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QUOTABLES: On to Indy for the Illini

Here what Brad, Ayo, Trent, Andre and Kofi had to say.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

As the Illini prepared to travel to Indianapolis for what they hope is a lengthy stay on Wednesday, various members of the team plus Brad Underwood met the media.

Here’s what Brad Underwood had to say on:

Josh Whitman’s Letter:

  • This team will always be remembered and I’ll make sure of that.
  • How much that means to me and our players and our program... We all long for relationships with people that will fight for you and will go to battle for you.

On the want for a Big Ten title:

  • This doesn’t have anything to do with Michigan. Juwan and his crew had an unbelievable year. They’re deserving [of a conference championship]. This is not taking anything away from them.

On the team’s mindset:

  • I want to get through a Big Ten Tournament without COVID. I want to be a 1 seed.
  • There’s no doubt we’re a great hunter. We’re great when we’re chasing something. And believe me, we’re chasing a lot right now.
  • It’s postseason time. It’s a great time of year.
  • This is what we live for.

On Friday’s matchup

  • (Rutgers) beat us early, and we had two great games with Indiana. In my opinion, they’re both NCAA tournament teams. They both have great individual talent.
  • Anybody can beat anybody... nothing will shock me, you’ve got to be on your best to win.

On the trip to Indianapolis

  • We’re taking treadmills, we’re taking bicycles, we’re taking weights, we’re taking our 2K games.
  • We’re taking a portable basketball goal that we can set up for guys to shoot free throws. We’re a team that desperately needs interaction. We’re taking a card table, so we can play cards.

On specific players

  • So proud of all the guys who got Big Ten honors. It’s a team effort to get those. With team success comes individual accolades.
  • In Ayo’s case, maybe unfortunate that he missed three games. He’s Player of the Year in my opinion.
  • [Andre Curbelo]’s got scary talent.

Here’s what Ayo Dosunmu had to say on:

The Big Ten Title

  • Winning the Big Ten Championship is the award that I’m most focused on.
  • We are hunting. We are also being hunted. It’s a good happy medium.
  • Everybody knows how we feel with the Big Ten regular season.

On where the Illini are

  • This is everything I wished for and more, just being in this position I’m in now. I try to embrace it and live in the moment.
  • I remember walking here on my visits dreaming about being in positions like this.

On Hunter Dickinson’s comments

  • I’m not going to give them no clout or nothing. He can have that. We’ll see him. He can have that.

On his 2K skills

  • I’m different.

On he trip to Indianapolis

  • I’m packing like I’ll be there for a month.

Here’s what Trent Frazier had to say on:

Josh Whitman’s letter

  • He never gave up on us, he never gave up on this team.
  • He’s a tremendous leader, shows the type of character he has.
  • We’re focused on bigger rings and bigger dreams.

On the postseason / Big Ten regular season

  • We’re excited. This team is really pumped up and ready to go.
  • We aren’t focused on that right now. We are focused on bigger things.

Here’s what Andre Curbelo had to say on:

Josh Whitman’s letter

  • He’s got our back and we need to have his by going out and making a statement.

On the Big Ten Title

  • That’s in the past. You can’t change that. All we can do is go out and prove it.

On winning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year

  • I never play thinking about winning awards. I’m all about the team. I’ll do whatever I can until the team wins.

Here’s what Kofi Cockburn had to say on:

Coming to Illinois

  • I just felt like I needed to come here and make a difference. It’s been really good being a part of that difference.

On his brother’s impact

  • Ever since I was a kid he’s been that person that pushes me.

On being named All-Big Ten with Ayo

  • Not only to me, it means a lot about what kind of player Ayo is.
  • It’s just a great accomplishment.

On Ayo’s 2K skills

  • 100 % (the best), not even close.

On his improvement this year

  • I feel I am more composed...I rushed a lot last year.
  • Last year, I wasn't as basketball smart.

On fan support

  • We definitely feel the love through social media.

The Illini are back on the court Friday afternoon as they officially begin their postseason quest for multiple titles.