Illinois’ Underwood rips his team following loss to Penn State


Following No. 17 Illinois’ 74-59 loss to Penn State on Saturday, head coach Brad Underwood met with the media and didn’t hold back in lambasting his squad for its “uninspired” effort. 

“This didn’t have anything to do with X’s and O’s, this had everything to do with heart and being tough enough to compete for the jersey you wear every single day,” Underwood said. “Offense and defense was a disgrace, didn’t matter who we had on the court.”

In the loss, the Fighting Illini shot a miserable 44.2% from the field against Penn State and were just as terrible on the defensive end, allowing the Nittany Lions to shoot 50% from the field and the 3-point line. 

Underwood admitted that he saw Saturday’s poor performance coming, calling the team’s practices this week “atrocious” before spotlighting the team’s lack of leadership. 

“Maybe the two worst days of practice leading up to a game I’ve been a part of, and that’s leadership,” Underwood said. “Leadership — put it in bold, damn print.” 

Matching up against Penn State, one of the oldest teams in college basketball, Underwood said he knew his young team would have its fair share of rough nights. 

However, after Saturday’s game, Underwood issued a challenge, and maybe a warning, to his team that it’s time to right the ship. 

“If I gotta go back to leading again, this team’s in trouble,” Underwood said.

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