CHAMPAIGN (HOI) -- The Fighting Illini are hoping to win the Big Ten for the first time since 2005.
Illinois returns stars Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, as well is bringing in a top flight recruiting class that features Andre Curbelo, Coleman Hawkins and Peoria native Adam Miller.
The expectations will be sky high in Champaign this year, something head coach Brad Underwood is working to manage.
"You've got to go from the hunter to the hunted and understand that the bullseye is on your back and you've gotta handle that. The first part of that starts with distractions away from the court. Our objective is to really never watch the rankings, never talk about the rankings, that's for everybody else and just keep doing what we do, just get better every day," explained Underwood.
Last year Illinois went 21-10 overall, including 13-7 in conference play. Underwood says they've proven they can win, they just need to find more consistency in the upcoming season.