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QUOTABLES: Brad Underwood Teleconference

Here’s what the Illini head basketball coach had to say.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since having a joint press conference with Illini athletic director Josh Whitman, Illinois head coach Brad Underwood met with the media to discuss the state of the team over the offseason.

Here is what Underwood had to say:

On winter sports not getting an extra year of eligibility:

“Those are really hard situations and decisions that have to be made. As sympathetic as we all were that tournaments and championships weren’t played, the seasons were.”

“It’s a teaching moment. It’s a tough moment. It’s hard. But I get it and totally understand it.”

On the NBA draft/roster decisions if certain players go:

“There are a lot of factor that are unknown. Don’t know what the draft process is. Unless you’re a pretty surefire top-10 pick, it’s challenging to know what that process is.”

“I like the position we’re in.”

“We’re never going to put guys in that kind of situation. (making Ayo decide by a certain day) Never would put an athlete in a ...we’re always going to be a home.”

On recruiting/2020-2021 roster:

“I think you will see kids who made campus visits, whether official or unofficial, start to commit. In all likelihood, there will be no AAU basketball. Or they might wait until the spring.”

“You are trying to get as much information to these prospects as you can digitally. We have some guys in the ‘21 class that we have had on campus. We are doing what is essentially an official visit online.”

“We feel like we’re in a good position at every roster spot. You start getting very detailed. We could potentially use a stretch four. A lot depends on if one-time transfer rule passes. If we had a sit-out guy, it could be anywhere from a big to a point guard.”

“(Jacob) Grandison and (Austin) Hutcherson the same size. But they bring different things to the table in what they do. To have those guys go through a year of practice was huge. They were a handful on the scout team.”

“We can be pretty selective.”

“We can all evaluate the running, jumping and shooting on film, but I really try to focus on the IQ pieces. I hate highlight tapes. Everybody thinks those are the best things ever, but they put all their made baskets and dunks.”

“I want to see a game. I want to see if you jump to the ball, if you back-cut when you need to.”

“I love sit out guys. It’s a year of learning the system, the terminology and year in the weight room ... There has been very little bad to guys sitting out.”

“Everyone is dialed in to our growth.”

On state of the team amidst Corona Virus outbreak:

“(Kofi Cockburn and Trent Frazier) are in pretty tight quarantine.”

“Twice a week we do Zoom together as a group. Fletch has an app and puts them through a workout every day the best we can through bodyweight stuff.”

On Giorgi:

“We all know Giorgi, we know he can stayed entertained pretty easily. He told me he is trying to master walking on his hands.”

On Alan Griffin transferring:

“I’m never surprised.”

“He’s made his decision for what his reasons are. You wish him nothing but the best.”