While the season doesn't officially start until November, Illinois held its Orange and Blue scrimmage at Assembly Hall on Monday night. Now, I wasn't willing to pay to watch the scrimmage, so I can't exactly break down what happened, but thankfully we have this thing called the internet to tell us all the world's secrets.
After the scrimmage John Groce told the media that, for the most part, he was happy with what he saw.
"At this time of year, the effort, attitude and unselfishness are critical, and I thought we had all three components," Groce said.
The Illini played four separate quarters, each 8 minutes long and shuffled the rosters of the Orange and Blue teams for each quarter. The Orange team won every quarter, winning by scores of 14-10, 16-5, 14-13 and 16-9. The leading scorer during the four sessions, unsurprisingly, was DJ Richardson who had 18 points and also shot 8-for-10 from the free throw line. Mike Shaw led all players with 11 rebounds.
Of course, not everything was good. Groce called the teams screening efforts "pathetic" and both teams shot a combined 10-for-38 from three-point range.
However, Nnanna Egwu impressed his coach, scoring 12 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.
"I thought Nnanna was really good," Groce said. "Especially during the first two quarters. He was active. He was all over the glass. He ran well."
Now if only the season where the Illini begin playing other teams and the games were televised would start.