Smile Politely

Weird aura consumes Illini basketball

Alex Legion’s departure is just the latest unusual aspect of an overall weird time for Illini basketball.

The team has four losses entering the Big Ten season, one of the players just left, and yet the mood remains light—Coach McClain was especially buoyant and giggly before practice Tuesday—and expectations remain high.

Maybe the weirdest thing is that Wednesday’s opponent, Northwestern, is ranked! Or maybe it’s weirder that Illinois is favored to beat the ‘Cats by ten points.

The four freshmen have no other season to compare with, so maybe they haven’t noticed the weirdness. Besides, they’re out of their element— spending the month living at the Homewood Suites, taking a lot of hot tubs.

I talked to three of them— Tyler, Brandon & Joseph. The media session was unusually short, so I never had a chance to ask DJ about the hot tub.

But I did talk with Bubba Chisholm, who expects no remuneration for his voluntary scrappy effort. But he wouldn’t say no to a scholarship for his last semester. Them business textbooks is ‘spensive.

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