Illini basketball

Media Day 2014

John Groce gave a press conference this afternoon. Illini players were available for interviews and photography afterward. It’s the annual “Media Day.”

Here’s an audio recording of Groce’s remarks, followed by answers to questions from the Illini media pool.

We can infer that Aaron Cosby’s Moment of Clarity, alluded to but unexplained by Groce during April’s annual team banquet, was the day when Aaron realized he had to work hard all the time, every day, every practice, every play — rather than choosing his moments.

The most intriguing statement concerned Darius Paul. Groce said the team lost him “for a year.” Does that mean Paul is definitely coming back? Does it mean Groce expects no more recruits for the 2015 class? Could it mean that Darius plans to return regardless of the scholarship situation?

During the hour of player availability, I wanted to focus on the newcomers. I asked questions about Michael Finke, Leron Black, Ahmad Starks and Aaron Cosby. I also asked about the lesser publicized new additions to the team: Alex Austin and Cameron Liss.

There wasn’t enough time to interview everyone. Worst of all, I didn’t get to speak with Leron on camera. As you’d expect, everyone wanted to talk to him.

Nevertheless, in the forthcoming days, keep an eye out for a series of introductory pieces, featuring a lot of silly questions about the new guys, with no small amount of attention paid to Laura Finke’s cooking.

Tracy Abrams was dressed and available, and looked fine.

But looks can be deceiving. He’ll have knee surgery in “a couple weeks.”

More of Tracy’s interview in days to come.


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