On Friday, the team released more of the schedule including the long-rumored multi-team event in Champaign with North Carolina A&T, Wright State and Ohio University. The season officially begins on Nov. 25 against North Carolina A&T. The No. 8 Illini will play Wright State on Nov. 26 and Ohio University on Nov. 27 to open the season.
All three days will feature games during an afternoon session, with exact tip times to be determined based on TV designations.
Illinois also will compete in one of the nation's marquee events, the Jimmy V Classic, facing Baylor on Dec. 2. It sets up as a top-10 showdown between the No. 8 Illini and the No. 2-ranked Bears.
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The three home games and Baylor contest join road games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at No. 9 Duke on (Dec. 8) and Braggin' Right at Missouri (Dec. 12) in the current Illini schedule. One remaining non-conference game, as well as the full Big Ten slate, will be announced when finalized.
Baylor is coming off a 26-4 campaign and second-place finish in the Big 12 at 15-3. Coach Scott Drew's team ended the 2020 season ranked fifth in the AP poll.
Wright State was 25-7 last season and won the Horizon League title with a 15-3 league record. The Raiders are coached by Scott Nagy, whose father, Dick Nagy, was a longtime Illinois assistant under Lou Henson. Scott began his coaching career as an Illini graduate assistant and was part of the Flyin' Illini run to the 1989 Final Four.
Ohio, under the direction of second-year coach Jeff Boals, was 17-15 overall and 8-10 in the MAC last season.
North Carolina A&T went 17-15 last year, finishing runner-up in the MEAC at 12-4. Will Jones took over coaching duties for the Aggies midway through the season, with his debut occurring on the sidelines of State Farm Center, a 95-64 Illini win (Dec. 29, 2019).
Following the same protocols that are in place at Memorial Stadium, there will be no public sale of tickets for Illinois Basketball.
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Lou Henson in 1993
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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25
It's been more than three weeks since the NCAA announced a start date of Nov. 25 for the men's and women's college basketball season and so far, as it pertains to the Big Ten, very little is known beyond that.
No more than a minute or two had passed on Wednesday as players began to funnel off the floor and two their respective locker rooms did Kofi Cockburn ditch his Illinois basketball jersey and get back to work.