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).

Miller action photo

Illinois guard Adam Miller (44) attempts to take a charge from Nebraska guard Teddy Allen as Illini teammates Andre Curbelo (5) and Coleman Hawkins (33) look on during Friday night’s game at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. Miller finished with 10 points in a 77-72 road victory by sixth-ranked Illinois in overtime.

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Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:

Episode 139: Plenty to smile about

Illinois already got Nebraska's best shot this season. The Cornhuskers nearly pulled the upset earlier this month in Lincoln, Neb. Their play in that Feb. 12 game led into their only Big Ten win of the season two days later against Penn State.

Since, Nebraska has played Maryland close in the second of a back-to-back in College Park, Md., against the Terrapins and nearly swept the Nittany Lions on Tuesday before losing by three at home. 

"We've got a Nebraska team that lost a very close game (Tuesday) night and is playing exceptionally well," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "Teddy Allen went for 41 and made it look easy. We've got our hands full for sure.

"They were playing very well right before COVID, and they had just gotten Derrick Walker eligible. He had a suspension of a semester or something for I don't know what. He's added a nice piece to them because of his size, and he's a terrific interior defender. He played one, maybe two games, and then they were shut down with COVID.

"They're just getting their feet underneath them really. They're long. They're athletic. As the season's progressed, Teddy Allen's played great and continued to improve. This is a team that just continues getting better."

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

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