Weber sequesters Illini

Illinois needs a break from media circus, coach explains

MADISON – After interviews were complete following Illinois' win over Iowa Thursday night, Illini coach Bruce Weber made his players off limits to the media until the postgame of tonight's matchup with Wisconsin at the Kohl Center here.

"We just had such a circus last week with so many people covering us," Weber explained on a conference call Monday. "We get a lot of coverage normally with our local media, the state media. We have six, seven beat writers that are always around and I think our kids are used to that, the normal routine of a Monday press conference and then the guys get questions before practice.

"The last 10 days have just been crazy. We had Sports Illustrated here, USA Today, we had New York Times, Denver Post, people all from throughout the nation and then the Chicago TV has really drifted down also. I thought we'd looked tired and I'm not sure if it's mentally tired or physically tired….

"I hope it helps us. It was nothing against the media or anything. Some of it too, they get sick of answering the same questions and how is it going to go play up there [the Kohl Center] and 38 in a row [Wisconsin's home winning streak] and all of those type of things. So we can just concentrate on the game."

The circus will be back for another show tonight as at least 210 media credentials have been granted for tonight's game. As a result, the UW has actually arranged a temporary interview staging area that is larger than the Kohl Center's media room. The last time the UW took this measure for an event here was when the school hosted an NCAA Regional three years ago.

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