than anyone I know. He’s been through it all, so to have him right there has been really good.

What have you worked on with your game?

Just trying to get more consistent with my jump shot. That’s the big thing. I’ve been really working on my handles. With Trent being a guard, that’s something he’s really good at. Be confident with it. Bring the ball up the court when I’m playing pick up. Focus on my post game and get a few moves that I can go to. It’s been good to get after it with him. We went five days a week at one point, but now are down to two to four days. I feel like my game’s really improved over the summer. The more I’m in (the gym), the more confident I get.

Will you get married before you head overseas?

(Fiance Lexi Lane is) going to come with me for a year (overseas) with not getting married. We’re finishing up the final details right now. We almost have a date set, but it will probably be next summer. I need some money. Weddings are expensive, man. We’re really excited about it. We’re able to travel the world together, so it will be a really good experience.

Do you keep tabs on both Illinois and Grand Canyon now?

I’m definitely going to follow both of them. I still have love for both of the schools. They actually play each other first game of the year this year. It will be a lot of fun to watch that game. I wish I could be at it. I think both teams have a shot to be pretty good this year. I wish them both the best of luck.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).