John Groce delivered some good news on Thursday morning in regards to one of his injured players. The Fighting Illini head coach informed reporters at Big Ten Media Day that sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands is roughly 7-10 days away from returning to the court. Coleman-Lands underwent surgery a month ago to repair a broken right hand.
John Groce said he expects Jalen Coleman-Lands to be back in roughly 7-10 days. He's been working out and rehabbing broken hand— Alex Roux (@aroux94) October 13, 2016
Illinois guard Jalen Coleman-Lands (hand) is ahead of schedule in his recovery, per @JohnGroce. Still not cleared for full-contact.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 11, 2016
Coleman-Lands was fantastic for Illinois as a true-freshman. The 6-foot-3 Indiana native played in all 34 games — including 24 as a starter — while averaging 10.3 points on 41.2% shooting from the field (42.2% 3PT). Coleman-Lands also set Illinois’ program record for three-pointers made by a freshman, totaling 87 from behind the arch.
Groce was also asked about Coleman-Lands’ progress during his press conference, and he gave the following response.
The biggest thing with Jalen is he changed his body. I mentioned strength and conditioning with all 16 of our men. But Jalen is certainly very pronounced when you see pictures of him when he first came in versus what his body looks like now. His conditioning is much improved. It's been well documented. Last year he missed all of summer and fall training camp leading into the season. So he's had more training. I think he's more ready. He knows the system a lot better both offensively and defensively. You know, we're excited about what the future holds for him, not only this year but moving forward even beyond that.