Michael Orris Shares Diary #2 With UI Nation

The Fighting Illini basketball team signed one player to a scholarship tender last November. Crete-Monee point guard Michael Orris has had an up-and-down final season, largely the result of a high ankle sprain that slowed him down much of the year. He talks about that and his senior season so far in the second edition of his continuing diary for InsideIllini.

Dear Illini Nation,

It has been a while since we have talked. It has been a busy season, so I will get you up to speed! Last time we talked, I was getting ready for the season to begin, as well as my signing day.

Well as you may know, I sprained my ankle the Sunday right before our first game, which was the Thanksgiving tournament. NOT a good way to start off my senior season!

I am a fierce competitor and hate to lose, so you can only imagine what it was like to be sidelined due to an injury! I fought through it and made it to my first game, which was awesome!

There have been a lot of ups and downs during the season, and many factors go into that. I'll be the first one to tell you this was not the senior season I envisioned, especially with my personal play. But anyone who knows the game of basketball would know how evident things appear that are going on when you watch our team play.

At this point, all I can do is what is in my control, and that is to always play hard every possession, and lead my team. Last Friday was Senior Night; we played against our rival school Rich South. It was an exciting and emotional day!

What made it even better was that Coach (Bruce) Weber and his wife were there to watch me! I was so thankful I could go out with a bang and perform well in front of Coach, finishing with 17pts, 5assists, and 3steals...I THINK (for the steals and assists). Oh, and we won. But its not over yet! We play (Tuesday) in our first regional game against the winner of Thornton vs Shepard.

At this time, I would like to make it clear that I support Coach Weber in everything he does. I believe he is a great coach and knows exactly what he is doing. I know Illinois basketball has a great future ahead, and I can't wait to be part of that! Hail the Orange and Blue! GO ILLINI!

Michael Orris

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