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Illinois strength coach Adam Fletcher is transforming Fighting Illini Basketball

Good morning. Welcome to the Orange Minute for Wednesday, July 20.

Photo via Fighting Illini Athletics

Which areas has Illinois basketball struggled with in recent years? Defense and rebounding would probably be two of the top responses, but how many of you would've said athleticism? It didn't exactly take a trained eye to see that John Groce's squad was lacking explosiveness, after all.

To help improve the roster, the Fighting Illini hired former Towson staffer Adam Fletcher as their new Strength and Conditioning coach last Fall. So far the early returns from his first full offseason have been rather impressive. Don't believe me? Take a look for yourself.

Note: prepare for a small flood of updates and videos from Fletcher's Twitter account.

When this hire was made before the 2015 season, John Groce stated that Fletcher has "quickly earned a reputation as one of the best young S&C coaches in all of college basketball." That's hard to doubt after seeing these transformations.

As fantastic as this progress is, though, it begs a rather important question: what the hell was Illinois' previous strength coach doing? With the exception of occasional NBA-type athletes (which Illinois doesn't have), upperclassman should be relatively maxed-out by their senior years. But here we are seeing some pretty remarkable improvements over the course of a few short weeks and months. I don't know about you, but I wish a change was made way sooner.

If you're looking for more on the team's training regimen under Fletcher, definitely check out this in-depth profile by Illini Inquirer's Jeremy Werner. It details pretty much everything you'd need to know, including techniques being used to combat the program's nagging injury bug.

July 19, 2016 Poll Question Results

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