VIDEO: Illini Now/SI Morning Update With Matthew Stevens - July 5, 2020

Matthew Stevens

Illini Now/Sports Illustrated publisher/editor Matthew Stevens talks about how refreshing it was to have live Illini sports to watch (sort of...) as Mike Daum, the NCAA’s all-time seventh-leading scorer, who still holds the Summit League and South Dakota State scoring records, led all scorers with 21 points and 10 rebounds in a dominating 76-53 victory over War Tampa in the first round of The Basketball Tournament Saturday night.

House Of Paign, which had only been able to practice together for the last five days but had prepared sets and a philosophy of play for months thanks to organized Zoom video conferences by LaTulip, led this matchup from start to finish and showcased a chemistry-laden defensive effort that limited War Tampa to just 3 of 23 from three-point range.

“Illinois fans that watched us may be thinking of these guys who didn’t play at Illinois ‘Who are these guys?’, but they’re high character guys,” House Of Paign head coach Mike LaTulip said in the post-game media conference. “It takes a lot. It takes a village. Obviously when we put this team together, we had a template. When we did that, we thought we’d have guys that liked being around each other.”

Stevens also talks about Josh Imatorbhebhe’s tweet coming a few days after Illini senior linebacker Milo Eifler expressed on social media and with local media his concerns with the NCAA and the lack of leadership regarding the idea of playing football during the current coronavirus pandemic.

  • One other note: The Illini Now/Sports Illustrated site will monitoring the commitment announcement of four-star 2020 forward Alex Tchikou, who is originally from France but played last season at Dream City Christian School in Glendale, Ariz. Tchikou is now ranked as the No. 36 overall prospect by in the 2020 recruiting class and the sixth-best power forward prospect in the nation. The 6-foot-11 forward had Illinois along with Oregon, Alabama, Mississippi State, Arizona, Florida State, Southern California, St. John’s and St. Mary’s in his final nine schools.