The Future of Illinois Basketball

The 2007-2008 Fighting Illini basketball team took the floor for the first time Friday night in front of approximately 12,500 pink-clad fans at Assembly Hall.

Illini Nation was treated to a variety of entertainment acts including dancers, an exhibition game between the University of Illinois intramural basketball champs and a traveling team of former And 1 players, three point shootout that included members of the men's and women's basketball teams and a dunk contest. The evening was capped off by a 15 minute scrimmage by the men's team.

This year's team appears to be more athletic and deeper than last year's. Outside shooting could a concern; however attacking the rim will not be an issue.

At courtside watching the festivities tonight was the future of Illinois basketball. D. J. Richardson, Jereme Richmond, Brandon Paul and Joseph Bertrand were courtside the entire evening and had the opportunity to watch their future teammates in action.

"I really liked what I saw here tonight, it was good to see all the guys that committed this week along with Jereme. I think they're going to be pretty good this year and when we get down here we expect to keep things rolling and get Illinois back to the Final Four," said Bertrand. will have more interviews with players and coaches in the coming days.

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