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Another too-close-for-comfort win against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday has Illinois fans wondering what the deal is with the Illini. Is it the injuries? The defense? The inability to put teams away? All of the above?

Beat writer Scott Richey answered questions of that ilk in his Wednesday afternoon chat. The status of Illinois' three true freshmen was also a topic of conversation.

So was recruiting, a day after assistant coach Paris Parham saw Manual and Da'Monte Williams take on Champaign Central and Tim Finke and coach John Groce was in Belleville to see Javon Pickett.

Read the full transcript here.

Sample question:

What's the deal with the 12/30 game against Michigan tipping off at 2:00 PM on a Wednesday afternoon? 

Richey's answer:

Yeah, the 2 p.m. start time on a Wednesday does seem counterproductive to a good crowd. Especially when you consider students will be on break. But it's not a decision Illinois made on its own. It's a TV decision. The game will actually be on TV, and there are games starting at noon and going all day on ESPN2.

Be sure to return to IlliniHQ.com this week as Illinois gets set to take on South Dakota at 2 p.m. Saturday at State Farm Center. Richey's LIVE! Report will launch at 12:30 p.m.