CHAMPAIGN — Illinois will try to snap its five-game losing streak both overall and in Big Ten play at 8 p.m. Wednesday against Minnesota at State Farm Center. The KenPom projections have the game as the Illini' best chance for a win until the Feb. 9 home game with Rutgers.
Wins, though, could be few and far between for Illinois through the rest of the 2018-19 season. Is it time to really see what Tevian Jones and Alan Griffin can do? That decision obviously falls on Illini coach Brad Underwood, but the freshmen guards provide — in theory at least — some real athleticism (Jones) and another shooter on the wing (Griffin).
Jones' eight-game suspension, though, has him working his way back to earning minutes. He's played just six total the last two games since his return. Griffin played the same amount against Northwestern and Michigan after committing three turnovers in 7 minutes at Indiana as his ball security troubles resurfaced.
Illinois fans are clamoring for the freshmen. Could Wednesday's game with the Gophers be their stage?